Trouble in the Dominion Building

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Ye Olde Post Office (Source)

The Dominion Building has long been a visual touchstone of downtown Charlottetown. Standing in contrast to the historical brick and mortar strokes that paint the surrounding scenery, its smooth, flat surfaces and sharp corners mirror the Confederation Center’s own and speak to its bureaucratic origin. Whether it’s the old DVA building, the old Post Office, or just an eyesore to you, there’s no question that the Dominion Building occupies a special place in both Charlottetown’s heart and its real estate. Its prime location made an eventual transformation into an apartment block a no-brainer, an easy sell for any company willing to put in the time and money to renovate the interior and put some organization into place. However, since its acquisition by Page Realty Management and subsequent occupation by Cox & Palmer, the number of organizing issues and safety concerns within the building have risen to such a point where IRAC has had to step in  and has now allowed tenants to quit their lease without penalty.

31/12/12 UPDATE: New photos added

The Dominion Building was transferred to the Canada Lands Company in 2007 after being declared surplus to Public Works Canada’s needs. Calls for expressions of interest were made the following year until eventually the building came to settle with Page Realty Management, under George Ramia, in 2011. Renovations began soon after, with the idea being to provide commercial or office space on the first floor and apartments on the second and up, for a total of 56 high-end residential units. By early 2012 leasing had begun to open up, Cox & Palmer struck a deal with Mr. Ramia and moved into the 6th floor penthouse, and by mid-March the building was “70% leased”.

However much of the major renovations throughout the building were still not completed by the time tenants began moving in on April 1st and the managerial structure within the building itself was described as “winging it”. Many tenants felt pressured to sign their lease by May, being told that the owners would not hold units for those who waited. After all the paperwork was said and done, as many as ten residents were not able to move into their units due to incomplete renovations. One tenant was hired to act as Superintendent, a position that was initially unpaid, but eventually had to fill the roles of security, and custodian as well. Much of the Superintendent’s time involved clearing hallways of construction debris to ensure accordance with fire regulations and shooing squatters from the building, as the security doors did not function properly, ontop of receiving concerns and complaints from tenants about the building’s state. By July, this Superintendent was informed that they would not longer be needed

Brian Hooley was set up as the replacement Superintendent. A local real estate contractor, District 11 Treasurer for the Liberal Party of PEI, and son of Cox & Palmer’s David Hooley, Brian was now taking on the tasks of both Property Manager and Superintendent without living in the building himself, and issues continued to pile up under his watch. Flooding on the 2nd and 3rd floor in September required further repairs and tenants noted that workers in the building had all been given master-keys. This resulted in workers entering apartments while tenants were home or away, one tenant claiming a worker came in to paint while they were sleeping, a safety concern that was left unaddressed. Other renovations did not speed up and remain incomplete, with certain tenants not seeing things like counter-tops in bathrooms and kitchens until early September and some still waiting for various other fixtures. Air does not circulate throughout the upper floors requiring tenants to purchase air conditioners, large spaces in flooring are still missing and in some areas the flooring has warped. Parking is a constant issue, as surrounding homes and businesses gradually began to use the rear parking lot over the years. In the early summer asbestos was discovered in the basement areas and has only recently begun to be removed, the delay preventing the underground parking area from being used and which is a process that could take several months still. An evacuation performed on Nov 11th after a fire alarm was pulled in the early morning saw tenants having to assist other senior tenants with exiting the building and local fire department officials made mention that the building’s new fire alarm and suppression system was not connected to their department as it should be.

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Even John A. averts his gaze (Source)

A tenant association was pieced together and meetings have been held in recent months. An IRAC official, City Councillor Edward Rice, and David Hooley himself have all been noted to have appeared at meetings to suggest ideas and hear out tenants’ concerns. However concerns about Brian Hooley arose about his absence and it was noted that he was dealing with personal issues as his father stepped in to represent the ownership. Another tenant offered to act as an interim Superintendent, but it is a position which is quickly becoming permanent much to this tenant’s dismay. The tenant association collected various concerns about the building and its management  and sent them to Page Realty in Halifax who rebuffed their letter, saying they would not deal with the association and to send all complaints to Brian Hooley.

