Plaza of Nations redevelopment litigation reaches climax – Archyde

Local development giant Concord Pacific has lost its recent lawsuit against Singaporean billionaire Hong Leong Oei and its local unit Canadian Metropolitan Properties (CMP) after its appeal to the BC Court of Appeal of an earlier trial decision was denied.

The appeals decision issued on Tuesday indicates that two of the three judges overseeing the case sided with Oei and CMP.

In a statement to Daily Hive Urbanized, Concord has indicated it intends to take the dispute to a higher level of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The argument is about them Redesign of the Nations Square on the Northeast False Creek Waterfront in downtown Vancouver.

In 1989, just a year after Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka Shing purchased the Expo ’86 site, Concord sold this 10-acre property, formerly the BC Pavilion, to Oei for $40 million for long-term redevelopment.

Northeast False Creek mit der Plaza of Nations, dem BC Place Stadium und Concord Lands. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

2020 Artist’s impression of the renovation of the Plaza of Nations. (James Cheng Architects / Canadian Metropolitan Properties)

In 2015, Terry Hui, CEO of Concord, negotiated an agreement with Oei to acquire a 50 percent stake in the shares, not only as an investor, but also to bring Concord’s experienced local expertise to the redevelopment project. This is CMP’s only major asset in Canada.

Based on the property’s 2015 valuation of $500 million, the equity value of the shares at 50% is $250 million, which means Concord would pay $125 million for half the available equity — effectively one 25% interest in the property.

Payments to Oei were to be made in three stages: $10 million within three business days of signing the agreement, $40 million within 60 days, and the final $75 million upon city council approval of the rezoning application from Vancouver, but no later than one year after signing the contract.

Under the terms of the agreement, Concord paid Oei $10 million. But according to Concord’s legal counsel, David Gruber, that $10 million payment was not returned to Concord after Oei terminated the agreement.

Gruber adds that during the trial it was found that Oei had already sold a large stake in the Plaza of Nations project to offshore investors, which put Concord on course to assert its financial losses in court.

Plaza of Nations Vancouver 2020 Modell 1

2020 model of the Plaza of Nations redevelopment. (B+B scale models)

Plaza of Nations Vancouver

2020 Artist’s impression of the renovation of the Plaza of Nations. (James Cheng Architects / Canadian Metropolitan Properties)

In a previous counterclaim in the High Court of Singapore, Gruber says Oei swore the agreement with Concord was binding. But in the BC trial, whose trials began in 2015, he contradicted his earlier claims, saying they weren’t binding.

In 2019, the court found the agreement too uncertain to be binding and found one of Concord’s witnesses problematic. It dismissed Concord’s lawsuit and ordered the developer to pay approximately $5 million in costs.

At the same time, the original court ruling also held that Oei was not forthcoming in using Concord’s agreement as a loan scheme with a European bank, which would have doubled Concord’s financial risk and Oei would have breached the agreement.

This subsequently led to Concord’s appeal to a higher provincial court, which has now failed.

“I do not agree that the judge made a recoverable error of law in his interpretation of the heads or the essential terms. Appellant’s arguments contain no removable error of law,” said Harris, the BC Supreme Court Judge who ruled against the appeal.

“It is essentially an attack on the judge’s findings of fact or mixed facts and statutes about the nature and purpose of the heads within the relevant fact matrix, as well as the judge’s interpretation of the heads.”

Plaza of Nations Vancouver 2020 Modell 1

2020 model of the Plaza of Nations redevelopment. (B+B scale models)

Plaza of Nations Vancouver

2020 Artist’s impression of the renovation of the Plaza of Nations. (James Cheng Architects / Canadian Metropolitan Properties)

In contrast, Judge Stromberg-Stein, supporting the appeal, said the lower court’s earlier decision could set a very adverse precedent for the business.

“The standard set by the judge in this case could have a huge impact on the business community. Parties working on complex multi-million/billion-dollar multi-year contracts often start with a narrow contract that considers future incremental contracts,” she wrote.

“The decision of the majority in this case could render such agreements, which serve an important commercial purpose, meaningless or at least unsafe and thwart complex deals or agreements. This is unbearable.“

Daily Hive Urbanized has reached out to CMP for comment on the appeal ruling and the latest timeline for their Plaza of Nations project.

In July 2018, the outgoing City Council approved CMP’s rezoning application for the Plaza of Nations, which includes a redevelopment totaling 2.1 million square feet, including 1.4 million square feet of residential use, and 400,000 square feet of commercial space, such as retail and dining a new stadium-anchored entertainment district, as well as a 34,000-square-foot community center and childcare facility, a 17,000-square-foot music venue, and a 30,000-square-foot, 400-seat indoor ice rink.

Plaza of Nations Vancouver 2020 103

2020 model of the Plaza of Nations redevelopment. (James Cheng Architects/Canadian Metropolitan Properties)

Plaza of Nations Vancouver

2020 Artist’s impression of the renovation of the Plaza of Nations. (James Cheng Architects / Canadian Metropolitan Properties)

The community rink was originally conceived to serve a dual purpose as the new main practice facility for the Vancouver Canucks, but the The partnership with NHL franchise owner Aquilini Investment Group broke up in spring 2021 – if the team strikes a deal with the City of Abbotsford to operate the Abbotsford Center as part of their plan to move their AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, to the area.

CMP remains committed to delivering a new ice rink as part of its Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) agreement with the city in exchange for assigned density in the rezoning.

Collectively, the committed CACs total at least $326 million, including 380 units of on-site public housing, the various community and recreational facilities, childcare, and public outdoor spaces.

In 2019, CMP submitted the development permit application for the project, stating that construction would be done in three phases, beginning with the westernmost half of the site. It was hinted at the time that all redevelopment could be fully completed by the early 2030s.

According to Gruber, “Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this litigation, Concord hopes that development of the Plaza of Nations site will soon proceed in the public interest.”

Artist’s impression of the redevelopment of the Concord Lands in northeast False Creek. (Concord Pacific)

Artist’s impression of the redevelopment of the Concord Lands in northeast False Creek. (Concord Pacific)

As for Concord’s upcoming major development at Northeast False Creek, the site extends across the waterfront area from east of the Plaza of Nations to Quebec Street. Your sanitation, that is comparatively larger, has yet to reach City Council for rezoning approval. The previous city council was due to consider and consider Concord’s rezoning request just weeks before the 2018 general election, but the agenda item was abruptly withdrawn.

Concord says it is in the process of completing the application process for this site.

Upon full completion, both redevelopments will be carried out by CMP’s Plaza of Nations and Concord Lands obscure BC Place Stadium’s distinctive roof and nighttime illuminations from the False Creek skyline.

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Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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