Sydney real estate deal turns out to be 'a beautiful thing' for auto body business - - Canada News Media
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Sydney real estate deal turns out to be 'a beautiful thing' for auto body business –




A recent Sydney real estate transaction can be best be described as a beautiful thing.

Longtime family business Steve Lewis Auto Body has purchased the former Harvey’s Restaurant on Prince Street.

“We’ve been trying to buy it for 25 years,” said owner Steve Lewis.

Lewis said late last year they heard word that the restaurant was closing.

“We made a phone call and it just went from there,” he said. “We were happy about getting it, for sure.”

The Sydney restaurant closed Dec. 15, 2019. The deal to purchase the property was finalized at the end of December.

Steve Lewis Auto Body — a full service collision repair facility — is a 45-year family business that employs 30. It’s been located on Beech Street for the past 34 years. The property is located beside the former Harvey’s Restaurant. Harvey’s is on the corner of Prince Street and Beech Street. Lewis said they are still in the planning stages of exactly how they will utilize the building and property. In years gone by, ideas included an estimating station and offices.

“There’s lots of things we can do with it, we’re just not sure yet.”

The family has expanded their own buildings several times over the years. About 15 years ago, a piece was added and the office area was expanded and about four years ago another building was added to the service area. As far as the newly purchased building goes, there are a number of possibilities the family is looking into.

The Harvey’s building — about 2,500 sq. ft — will be renovated. Lewis said it’s in good shape and they’re happy with it.

“We’re not sure how it’s going to fit yet,” he said. “It will be encompassed somehow. We’re just glad to have it. It’s another step for the business.”

One thing that has changed is that the employees will no longer be able to walk next door for a hamburger or a coffee.

“Some of the guys missed that, for sure,” Lewis said.

Maureen Hart, the communications person for Recipe Unlimited, which owns the Harvey’s brand, said this is a franchise and efforts have been underway for a new location within the Sydney area.

Hart said they would be opening in a new location as soon as possible.

Steve Lewis Auto Body, a 45-year family business in Sydney, has purchased the former  Harvey’s Restaurant, property beside their business on Beech Street. Manager Steve Lewis said they’ve been trying to purchase the property for 25 years now and although they’re not sure what they will do with it at this point, they’re excited to have it to allow continued expansion to their business. - Sharon Montgomery-Dupe
Steve Lewis Auto Body, a 45-year family business in Sydney, has purchased the former Harvey’s Restaurant, property beside their business on Beech Street. Manager Steve Lewis said they’ve been trying to purchase the property for 25 years now and although they’re not sure what they will do with it at this point, they’re excited to have it to allow continued expansion to their business. – Sharon Montgomery-Dupe

When asked by email Thursday about a rumour concerning a possible site, Hart said there are no details that can be shared at this time.

“The team is working on it but cannot get into detail until the plan is firmed up,” she said.

Harvey’s is a fast food restaurant chain that was founded in 1959 and operates in Canada, currently with 250 locations and 7,000 employees. The chain is owned by Recipe Unlimited, previously known as Cara Operation. In January 2018 Cara announced they would be taking over the Keg chain of 106 steakhouses, to add to its 1,259 restaurants across North America that include Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s. In May 2018, CEO Bill Gregson announced that Cara Operations Limited would be changing its name to Recipe Unlimited Corporation.

Recipe Unlimited Corporation has headquarters in Toronto and Vaughan, Ont. The corporation not only operates numerous restaurant chains but also provides major food distribution for correctional facilities, educational facilities and other large operations.

Harvey’s is the second-largest Canadian-established restaurant chain in the country behind Tim Hortons, and the fourth-largest burger chain in Canada.

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Cannabis retailers have little effect on real estate – Clinton News Record



While larger players in the budding cannabis industry produce high volumes of pot, small-scale growers hope to produce high-quality cannabis in smaller quantities.

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Canada’s largest cannabis producers are being credited with micro-booms in some local economies and the trickle-down effects are visible in nearby housing sales and price increases. This trend is more pronounced in Eastern Canada, where there are a greater number of large-scale cannabis producers.

The trend in the west is a much heavier influx of cannabis retailers, led by Alberta, where the provincial government has allowed private industry to lead the way. While cannabis storefronts were met with resistance in some markets across Canada, the expected backlash didn’t transpire or manifest itself with negative impacts on residential real estate.

Calgary alone has more than 50 retail locations and Greater Vancouver has 23, compared to Toronto’s six storefronts. None of these markets have seen a meaningful impact on real estate activity or values, despite the results of a Re/Max consumer survey, which found that 65 percent of Canadians would not like to live near cannabis retail stores.

However, a poll of Re/Max brokers reveals 21 percent of Canadians already live in proximity to legal cannabis retail, and 72 percent say living near one is not a factor in their decision to move.

Calgary’s 50-plus cannabis retail locations have opened their doors over the course of the past year. The residential market has not been affected by the presence of cannabis retail, with many of the stores being located on busier commercial streets. Similarly, cannabis retail stores are not yet a factor for prospective home buyers. While marijuana legalization has not directly impacted home sales or values here, Calgary’s residential market is currently challenged due to other economic factors that are unique to the region.