With units that started at $900 for a single bedroom ($1200 as of post-time) and renovations still not finished after 8 months since the building was reopened, tenants are feeling slighted and literally left out in the cold, many of them jumping ship with few other places to go. Individuals interviewed have said IRAC has allowed tenants to break their lease and find housing elsewhere with no penalties due to the conditions in the building.

New security cameras have only been recently installed but progress from here may be slow going. Fitzgerald & Snow, the most recent general contractors to have worked on the building, have walked away from the job, just another in a long line of companies such as First On Site and various asbestos removal teams that have all cited frustrations with management and non-payment as reasons for their departure.

Questions surrounding the building and its management remain. How were the owners able to acquire an occupancy permit while the building was still under construction and had asbestos present? What was the nature of Cox & Palmer’s deal with Page Realty Management and why won’t either party replace Brian Hooley? What avenue do current tenants have to voice their complaints and see them dealt with that won’t end with them being kicked out into the street?

While the timeline and concerns may seem fleeting, the reality of the Dominion Building as it stands today is one that various individuals in the core of our city have to deal with and frustrate themselves over every day, the majority of whom are elderly citizens. It is one of the great shames of Charlottetown to see a building with such history fall to bumbling mismanagement and blatant disrespect for its tenants, both old and new.

[Note: All information presented here is only a small part of what we could corroborate between current and former tenants of the Dominion Building.  IRAC has not been forthcoming on details and has directed Saako Vaal to make FOIPP requests which we are currently looking into. If you have any information, please don’t hesitate to send us an email: saakovaal@gmail.com ]

UPDATE: The following are photos sent in by tenants

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Twisted electric cord providing lighting to a corridor by the parking lot entrance.

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Further jury-rigged lighting down another corridor.

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Corridor floor. Uneven and broken, only since our posting have signs gone up advising caution as people walk.

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Another tell-tale sign of the apartments’ luxury nature. Baseboard trim that has only recently been installed after five months.

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The sign that greets tenants who take the elevator to the basement.

Other recent developments in the building include the freight elevator having to be shut down permanently. We’re told the elevator inspector has refused to renew its permit and is a set back that is causing considerable trouble for those looking to move out. Tenants with furniture to transport have been told to take the stairs.

24 Comments

Filed under News, PEI

24 responses to “Trouble in the Dominion Building

  1. Anne

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! My husband and I had planned this to be our forever home once we sold this year after having attained what we understood would be our “dream LUXURY apartment” in Dominion Square Apartments (as they were advertised). Now we don’t know what we are going to do we are so disappointed and disillusioned and have been spurned by the company when we try to get any information on underground parking that was supposed to be ready in the fall, and storage units that were promised for September. We are currently paying $125 a month for an offsite storage unit!!! I warned them that Charlottetown is a small place and they had better get their acts together. They don’t care. They just don’t care about us at all. We tried so hard to be good residents and to work with them, especially during the time that the property manager was gone, to help them understand the problems we were facing, the promises that were made, etc. We are heartsick to think that we may have to move again. Our dog is settled. We love the downtown, but we are so scared that this is a sick building that will never be healed, and what will happen to the very elderly and the disabled who live in the building, should a real fire erupt.

  2. Tenant

    Excellent article. From what I can gather, the Ramia brothers have a good reputation in Halifax so it is really sad (or maybe disturbing) that they would have so little concern about that reputation over here on PEI. Why the disdain they have demonstrated to their Island tenants? Are we not as “worthy” as Haligonians? Are we not entitled to the same value and quality (for what we pay) as Haligonians? There are many many tenants in the same boat as Anne above. I’ve talked to older tenants who sold their house for the express purpose of moving into upscale accomodations in the heart of a vibrant downtown where they could enjoy their declining years to the fullest. Given the high end rents and the fact that there are Porches, Audis, Volvos, Lincolns and other upscale vehicles in the parking lot, I imagine they have a lot of money to spread around to the downtown merchants and restaurants, so ultimately this could hurt the downtown economy if those tenants have to move to the outlying areas of the city because of the situation (which is already starting to happen, sadly). Beyond that there is the question, as you state, of how was an occupancy permit issued for a building that was far from complete? Some greasing of palms? Even if the asbestos problem was an honest mistake/oversight in not being found prior to people moving in, why weren’t tenants notified of the situation so they could make decisions based upon their personal circumstances (health issues)? What about the other safety issues? The media could have a field day with all the questions. There are all the elements of a great story: corruption, politics, incompetence and lots of human interest sub stories. My big fear is that if things don’t change soon, the Dominion Building will eventually become just another slum tenement (a very large downtown slum tenement) instead of a vital component of a revitalized downtown core. This is a really really sad situation, not just for the tenants but for Charlottetown and its downtown core.

