Construction restarts on Hyde Park Richmond project

Subcontractors are back to work in Richmond on a residential development that had ground to a halt last September after the project’s funding failed and left trade workers no choice but to file construction liens – nine of them total – against the developer, Courtyard Developments Inc.

But every one of those liens has been cleared, said company president Steve Hyde, and all subcontractors are back on the job at Immanuel House, a 55-plus lifestyle development at 6143 Perth St. that should be completed by spring of 2014.

The lien resolutions came after Pillar Financial Corp., a company based in Sharbot Lake, agreed to provide an undisclosed amount of commercial funding for the project.

Trouble began for the development when previously committed construction financing fell through and the company had to delay contractor payments, Mr. Hyde said in a statement issued to OBJ in September.

“Things have restarted,” he said in an interview. “The momentum is picking up again.”

The company is now operating under the name Hyde Park Canada.

Upon its completion, Immanuel House will be an 18-acre community designed for residents over the age of 55.

By this June, 35 apartments will be ready for residents to move into, Mr. Hyde said. Four individuals couldn’t wait any longer for the apartments – initially slated for completion in December 2011 – and were given a refund on their investment.

An additional 105 retirement suites will continue being constructed as part of the Hyde Park community, followed by 150 one and two-bedroom apartments.

Amenities within the Hyde Park development will include a medical centre, recreation centre, daycare facility, walking trails, cafe and restaurant – all of which will be accessible to residents of Richmond.

“This is going to be a vibrant neighbourhood for the residents who reside here (at Hyde Park) as well as the community of Richmond,” said Sandra-Lynn Thomson, who was recently appointed vice-president of operations on the project.

“We want everybody to be able to enjoy this and participate in this because it is a neighbourhood, it’s not just a retirement home.”

Hyde Park recently completed a project in Almonte called Jamieson Mills, a series of villa-style apartments for those over the age of 45.

Additionally, site plans are in the works for a facility in Winchester twice the size of the Richmond location that will include over 800 residential suites, a hotel, conference centre, restaurants and retail space. Construction is slated to begin in 2015.

“There’s a real demand for housing that is specific for people that are over the age of 55, and those needs are increasing,” Mr. Hyde said.

Despite the challenges that have faced Hyde Park and Courtyard Developments in the past, Mr. Hyde said the company’s goal has always been evident: to provide essential services and a sense of belonging to its residents.

“That’s why everybody has agreed to stay on,” he said of the project’s contractors. “They see our heart. I think people are able to pick up on that.”

Hyde Park Canada was founded in 2000 with the intent of building life-lease communities for those over the age of 55. A term coined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., life leases involve residents buying shares in the development that are then used by the developer to fund construction of the home.

Immanuel House investors have the option of purchasing a suite valued at $156,000 or purchasing “fractions” of a suite valued at $13,000 each. Returns on the investment include decreased rent or monthly revenue for those not living on the property.