"Affordable Luxury" was the title of the Marketing Material I received from 2020 Properties about a new resort development they were undertaking on Lake Okanagan in British Columbia. "Your own cottage in a Lakefront Resort with all the amenities for $240K". I wish now I had never received their material.
I'll start by saying I have to take some responsibility for not doing more due dilligence on the company and resort before I invested - but when I did internet searches in 2005, there weren't any postings like this. Now there will be.
There is really way too many things to write about the horrible experience I had dealing with these folks - so I'll try to hit the high points. All I can say is - if you are thinking of investing with this company, start by considering this.
1. They represented themselves as the owner of the property, the owner of the commercial buildings at the resort, as the builder of the cottages, and would be responsible for arranging furniture packages for cottage owners, as well as finding a Vacation Rental Management company to support investors who wanted to rent their cottages.
- In less than a month after signing a purchase agreement for my chosen lot, I was introduced to 'Streamline Construction' who would build my cottage. 2020 did not disclose a different builder when they marketed to me
- The commercial buidings were owned by a third Party - Azura - who was at odds with 2020
- And in the span of 4 years, Streamline went bankrupt in the middle of building my cottage, the Furniture Provider went bankrupt after taking a 50% deposit on my furniture package, the Resort Management company nearly went bankrupt and sold off it's contracts to another company, and the LIMITED company that 2020 used for the development is near bankruptcy and has not completed the development. They have also left the Strata for the resort with a large amount owning on fees for the lots in the development they haven't yet sold.
SO - do you want to invest money with a company who's partners all went broke, their own limited company is in financial dispair, and who have left their investors with a half-finished resort that they have to pay themselves to complete? And all during an unprecedented real estate boom? These folks are a joke - do NOT invest your money with them.
I've gone through a number of home constructions in Alberta, and have NEVER experienced this level of incompetence, greed and what I consider fraud. I'm University Educated and a Director for a large Energy Company. I'm not a naive investor - which is why I feel the need to post this.
And if the above wasn't enough for you, I'll provide some more specifics.
2. When attending the first Marketing meeting for potential investors - I asked the primary Sales representative - Peter Schulhoff - the exact costs for building a cottage. At that point he identified that the expectation was $125/sq foot, but that they were still reviewing costs and specs. At the next meeting just before I purchased ( a few weeks later) when I was introduced to 'Streamline' who was going to be the actual builder - I asked the same question and they stated that they were confident at $137/sq ft. At that point I purchased the lot, and selected one of 8 cottage styles.
- I received a construction contract with a requested deposit of $15000, but there was no price on the contract. I was told without the deposit they wouldn't get started. I held off for obvious reasons.
- Less than 3 months after the first Marketing meeting - I received a construction contract with a price - at $200/sq ft! This was AFTER they sold me the lot and was provided marketing materials that my cottage would cost $145K to build! Their explanation - we just finished our first two cottages, and we felt we needed to improve the spec. I told Streamline to go to hell, and sent a letter to 2020 Properties notifying them that their actions were, in my opinion, criminal. And I was going to hold the lot indefinitely and sell at some point in the future.
3. Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt 2020 had ripped them off. I received a call from Peter Schulhoff trying to understand why I wasn't going to build, and reminding me that the purchase agreement for the lot committed me to building. I reminded him that the committment to build was within 10 years in the contract, even though I was aware they wanted people to build within 2-3 years. I was asked what it would take to rectify the situation - and I stated that I wanted them to purchase my lot back at the price I had paid, plus interest (i.e. break-even). He stated that he would talk with the President (John Murphy) and get back to me. I received a call stating that they were intersted, but that as they had paid a commission on the sale that they would like to deduct that. I said I still wanted to be whole. A month went by, and I got a letter stating - "We're not going to take any action on this until September" which was roughly 2 months hence.
- The 'September' date was because they were proposing a change to the Strata bylaws to FORCE anyone who had recently purchased to build within 3 years. The bastards had deviced a scheme to deal with us 'complainers'. Apparently they had a problem as enough owners at the time voted down the bylaw changes.
4. I received a letter about 1 year after this mess from 2020 Properties - stating that they had worked with Streamline and had come up with a more cost effective arrangement to build my cottage. The cost was reduced to $165/sq foot. If I would sign a construction cottage immediately they intended to have my cottage built within 4 months. As this was a year later, and in the 2006 timeframe when costs and real estate was escalating, I agreed.
- After 8 months, and an initial deposit, my cottage was only at lockup stage. That was when I received notice from Streamline that they were bankrupt.
- I had paid a 50% deposit to the furniture provider earlier as I was told this was the only way I could get my furniture when the cottage was completed. I was also notified that they were bankrupt.
- And to top it off - 2020 group went OUT OF THEIR WAY to distance themselves from Streamline. They sent notices that they were unaware of the financial difficulty and reminded investors they were not affiliated. What a spineless act.....
- After an additional year and a half, my own legal costs and time spent finding another builder, my cottage was completed - with absolutely NO support from 2020.
5. To try to 'appease' investors like myself to not sue them (as they still had a number of lots in the resort to sell) they had an 'information session' in different investor cities. It was at this point that they FINALLY started providing some information on the parties involved in the resort. They identified at that time that they had actually purchased the lots from Azura Management Corp, and that Azura and not themselves owned the commercial properties at the resort.
- During the session - they told people that "we know this has been difficult for you, but don't worry. Real Estate prices have continued to escalate so you'll still have a good investment. We say this before when we were involved with developments at Whistler resort. Thought it was going to go under - but a real estate boom saved us". Can you imagine??? This was the point I couldn't tell if they were really criminal, or just real idiots.
- Shortly after this session - owners had to 'pay off' Azura to the tune of $400K in order to get access to facilities at the resort they thought they already had when purchasing from 2020. Their incompetence cost investors more $'s....
I could go on for pages and pages - but I think this is enough to make you think twice about investing with these clowns. There are more than enough companies that practice some level of ethics that you don't have to waste your time with 2020.
898211 ab ltd