  3. Hmmm place is ran like amateur hour, codes and violations pile up, but nothing is done? Guess having a lawyer firm as your core tennant pays off after all. Ahh PEI nepotism and “good-ole-boyism” at it’s finest. Like the Homburg, it’s yet another incompetently ran white elephant for Charlottetown to enjoy.

  4. What terrible hardship, inconvenience & all-around extreme stress & fear – this is for you, …you have my deepest & sincere condolences(-not even sure what word to use!) Is it my imagination, or does there ‘appear’ to be a particular ‘connection’ here, that is ‘allowing’ for such Ridiculous ‘neglect & cruelty’??!! Bless your dear Hearts, … what SHOULD really be SECURE & comfortable ‘Homes’ ( ❤ ) for you,- has become, very stressful conditions Mentally, Emotionally, & Physically, & only you know what else!! Shame on those shirking responsibility!! It's a wonder they have not been sued YET, by any number of the tenants!??
    I've tucked you into my prayers today. All the Best to you!
    Just a Caring Islander!
    P.S. They SHOULD also be chg's for your STORAGE COSTS! 😉

    • Anne

      Thank you Rita. Your compassion and caring is appreciated. We were all just trying so hard to give them the benefit of the doubt because most of us want to stay here and enjoy the rest of our lives. Moving is a daunting task at any age, but for those elderly residents who live here, it is almost insurmountable. We love the location and still feel the building can be made safe and comfortable, but not under the present management and possibly not by these owners who don’t seem to care.

  5. Tenant

    We moved into the Dominion Building expecting the “luxury” that was advertised. We were also pressured to sign on the dotted line right away, even though it took some time to actually get a signed lease returned to us. Our unit was not finished when we moved in, but we had no other accommodation. We had initially hot water off and on, because the Management did not have a revolving contract with the oil supplier therefore we had many cold showers. The windows within the unit had no handles to open them. They had to hire another contractor to come in and attach poorly designed grips. Until then, the elder tenants were using broom handles etc. to open the windows, with no way to close them. We are also obligated to clean our own windows, however, the window ledge is 2 feet deep, unsupported, and will not take any weight. Some bedroom windows cannot be accessed at all for cleaning.
    Our floors were never levelled properly, so we have shimmed our furniture, and we walk up and down small hills within our unit. The cheap laminate flooring which has now shrunk and pulled apart, is also sinking into valleys when you walk across it.
    We are paying an exorbinant price (a lot over the quoted price in the original story) including for underground parking which is not completed. We have cheap flooring, cheap appliances, gross counter-tops, elevators that are sporadically failing, dangerous hallways to the giant garbage dumpster, and fire alarms that are happening now on a weekly basis.
    Why do we stay, one may ask? It was a big move to begin with, and to move again within 6 months, is too much to deal with. The location is ideal and the people have bonded in our misery.

  6. Michael

    We moved into the Dominion building in June, and while I would agree that there have been construction delays and inconveniences, we were aware of this when moving in. The building is a great addition to downtown Charlottetown, it is a perfect location and we greatly enjoy our apartment despite the initial issues. The first post is riddled in errors, misconceptions and out right lies. As a current resident I wish that the author had at least done their research before posting such things. From the couple of tenants who moved, to the price of the units to the comments on contractors walking away, none of these things are true. At least this “Halifax” company employed and are employing Island companies and employees, and for that matter, at least they had the courage to take on the development, the same can’t be said of anyone here. I guess you can never please everyone, but you’d think people would have the class to back up their remarks with facts, especially when they speak as if they are representing all the tenants, and in fact can’t even represent themselves. We are happy to be in the building as are all the tenants I have talked with. I suppose in building of this size there will always be those who are unhappy about something…

    • Tenant

      “The first post is riddled in errors, misconceptions and out right lies.” Not from my point of view nor from the point of view from two other tenants who have posted.

