An Alberta-based real estate investment company is suing the City of Nanaimo.
According to a notice of civil claimed filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 16, NPR GP Inc. alleges that the city was negligent and failed to provide accurate information to them during their purchase of Seacrest Apartments, a 17-storey apartment building located on 1 Chapel St., in 2012.
NPR alleges that during the process of purchasing the property in 2012, the company requested information from the fire department. NPR claims it received a letter from Ennis Mond, the city’s chief fire protection officer and acting captain at the time, dated July 26, 2012, informing them that there were “no issues” with the property during a February 2012 fire inspection, that the next inspection was due in 2013 and that there were no outstanding orders.
NPR then agreed to purchase the building in September that same year.
However, following the purchase of the property, NPR claims the city told them that the previous owner had created 17 apartments within the building by “dividing two-bedroom units” into separate apartments, which did not meet fire safety requirements.
As a result, the city instructed NPR that modifications would need to be made on the units, according to the claim, which goes on to state that after NPR hired multiple contractors and consultants to begin making changes, Mond informed the company in September 2017 that no amount of modifications on the units would meet requirements and that the units must be returned to their original state as two-bedroom units.
NPR’s civil claim argues that the city was negligent and misleading regarding the property’s non-compliance issues. It claims it has “suffered and will continue to suffer” losses and financial expenses as a result of the city’s misrepresentation.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. It’s unclear how much money NPR is seeking in financial compensation from the city, as specific figures were not listed in the civil claim.
Victor Mema, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, said he couldn’t comment on the case as it is still before the courts.