One of the mortgage holders behind Moncton's troubled Vision Lands project bought the property back during a mortgage sale on Wednesday.

Ontario-based HarbourEdge Mortgage Investment Corporation paid $7.1 million for the 260-acre site located next to the University of Moncton campus.

Vision Lands neighbourhood

A lawyer representing the company then took the names of people interested in buying parcels of the land.

About two dozen people attended the mortgage sale, including developer Paul Arsenault, who watched from the sidelines as his dream of an environmentally-friendly subdivision came to an end.

Arsenault had pledged to build energy efficient homes and ecological landscaping.

But after three years, only four houses were built and Arsenault's debts were piling up.

A landscaping company had filed a lien on the subdivision for $237,000 and a paving company had filed a lawsuit claiming it was owed $278,000.

On Wednesday, the only comment Arsenault offered was that life goes on.

The development, which was launched with the full support of the city, was supposed to be a combination of homes, seniors apartments and condominiums.

The 600 housing units were all expected to be in a forest setting of mature trees, trails and other ecological attractions.