      “From the couple of tenants who moved, to the price of the units to the comments on contractors walking away, none of these things are true.”
      Untrue??? Tenants have moved out, IRAC allowing them to break their leases because of conditions. The lowest cost units were advertised in the paper at the indicated price. Contractors have walked away. All sadly true.

      “At least this “Halifax” company employed and are employing Island companies and employees”. Now they just need to pay them … why do you think they are walking off the job? Have you seen the Fitzgerald & Snow project manager lately?

      “We are happy to be in the building as are all the tenants I have talked with”. I guess you never attended any of the tenants meetings:-)

      “construction delays and inconveniences, we were aware of this when moving in”. So you were told up front that you would be paying for underground parking that wouldn’t exist for the better part of a year. You were told that the storage lockers wouldn’t be ready until even after that? Funny, most of us were told the the parking and storage would be ready by late summer, then by November, then by January, then by ,,, lord knows when now that the latest asbestos removal contractor has walked and that the general contractor has walked.

      Glad you are happy, Michael. Yes, there were one or two minor misconceptions in the original article but I saw no blatant errors or outright lies as you state.

      • Michael

        IRAC didn’t “allow” anyone to break their lease, the company re-rented the units so that the tenants could leave, one for a job abroad, the other as they bought a house. IRAC has had no hearing or applications from the Dominion building I talked to someone there today as well as at Page Realty. Fitzgerald & Snow are still working and have been paid, better check that lie out too. As have all the other contractors. We were told there would be construction delays and found any related problems we had were handled quickly and professionally. I do agree the underground parking is not done and is a pain in the butt, however we, nor are any tenants paying for it. I did attend two of the tenants association meetings, and it seemed to me that there were 2 or 3 tenants dictating the agenda and they seemed to be amongst a very small minority that were unhappy overall. The last tenants meeting was sparsely attended with only 15 or so people representing 9 or 10 of 56 units. So to judge from that would not be fair to anyone. I think if you are that unhappy, you should contact Page Realty and ask them to re-rent your apartment and move.

  7. Tenant

    “Michael”, eh?

    LOL.

  8. Anne

    Michael, you must be living somewhere else. There are more people that have moved out than just two units, many more people who are very unhappy and feel that they were sold a bill of goods, which they were. So glad you are happy where you are living. Hopefully you got the high end finishes we were told were going to be here in the Dominion Building instead of cheap, cheap, cheap flooring and cabinets and bathroom fixtures. The first two meetings of the residents were very well attended and there are records of what was said. Every group needs leaders and those who stepped up to do that because they were trying so hard to work with the owners should be commended. I certainly didn’t hear anyone complaining about them bringing order to the meetings, and we certainly heard a lot of stories about problems in many units.

    Obviously, you are unaffected where you live by inconsistent heating throughout some of the units, flooring separating, windows that are almost impossible to open and close because the latches are far too high and the ledges are unsafe to kneel or stand on. You must have a great storage unit where you can stow possessions that can’t be stored in an apartment. You must not be elderly and have counted on underground parking this winter, so that you don’t have to clean your car off or fall on the ice making your way to the car. I envy you.

    We want to be here and a lot of us sold our homes to move into this building, based on the information we were given about what would the finished product would be. Even after telling us they want to work together to make this a great place to live, the owners, are not giving us any information or timelines. There are no crews working on the basement, and they have not been for a couple of weeks. The asbestos removal has stopped. There is no proper signage in the back parking lot and people we talk to tell us they think it is a business building only so there is no harm parking here on evenings and weekends. Many times, residents have been unable to park in the parking lot, because it was full. The lighting in the back entrance is deplorable and unsafe. The hallway between back and front is uneven and unsafe. The dust filtering into the apartments from the first floor is unbelievable. I don’t know where you are living, but it is not 97 Queen Street.

