Houses for sale in Ottawa

A mid-rise office complex in Scarborough that was placed under receivership late last year is now on the market with a hefty price tag of $39.5M.

Located at 55 Town Centre Court, just south of the Scarborough Town Centre mall, the eight-storey office building was placed under receivership in November after The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) initiated receivership proceedings against the owner, 55 Town Centre Holdings Ltd., over defaulting on $26.6M in loans.

Under the loan agreement between BNS and 55 Town Centre Holdings Ltd., the property owner was not to obtain any secondary financing, court documents detail. However, in June 2022, the owner did so anyway, breaching their conditions with BNS and prompting the bank to send a notice of default in February 2023. By May, BNS sent a demand for payment, which was not fulfilled.

Grant Thornton LLP was appointed as the receiver, and sought out approval from the courts to initiate a sales process of 55 Town Centre Court, which was granted at the end of January of this year. Colliers Macauley Nicolls Inc. was chosen to list and market the property following a selection process in which six potential brokers threw their hats in the ring.

This isn’t the first time the property will have been listed for sale in the midst of the loan default. In fact, in July of last year — several weeks after the demand for payment was made by BNS — 55 Town Centre Holdings Ltd., which is run by entrepreneur Cesare Fazari, announced a rather unusual attempt to get the building sold. The owner offered a $1M commission to anyone — realtor or not — who convinced the future buyer to submit an offer.

The attention-grabbing marketing plan was the brainchild of consultant Andy Curnew, the infamous, celebrity-elbow-bumping resident of Toronto’s Bridle Path neighbourhood who calls himself a “millionaire playboy philanthropist.”

Despite the enticing offering, no sale came through, and Grant Thornton LLP is now left trying to offload the property.

Roughly half the units in 55 Town Centre Court were vacant as of late last year, according to court documents. The entire building spans 222,285 sq. ft and is being marketed as having the potential for “office use, residential conversion, or redevelopment in an area experiencing rapid development and intensification.”

The area is indeed undergoing significant redevelopment. Just a few lots over, a developer filed plans to replace a six-storey Bell building at 100 Borough Drive with a five-tower high-rise condo community. At the Scarborough Town Centre mall itself, Oxford Properties is looking to turn a vacant patch of land and a parking lot into to several high-rise towers housing thousands of residential units.

A bid date for 55 Town Centre Court will be announced “in due course,” writes Colliers Senior Vice President Nicholas Kendrew.

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