Housing project makes a return

Sidney townhome work resumes after years of financial trouble

Project manager George Schell speaks with Sidney Mayor Lary Cross and councillor Steve Price during a tour of a renewed housing development in town on April 28.

When the Kustermann family bought into a townhouse development project on Bowerbank Road in Sidney, they had thought of it as an investment.

Their willingness to stick to that investment took on a new dimension when the economy took a nosedive in 2008. When the market dried up, the project stalled. The land was cleared and construction work had begun, says George Schell of Allanda Consulting. But in 2011, the project went into receivership and its assets were frozen.

Schell, who is the project manager acting on behalf of the company overseeing the receivership, said it’s to the family’s credit that once the previous developer left the project, they did not. They have continued to work with the Town of Sidney as well, to accommodate the delay in construction.

As of August last year, Schell said the assets were transferred to the Kustermann family, led by Hubert Kustermann. Today, the work has resumed with a new development company and with the continued commitment of the Kustermanns, it should be complete by October of 2013.

Sidney town councillors, the mayor and staff toured the site of the East Shore Village, as the project is known today, with the various construction representatives. Led by Schell, they saw the work being done to complete a job left stagnant when the economy went bad.

Mayor Larry Cross said while the work started before he became mayor, the council stayed involved with the Kustermanns. They also faced upset neighbours of the property, concerned over a lack of progress and what had become an empty eyesore.

“We always told people what we knew,” he said. “People were always wondering when the project would resume.”

Cross said the fact the Kustermann stuck with it, speaks volumes to their integrity.

“It took courage for the family to keep the project and not walk away,” Cross said.

Schell noted that the family will take a signiificant loss in its inital investment in the development.

“They knew this,” he explained, “but decided to stay and create affordable housing for families in Sidney. The integrity of these people is tremendous.”

Hubert Kustermann had flown in to Sidney from Germany onthe day of the tour, but was ill and could not be there.

Construction crews are again busy on the site, building 47 strata lots with capacity for additional flex-units, or smaller, more affordable homes. The price range is $199,000 to $575,000 — meaning there will be a mix of families on the property once its complete. And that’s expect to be in October of this year.

“This has been a tough project for the town,” Cross said. “But this is an ideal conclusion to a difficult sitiuation.”

 

Just Posted

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

In and out in 60 seconds, two suspects get away with $10,000 worth of jewelry after break-in at WestShore Gold and Silver

Langford business broken into just down the street from West Shore RCMP detachment

$1,500 bursary created in memory of late Ducan musician returns for second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Victoria career fair highlights opportunities in film industry

Reel Careers in Film and Media fair set for Dec. 7 at Camosun’s Interurban campus

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read