    Moving is a huge decision that people don’t make lightly. Especially people who have retired and just want to have a safe, comfortable, convenient place to live. Ignoring the problems or pretending they don’t exist is not helping anyone. Nobody said there are not people in the Dominion Building who are happy. However, there are a great many who just want the building to be finished, and to have access to all that was promised. Have a Merry Christmas 🙂

  9. Brian

    December 21st, 2012 Response to Saako Vaal blog:

    The comments that were posted in the blog are inaccurate. Page Realty Management supports and respects its tenants’ right to lodge and maintain complaints with the Office of the Director of Residential Property.

    To date to our knowledge no complaint has been lodged with or heard by IRAC and IRAC has not terminated any leases.

    Every tenant in the building was aware of the existing conditions prior to accepting occupancy of their unit and was aware that construction would be an ongoing item. Page Realty Management has worked hard with our tenants; and, with our trades, suppliers, and agents and takes offense to the claim that our partners in construction “have cited frustrations with management”.

    Page Realty Management is proud to be associated with the major re-development of the Dominion Building and looks forward to completion of the project in the near future.

    Submitted by:
    Brian Hooley
    Property Manager – Dominion Building
    Page Realty Management

    • Anne

      Brian, let’s be reasonable. We knew that there would be some ongoing construction, but not for months and months. You were the one pressuring people to move in by certain dates and telling them the apartments were ready, or would be ready by the date. You know that several units were uninhabitable on the move in dates.

      Since you posted the company response for them, why didn’t they take the time to try and to ease our frustration? Give us an update on the basement asbestos issue? The parking garage? The storage units? The downstairs hallway that is unsafe? The signage so people would know it’s an apartment building and that parking is not permitted without permit and they WILL be towed and then do it? You and the company cannot deny we were given assurances of completion dates for certain things, and you cannot deny that work has ceased on the basement. Lack of communication always leads to problems.

      You don’t live in the building so you couldn’t possibly truly understand our frustration.

      Wouldn’t Page Realty rather have happy, long term residents who sing their praises to the people who ask how we like living in the Dominion Building, rather than telling them don’t even consider renting here because it is a sick building that still needs a lot of work to bring it up to the standard it should be?

      Make our Christmas merrier and give us some truth and good news to take us into 2013. Is that too much to ask?

  10. Tenant

    Dear “Michael”
    Perhaps you should check YOUR facts. We have in fact been paying for underground parking since we moved into the Building. If you had in fact attended any of the meetings, you would have heard the stories. But alas….

  11. Michael

    I asked for a refund and had a cheque sent back to me with in a week, I know other tenants are leaving it as a credit on their account to be applied when the parking is finished. Those are the facts. Alas…

    • Anne

      “Michael” – one thing that happens when you tell lies is that someone smarter than you catches you because you really can’t recall what lie you might have told, and to whom. However, since this particular lie is in writing just above, it is quite funny that you allowed yourself to be caught this time.

      On December 21 you said, and I quote YOU: “I do agree the underground parking is not done and is a pain in the butt, however we, nor are any tenants paying for it.” Then on December 22 you said, and I quote YOU: “I asked for a refund and had a cheque sent back to me with in a week, I know other tenants are leaving it as a credit on their account to be applied when the parking is finished.” Huh? Total contradiction within one day! You clearly said, as if you actually knew what you’re talking about, that no tenants are paying for parking at this time! Don’t you think that responsible owners would have made this known to disgruntled residents rather than having them have to chase a refund? Also, since residents have been trusting that the owners would indeed have underground parking ready by January, perhaps that is why they did not bother?

      You cherry pick what you want to “Michael”. Ultimately, it is you who lacks credibility, not the residents. Sounds like you are in somebody’s pocket 🙂

      Oh what a tangled web you weave, when first you practice to deceive.

      Merry Christmas! 😉

  12. Michael

    If you are refunded or credited the money, you are not being charged for it. What part of that don’t you understand. The only one it seems that lied was the original blogger. Although I am sure that person is being quite entertained by what has ensued much to the dismay of the majority of tenants, owners and employees. It’s truly ashame that 2 or 3 overly negative people can wallow in their own misery this time of year. Merry Christmas to you as well and I hope in the New Year things are much better for you.

