Developer cancels condo, plans to launch another

by Neil Sharma04 Oct 2018

Upon cancelling a Vaughan condominium tower, and in the process leaving buyers out in the cold, The Gupta Group is planning another condo nearby.

The Gupta Group—headed by Steve Gupta who made his money in the hotel industry—is the latest developer to cancel a condominium project in the Greater Toronto Area, with the last being The Liberty Group, which also cancelled a Vaughan condo.

A report in the Toronto Star revealed the Gupta Group applied for official plan and zoning amendments for a new project on Aug. 24, about three weeks before it sent cancellation letters and refunds to Icona purchasers.

“It just seems there are no rules in place that stop them from doing that,” Patricia DeBartolo, one of the purchasers, told the Star.

“There are 1,600 (Icona) units and their owners that have had future plans for their children, dreams (and) investments, literally snuffed out like a flame.”

According to the head of the Starke Realty Team, every time builders cancel projects like the Gupta Group has, they risk sullying their brands. However, the market will ultimately determine their standing.

“I think that there’s enough information out there that people can make an educated decision about whether or not they want to invest in a Gupta Group project or not,” said Brett Starke. “It’s up to the market to see how they’re going to react. Ultimately, that’s what’s going to happen. Price per square foot will be reflected in past projects, the trust of their customers will be reflected, consumer confidence in their ability to deliver will also be reflected.”

As have other developments with cancelled projects, the Gupta Group blames financing issues for Icona’s cancellation.

However, the new project, which will be built at Yonge St. and Steeves Ave. is alleged to have been called Icona at Yonge. Both Icona buyers and the Toronto Star have seen the name referenced online, although the websites have since been deleted. The communications company representing Gupta Group denied the websites were created by its client.

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