South Kamloops Mission Hill Development Subject of Court Hearing Next Week

This article was written by Jeremy Deutsch of Kamloops This Week and appeared in the November 30th, 2010 edition.

South Kamloops BC Real Estate Mission Hill It may be an eyesore now, but all eyes will be on next week’s court proceeding for the Mission Hill development.

The court-appointed monitor looking after seven developments for the New Future Building Group, including Mission Hill in Kamloops, off the Summit Connector, will be in front of a judge in Vancouver on Monday, Dec. 6, submitting a report on the projects.

At that time, the judge could decide, based on a report provided by court-ordered monitor the Bowra Group, that New Future proceed and complete construction, or that the projects be sold in their current state. Other projects are in Kelowna, the Shuswap, Nelson and Squamish.

In October, New Future filed for protection from its creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangements Act. The group of companies, which is headed by Kamloops developer Mike Rink, owes a reported $80 million on projects including Mission Hill.

Mario Mainella, vice-president of the Bowra Group, told Kamloops This Week it is unlikely the courts will order the Mission Hill development be sold because the best chance creditors have to get their money back is via completion. Mainella said whether the project will be completed through receivership is to be determined and will be based on the findings in Bowra’s report.

“This project sitting there idle does nobody any good,” Mainella said. “It’s at a point where it needs to be compete.”

He said if New Future is to remain involved in any of the projects, it will likely be under some conditions.

The Bowra Group, which provides financial-advisory services, is now looking after all the money for the projects on behalf of the courts until a final determination is made. In the meantime, the company plans on putting up funds to preserve and protect the projects during winter.

Mainella also met with city officials last week to determine what outstanding issues remain with Mission Hill. The city gave New Future until November 30 to meet a set of conditions in order to receive a new one-year building permit. David Trawin, Kamloops’ director of development and engineering, said the city is still owed money for lighting improvements, securities and permit fees for the one-year extension. He noted the total amounts to less than $500,000.

Trawin suggested the city is willing to give the Bowra Group extra time it needs to submit an application for a building-permit extension, provided the correspondence does not come from Rink. “Our goal from a city perspective is to do what’s best in order to get the project moving forward and finished,” Trawin said. After meeting with the Bowra Group, he said the city feels positive the project will commence in the new year.

Work on Mission Hill came to a halt several months ago after New Future ran into financing problems at the beginning of the summer. The first phase was scheduled to be complete by July, but Rink told KTW bank lenders decided to suspend funding until they reviewed the project.

In the meantime, a handful of prospective owners who bought into the project came forward, demanding — and, eventually receiving — their deposits back.