    • Anne

      “Michael” you’re digging a deeper hole. You are the one speaking out of both sides of your face, not the residents. Negative? I am stating facts – cold, hard, facts. You, are scrambling. The residents who told me about having to pay up front for underground parking (that doesn’t, and may never, the way things are progressing, exist) have NOT been offered a refund as responsible owners would have done by now. An apology would even be nice, for all the shortcomings of this “luxury” building. We are not wallowing in our misery, but a large group of people have certainly bonded over common issues and are looking for things to get better. The only way things get better is if problems are exposed and resolved. The owners have had months to make things right, and have chosen instead to pretend the problems don’t exist. To the best of my knowledge, we have not heard anything from them in weeks addressing the concerns a large number of residents have about the building.

      We will have a wonderful holiday season, despite everything we have been subjected to by uncaring management and owners. We aren’t going away and the truth WILL come out, of that you can be sure. You can go ahead and stick to your cherry picking responses full of misinformation and lies, but you have no credibility.

      We also hope that things will improve in the New Year, and it’s a shame that people felt compelled to have to speak to the blogger who wrote the first article. Sure wish he/she had talked to me, but I guess he/she knew the current residents who want to stay here, like us, would be reluctant to speak out directly. However, the article was sound, and he/she had appears to have had some reliable sources.

      I am sure the blogger would be happy to interview you as well if you would like to share your perspective!

      Cheers!

  13. Another Tenant

    Interesting dialogue happening here. From my vantage point, Anne’s perspective is closer to the prevailing sentiments than Michael’s. In Michael’s case,if I may borrow from Shakespeare “methinks thou protest too much”. I’ve personally had few of the problems that have been reported here (although I do feel that I am being somewhat ripped off for the amount of rent I am paying versus what I am getting) but most of the complaints documented here I have heard before from a wide variety of fellow tenants, so Michael’s statements that only 2 or 3 people are upset ring very hollow in my ears. Yes, there are issues here. Yes, the owners have been dealing with them albeit at a snail’s pace. The BIG problem is that in the face of these problems, the owners are not communicating with the residents. This is leading to the rumour mill going wild and a fair amount of resentment towards the management and ownership building up, rightly or wrongly. Rather than sending a “Michael” to an online blog to attempt to discredit people expressing their concerns, management and/or ownership would be much better advised to open up lines of communications with tenants so that online blog stories like this don’t happen in the first place. That would be the professional way to deal with things.

  14. Anne

    Thanks “Another Tenant”.

    It’s really all we are asking from Page Realty. Tell us the truth. Admit there are issues. Give us some real time lines for completion and make sure they happen. Acknowledge that you have caused some residents great inconvenience. Consider helping us out by finding alternate solutions for parking and storage in the short term.

    Sending “Michael” in only made things worse. Unfortunately, Brian’s post does nothing to alleviate anything either as sadly, he has already proven himself to be untrustworthy and unreliable.

    Let’s get this building fixed so we can all get on with our lives!

    Cheers!

  15. Dominion Tenant

    I would urge any tenants reading this blog to contact Teresa Wright at The Guardian (twright@theguardian.pe.ca or 629-9000 ext. 6033). She is writing an article for The Guardian about the troubles at the Dominion Building and the more tenants that can lend their weight to the stories of the problems being encountered, the more credibility those complaints will have. It will also make it harder for the owners dismiss the complaints as coming from a “very small minority” of tenants. As Anne says, we just want things fixed so that we can get on with our lives.

  16. Anne

    The residents got a letter yesterday. You know the kind. The owners know that they need to do something fast to show their good intent to finish the building and try to pacify the residents and hopefully, ward off the growing media interest. Let’s call it a “defence” ploy. Full of platitudes and not much substance. Carefully crafted by lawyers. A few of the many problems were mentioned, but “as soon as possible” is the only time line given for the parkade, storage area and garbage room and none for the other two. Even more vague than before, not helpful.

    In May 2012 we were told that September 2012 was the finish date for the garage and storage lockers and in October we were told early January 2013 the parking garage would be finished and the storage units right afterwards. We weren’t happy, but at least we had a time time. It’s early January. None of the above has been completed.

