A Realtor involved in a Burnaby real estate deal “tainted by illegality” may not have been found guilty of conspiracy or fraudulent misrepresentation, but his actions were enough to prove that banning dual agency in the province two years ago was a good idea, according to the B.C. Court of Appeal.
Realtor Kevin Hien signed a dual agency agreement with both sides of a deal involving a 4.28-acre commercial property at 5502 Lougheed Hwy., currently the site of Revs Bowling Centre, right beside the Holdom SkyTrain station.
The property is now worth about $86.6 million, according to the latest assessment, but in October 2011, its owners, Brentwood Lanes Canada Ltd., signed an agreement to sell it for just $28.8 million.
The buyer was a company called Pacific Success Management & Consultants Inc., owned by Xiao Dong Liu, a.k.a. Allen Liu – a businessman who owns two strip malls in Richmond and has been involved in various business enterprises in China, according to court documents.
Just before the deal was scheduled to close, however, it fell apart.
Brentwood Lanes announced it wasn’t going to go through with it.
The company argued the contract wasn’t enforceable because of wrongdoing by Liu and Hien, who was supposed to have been acting for both parties but who had withheld information from Brentwood Lanes about the development potential of its property.
But Liu and Hien said Brentwood Lanes was backing out because of seller’s remorse and launched a lawsuit to force the sale or get damages for breach of contract.
Brentwood Lanes launched a counter claim, accusing Liu and Hien of lying and conspiring to keep Brentwood Lanes in the dark about a zoning change that would substantially increase the value of the property.
In a B.C. Supreme Court ruling last May, Justice Andrew Mayer dismissed the breach of contract claim, ruling the deal was unenforceable because it had been “tainted by illegality” by actions on both sides.
He found Hien had breached his fiduciary duty as Brentwood Lane’s Realtor, but he also dismissed the claims of conspiracy and fraudulent misrepresentation against him and Liu, saying there hadn’t been enough evidence to prove there had been an agreement between the two to withhold information about zoning changes from Brentwood Lanes.
Both parties appealed Mayer’s ruling, but those appeals were both dismissed in a unanimous B.C. Court of Appeal ruling this month.
Justice John Hunter had this to say about the claims of conspiracy and fraudulent misrepresentation against Liu and Hien:
“This claim, though unmeritorious in this case, demonstrates the wisdom of the decision of the Superintendent of Real Estate to ban dual-agency agreements except in narrow circumstances relating to service in remote locations.”
Calgary retains commercial real estate team to revive new arena – CTV News Calgary
The City of Calgary has recruited three people from the commercial real-estate sector in an effort to get a new event centre to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome.
CBRE executive vice-president John Fisher, director of strategic initiatives with NAIOP Calgary Guy Huntingford and Ayrshire Group executive chairman Phil Swift have been retained to engage both the city and the and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) to reach a new deal.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the city’s planning and development manager Stuart Dalgleish told committee members the group has already begun their work.
“We are at a stage where our third party is having discussions with both the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the City of Calgary, with a view to determining whether there is interest in discussions toward a new event centre, and a new deal towards the new event centre,” Dalgleish said.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek is optimistic the team will be able to break the impasse between the city and CSEC.
“Today’s news is good news, and we need to be patient with what comes following this,” she said.
Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp, who chairs the event centre committee, says naming a third party to assist in negotiations is a big step to seeing a new arena rise from the ashes of the failed deal.
“I’m very satisfied. There’s been a lot of work been put into this to get to where we are today,” she said. “Everybody wants an event centre built.”
However, sports economist Moshe Lander says it might not be such a great deal for most Calgary taxpayers.
“The issue about who should pay for it is something that goes on in every city, more or less, anytime there’s an arena or stadium discussion,” he said.
“In almost every single case, the public sector blinks first and ends up throwing money at a project that’s not going to recoup its costs.”
“Really, it’s just an issue at this point of how much money does the City of Calgary want to throw at this project, understanding that it’s not going to get it back? How much does it want to sell to the taxpayers that this is what you’re going to be on the hook for, even though the vast majority of residents in the city are not going to use that arena in any capacity?”
CTV reached out to CSEC on Wednesday to ask if the owners still had any interest in reviving the deal. There was no response by publishing deadline.
The original agreement was signed in December 2019. In it, the city and CSEC agreed to split the cost of the $550 million project. When the price tag jumped to over $630 million, the Flames ownership group balked and cancelled the deal. It officially expired New Year’s Eve 2021.
Earlier this month, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met with CSEC to discuss the arena, among other topics. At the time, he told reporters he remained hopeful a deal could be struck.
“I’m always optimistic,” said Bettman. “There’s nothing going on right this second to report that would indicate there is going to be a solution immediately, but my hope is that everybody can figure this out.”
Bettman also warned without a new arena or an updated Saddledome, Calgary would miss out on significant NHL events such as All-Star games.
The Saddledome is the second-oldest NHL arena behind only New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Commercial Real Estate Report (Canada 2022) – RE/MAX Canada – RE/MAX News
Calgary recruits commercial real estate expertise to revive new arena – Sportsnet.ca
CALGARY — The city of Calgary has recruited citizens from the commercial real-estate sector to help get a new event centre and home for the Calgary Flames back on track.
When an agreement between the city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which owns the Flames, collapsed late last year, city council voted in January to get a third party involved.
John Fisher, Guy Huntingford and Phil Swift are tasked with determining whether the Flames still want to build an arena with the city, or if the city will have to look for other potential partners to build an event centre.
Fisher is executive vice-president of CBRE, Huntingford is director of strategic initiatives with NAIOP Calgary, and Swift is executive chairman of the Ayrshire Group investment firm.
“This team brings considerable expertise from the commercial real-estate industry including experience in larger development,” the city’s planning and development manager Stuart Dalgleish said Wednesday in an event centre committee meeting.
“The third party has spent considerable time understanding the items and interests behind the terminated agreement and the current landscape. These items have become clarified.
“Based on a meeting with both the city and CSEC, the next step is for the third party to make recommendations on a possible path forward.”
Dalgleish said there is no definitive commitment or timeline for a new agreement.
The city and the Flames agreed on an arena deal over two years ago with the initial estimate of $550 million split between the two.
Shovels were scheduled to hit the ground in 2022 for a 19,000-seat arena and concert venue replacing the Saddledome, which has been the home of the Flames for 39 years.
The cost estimate for the project rose to $634 million, however.
Since the two sides agreed to an amended deal last July, the city added an additional $19 million in roadwork and climate mitigation to the project, and wanted the Flames to pay for $10 million of that.
CSEC president John Bean said in December that the Flames were withdrawing from the agreement because of an accumulation of issues and increased financial risk.
“While CSEC was prepared to move forward in the face of escalating construction costs, and assume the unknown future construction cost risk, CSEC was not prepared to fund the infrastructure and climate costs that were introduced by the city following our July agreement … and are not included in the current cost estimate of $634 million,” Bean said then.
So the Flames remain in the Saddledome, which is the second-oldest NHL arena behind New York’s Madison Square Garden.
CSEC also owns the Western Hockey League’s Hitmen, Canadian Football League’s Stampeders and National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks.
The Flames recently announced they will move their American Hockey League affiliate from Stockton, Calif., to Calgary for the 2022-23 season.
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