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Woman accused of luring slain real estate agent to her death – Toronto Star



MINNEAPOLIS – A woman who had worked as a probation officer is accused of luring a real estate agent to a Minnesota house before the agent was kidnapped and killed on New Year’s Eve, prosecutors alleged Friday.

Elsa Segura, 28, of Fridley, was charged Friday in Hennepin County court with one count of kidnapping. Segura is accused of luring 28-year-old Monique Baugh to a home that was for sale. Two men are accused of kidnapping Baugh in a rental truck.

Segura allegedly tried to lure Baugh to the Maple Grove home on Dec. 30, but Baugh was with another real estate agent.

Baugh was found fatally shot, her hands bound by tape, in a north Minneapolis alley on Dec. 31. Her boyfriend was shot in the couple’s Minneapolis home with their two young daughters present but survived.

Two men are accused of kidnapping Baugh from Maple Grove, a northwestern Minneapolis suburb, in a rental truck. Cedric Berry, 41, was charged earlier this month with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and kidnapping. Another man, Berry Davis, 40, of Brooklyn Park was charged late Thursday with one count each of second-degree murder and kidnapping for his alleged role in the case. Davis was charged by arrest warrant and is not in custody.

The charges did not specify a motive, but search warrant affidavits tied Baugh’s killing to a suspected drug rivalry between her boyfriend and Berry. Baugh’s boyfriend said in an interview that he did not know Berry.

Segura does not have an attorney listed for her case. A phone message left for Berry’s public defender for comment was not immediately returned Friday.

Hennepin County authorities confirmed to the Star Tribune that Segura had worked as a county probation officer. Court records also show that Segura was a child survivor of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August 2007 that killed 13 people and injured 145 others.

According to the charges against Segura and Davis, Baugh received a voice mail from an unknown phone number on Dec. 29 from a woman named “Lisa” who requested a showing for a home. The caller said she wanted the showing “maybe tomorrow morning.”

Baugh later received several calls from the number and “found this very odd,” the charges said.

“She expressed to others that she did not know how this person obtained her personal phone number,” according to the complaint..

Police traced the phone number to Segura, whose voice was “verified by law enforcement personnel who were personally familiar with her.”

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A search warrant executed on the phone found that it was purchased on Dec. 29. It was not used for any other calls between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3, 2020. Video showed that Berry purchased the phone, the charges said.

Jon Collins, a spokesman for the Hennepin County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Segura worked for the county from June 2014 to Dec. 18, 2019.

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Realtor data shows Edmonton’s real estate market gaining momentum, despite slight drop in prices – Edmonton Journal



The data compiled by the Royal LePage Canadian Real Estate Market Composite found strength in two-storey, single-detached homes, and condominium apartments.

File / Postmedia

Prices for Edmonton homes saw a modest decrease in the last quarter of 2019, with some market segments actually showing price growth.

Royal LePage House Price survey data released earlier this month found the aggregate price of a home in the city fell by 0.7 per cent in the last three months of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018, rising to $379,426. Those numbers speak to a growing sense the market is stabilizing, says Tom Shearer, broker and owner of Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate in Edmonton.

“I feel we’re getting back to whatever the new normal is,” he says.

Although the city is a far cry from pre-recession market conditions, he notes buyers and sellers are adjusting to a new era of price stability.

The data compiled by the Royal LePage Canadian Real Estate Market Composite found strength in two-storey, single-detached homes, and condominium apartments, which rose by 1.2 and 0.3 per cent respectively. That translated into a median price of $435,426 for a two-storey and $230,969 for a condo.

“Condo had been beleaguered for quite some time, but over November and December prices have started to creep back up, exceeding the previous year’s figures,” Shearer says.

Shearer points to pockets of strength in the city driving the market, including downtown’s Oliver neighbourhood where a number of condominium sales occurred later in the year.

“That’s likely where that small bump up in average condo prices could be coming from.”

In contrast, the bungalow market has struggled, seeing prices fall by 5.1 per cent to $361,943, year over year for the quarter.

The year-end data bolsters the forecast by Royal LePage from last month, which predicted housing prices will increase by one per cent in 2020 to $383,200.

Shearer explains the positive momentum is a result of buyers finally getting their footing after a few of tough years for the economy and changes to lending regulations. He notes the OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) stress test was particularly impactful. It came into effect in 2018, stipulating buyers with 20 per cent down needed to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark, five-year fixed rate, or their contractual rate plus two per cent.

Shearer says historical sales figures for December show the impact with sales dropping in 2018 to 799 from 962 in 2017 for the Edmonton census metropolitan area. Last year, December saw 845 sales in the city.

He further adds some areas of the city are experiencing more sales activity, including in the south side off of Ellerslie Road, where new homes (built after 2005) are changing hands at a relatively brisk rate.

For the year, sales in the Anthony Henday region, which encompasses communities around Ellerslie, saw 1,440 single-family home sell, according to Realtors of Edmonton Association data.

That is an increase from 2018 (1,356) and 2017 (1,312). Sales were up year to date for December in the northwest and north central, too, but modestly so, while single-family detached homes sales were down in other regions from past years.

He further notes activity in new neighbourhoods is also driving the market because builders “are more competitive than they ever have been.”

Overall, Shearer says the data shows the market is moving toward balance. Just don’t expect boom conditions to return anytime soon.

“But that’s OK because what you really want is steady, gradual increases, and I think that’s we’re going.”

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