    We greatly appreciate that due to our raising the issues with the owners that the security console in the lobby no longer has our apartment numbers next to our names, that overall the apartments are warmer than they were, the locks to our apartments have been re-keyed and there are security cameras installed at the front and back of the building. Oh, and over the holiday season white pieces of paper with black printing on them have been posted on the unfinished gyproc walls, alerting us to watch our step as we traverse the treacherous hallway between front and back of the building.

    Many more issues that have been raised are conspicuous by their absence from the letter, such as ASBESTOS in the building, the presence of which has not been officially communicated to the residents, the coming apart of flooring in at least several units, the cold floors in some units because there is no heat on the first floor or basement, the imbalance of heat from room to room in some apartments, the paint that cannot be washed because it peels off and the incredible amount of dust in the apartments (is the air exchange system even running?).

    Now we have a completely broken ancient freight elevator that has just failed inspection and had been off limits to residents for months (a freight elevator is one of the “features” listed in the ad for renting an apartment in the building). Now we hear rumours that it will not be replaced. In fact, they told us in a letter last fall that it might be decommissioned or removed at a later date. Do you seriously think that someone moving from the top floors especially is going to be happy that their moving costs will more than double without a working freight elevator because the movers will have to use the stairways which are almost double the size because the floor levels are so high? The passenger elevators cannot possibly accommodate the furniture, and there are only two small elevators serving a large business on the 6th floor, plus 56 apartments.

    There were lots of issues with counter tops and vanities that may or may not be resolved. As we have no common room in which to hold a private meeting, we have not held a resident’s meeting in the last couple of months, so I am unsure whether or not the mismatching, really badly flawed and/or missing counter top issue has been resolved, or the reported leaking windows. There are a few other minor concerns, but you get the gist 🙂

    The outside signage front and back is a huge issue and has been for months. There is absolutely no indication that this building is primarily residential, and so non-residents park in the back lot because there is no enforcement. Our dedicated and overworked Superintendent, who was literally thrown into this job during the flood crisis, is far too busy dealing with trying to keep pipes and sensitive systems from freezing, mopping the lobbies and elevators, trying to stay ahead of cleaning up the (much appreciated) salt that we all track in and up to all the floors and dealing with all of the day to day issues that arise that he promptly and cheerfully solves for us. He is our hero.

    • Tenant1

      Anne brings up some good points.

      The letter is obviously a defence ploy in reaction to comments contained in this blog. They can’t deny the complaints because they are valid, but with the media sniffing around they figure they had better show some intent to deal with the problems so they can limit the negative spin on whatever story gets public.

      But is the story how they are reacting to the complaints or is it why they are reacting to the complaints? It is pretty darn sad when it takes the threat of tenant complaints going public in the mainstream media to get action. In fact, it actually demonstrates their lack of professionalism and their uncaring attitudes because if they had a scintilla of professionalism or caring, the situation would never have gotten to this stage.

      How many chances do tenants have to give the owners? Promise after promise has been made and broken. Deadline after deadline has been stated then not met. Are they serious this time? I mean, more serious than the last time, or the time before that? Can we take them at their word this time? I mean, more so than the last time, or the time before that?

      And as important as the resolution to the issues is to the tenants, I really have to wonder if there is a story that is just as important? Like how the heck was an occupancy permit granted so long before construction was completed, especially while there was still asbestos in the building that needed removal? Is this S.O.P. with Charlottetown City Hall?

      I do echo Anne’s comments about our superintendent. He is awesome.

  17. Lois Lane

    Anne: I 100% agree with all of your comments and completely back you up.

    Brian Hooley:
    1)You claim that tenants knew about the conditions they were moving into- my hotel bills say otherwise.

    2)You say no one has lodged a complaint? Really? I remember when a representative from IRAC held a tenant meeting in the lobby and was besieged by 40 or 50 angry tenants about the conditions of the building. You wouldn’t remember that because you weren’t there. This meeting happened after the flood at which time you disappeared. I would have disappeared too if I told one of my tenants that had a flooding apartment that “you would call a plumber in the morning”. Did you think she was lying when she said there was water rushing out from under her neighbors doors? Don’t worry, It’s just a matter of time before a FORMAL complaint will be lodged with and heard by IRAC.

    I feel sorry for you. You and God have to live with the fact that you are a liar. I don’t know how you sleep at night.

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