Nfld. & Labrador

Enraged condo investors want deposits back after years of waiting

Investors in a stalled St. John’s condominium project are outraged that they haven’t received their money back, after years of waiting for condos that were never built.

Condo deposit scandal

7 years ago
Duration 2:24
Condo deposit scandal

Investors in a stalled St. John's condominium project are outraged that they haven't received their money back, after years of waiting for condos that still haven't been built.

The developers of Harbourside Condominiums on Temperance Street began selling units in 2009, but construction on the downtown building still hasn't started.

You can't take people's money and then just write them off with no explanation.- Carol-Ann Garland

People who bought units early say the developer refuses to give their deposits back, even though they signed contracts that promised they could pull out and receive a refund.

"It just doesn't make sense to me, it's very clear cut," said Carol-Ann Garland.

"We signed a contract that promised our money back if we wanted out, we want out. Therefore, the money should be forthcoming."

Carol-Ann Garland paid nearly $60,000 for a deposit on two condo units in 2012. Four years later, she said the developers won't return her phone calls or her money. (CBC)

Garland bought two condominium units in 2012, paying a deposit of nearly $60,000.

She intended to rent the condos to help pay for her daughters' tuition. As the years went by, she said it became clear that the project wasn't happening and she decided to back out.

However, despite repeated requests, she said the developers still haven't refunded her deposit.

"That was in 2012, here we are in 2016," she said.

"My daughters are going to university in September and I have no revenue from this project, nor do I have the money that I initially invested."

Some investors taking legal action

The developers, Kevin Nolan and Robert Hall, marketed the condos through their companies, Nolan Hall and Harbourside Development Corporation.

The developers of Harbourside Condominiums started selling units in 2009, but the development still hasn't been constructed. (CBC)

Nolan and Hall advertised the Harbourside Condominiums as "a solid investment. An investment that offered security and projected great returns."

However, the project stalled when the condo market in St. John's took a dive and early investors have heard little since. Garland said Nolan and Hall won't even return her phone calls.

Garland and a group of other early investors have started a Facebook page called "Nightmare on Temperance Street" to put pressure on Nolan and Hall. They are also threatening legal action.

Kenneth Harvey, another early investor, has already launched a lawsuit, naming Kevin Nolan, Robert Hall and their companies as defendants.

The Harbourside Condominiums were originally marketed as having 140 units, a two-storey restaurant and a commercial spa. City council voted in 2015 to approve a new application for the development, which would have 44 units and no spa or restaurant. Nothing has been built as of yet. (CBC)

Harvey is alleging "deceit or fraud" and is seeking the return of his deposit of $138,500.

Garland said that if her deposit isn't returned, she's also willing to launch a lawsuit of her own.

"You can't take people's money and then just write them off with no explanation," she said.

"I think that's deceitful and I want answers and the group wants answers."

When contacted by CBC, Nolan and Hall declined comment.