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Careadon Village under new ownership, slated to be done by April

New owners will not offer life leases

Construction has resumed on Careadon Village, a 164-suite retirement building that has been plagued with delays.

The building’s original owner, Careadon Corp., was officially declared bankrupt on Nov. 16, 2023, and the building has since been purchased by UMC Financial, one of Careadon Corp’s creditors and the plaintiff in a past lawsuit against the company.

Construction on the 2 Inglewood Dr. property picked up again in January and will “optimistically” be finished by mid-April, according to Chad Irving, UMC’s chief technology officer.

“We're full steam ahead over there right now,” Irving said.  “We're getting a lot of the internal components of the building taken care of … We finished off the fourth and fifth floors. We’re working on the top floor and should have the parkade open soon. The last elevator is going in … It's moving along swiftly.”

Construction on the building paused last summer when Careadon Village, owing $82 million to creditors, went into receivership.

Although a handful of residents had already moved in before the seven-storey building went into receivership, only 55 of the building’s 164 units had been completed at the time.

The new owner will not continue to offer life leases, which allow tenants to make a large loan to a property company in exchange for significantly reduced rent. Recently, life leases have come under scrutiny as some companies have failed to repay the loans once tenants (mostly seniors) have moved out or died.

“It's still going to be a seniors’ independent living facility, but it's going to be rental instead of life lease,” Irving said.

Currently, five or six couples live in the building, he said. At one point, seven units were occupied, but two tenants moved, according to court documents from November 2023.  The documents do not specify how many of the tenants signed life lease agreements, but they say one of the tenants who moved out had a life lease agreement, and the other was renting.

Irving said Careadon Corp. had kept the tenants’ money in a trust that was “not dipped into.”

“The previous owner was good in terms of that,” he said.

Court documents show UMC Financial, which loaned Careadon Corp. the majority of the funds to build Careadon Village, received seven offers for the property. Although fellow creditor HMT Holdings Inc. was satisfied with at least some of the offers, UMC deemed the offers too low and decided to buy the property.

As of Nov. 1, 2023 Careadon Corp. owed UMC Financial $71,144,173.11. It owed HMT Holdings Inc. approximately $13,138,719 in June 2023. It also owed money to KV Capital Inc., Canada Revenue Agency and the City of St. Albert.

Irving said that he’s excited for St. Albert to finally see the finished building.

“The building is being completed and it's absolutely beautiful,” he said. “We're going to be renting it up here, and we've got enough rooms available right now and many more to come.”

Plans for a residential mid-rise at 2 Inglewood Dr. have been in the works since before 2010. Careadon Corp. bought the site in 2015 and at one time projected the building would be finished by 2018.

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