Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't lose any sleep... I'm not!

It's pretty simple. I'm in the development business and like Danny I believe a "branded" hotel will work in the Charlottetown market place....  so we developed a scheme to build one based on a receiving a "confirmation" letter from the Province that a new Convention Centre would be built in Charlottetown...  and we "never" received a letter before our "options" were up so we weren't prepared to plough $2,100,000 into buying Kevin's site unless we had this written confirmation...

As a developer you get used to getting up every day with people trying to stop you and it may be the NIMBY crowd, the Don't Get Ahead Gang, competitors, or just someone trying to put a knife in your back but they always seem to rear their heads when it's a major project in the Greater Charlottetown area. In fact, Charlottetown City Councillor Rob Lantz even gets to Tweet it as a promotion piece for the City as here's what he had to say... "APM will not be building the hotel they had proposed for Kays Building property on Queen St. someone else has purchased property"... kind of positive!

When we tried to build the original Superstore in Ch'town we had tons of issues including losing our option on the Kirkwood Motel and having our permit "denied" at IRAC which the Guardian headlined as "Superstore Loses"... the mistake we made there was we didn't build the first one big enough so we doubled the size a few years later!  For those of you who can remember back then the spin was “it will be too big”... well Sobey’s built two more new ones, IGA built a new one, and a couple of new Shopper’s came about.

On Greenfield Avenue, when we tried to tear down the old Provincial Sanatorium to make way for 19 family homes the "crazies" were out in full force talking about rehabilitating the old structure, that was derelict at best. Today we’re very proud of Brighton Commons and how's its developed into the neighbourhood we live in.

In Stratford, we started out to build a new Home Hardware to replace the old one that was busting at the seams...  and lo and behold we had Mayor Farmer and his band of merry men fighting us in the Supreme Court trying stop us and if that wasn't enough Minister Don MacKinnon was trying to have me arrested for trying to use a public road to get to the store... I'm happy to say we're over there now building and investing in another building.

On Pownal Street, we tried to build a condo/apartment and after a year of planning and development our permit was again "tossed" by IRAC and we had to start over by developing a relationship with Homburg...  and we eventually got to build and develop a even larger development in the "Northumberland" condominium project.

On Spring Park Road we were trying to consolidate two R3 lots that we're being used as a "construction yard" to build a new 37 unit apartment building....  and City Council voted against it and leading the cause was none other than former City Councillor Philip Brown... I'm happy to say we persisted and developed a beautiful building that has cleaned up the area and made a lot of seniors happy.

When we went to build our new APM head office building on Water Street both planning board and City Council objected to our plans so we were turned down and we lost our option on the property. But we did spend about $8,000,0000 developing our new building on another Ch'town property and I'm always excited showing up to work with the talented group of people who "make it happen" at APM... and I'm never embarrassed about the great work they do and I never lose any sleep when someone suggests it may not work as "my crowd" will figure out how...

The plan we proposed for the Kay's building is a great plan and I'm still hoping to make it work as we know there's opportunity here to "develop" another branded hotel and that's what we do... new rooms, new investment, and new jobs in our tourism industry, together with a larger tax base is good for everyone... I’m not losing any sleep as I’m to busy counting ways how to get the project done... it's a tough business but someone has to do it!

Downtown property changes hands
The Guardian,
by Jim Day
January 21st, 2011

Danny Murphy is in and Tim Banks is out for development of prime piece of real estate in downtown Charlottetown.

Murphy told The Guardian today he purchased the corner lot on Queen, Water and King Streets last month from his brother Kevin Murphy.

Danny says he is looking at the options for development. "I'm in the hotel business," he said.

"There is a need for a hotel down in that end of the town with the convention centre (coming) we will be developing that area."

Danny says he has "no idea'' when work may begin.

Banks, CEO of the construction and property development company APM, made plenty of noise over his plan to develop a $22-million project on that very location.

He was looking to develop a 120-room hotel, a parking garage with about 63 spaces, 14 fully furnished apartment units and six condominium units.

Banks sued Judy Gallant and Lys-Ondra Goulet after they appealed the city's approval of the hotel. The two Charlottetown women then counter-sued and went on to lose their appeal to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

The two sides eventually agreed to drop their lawsuits.

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