The originally city-approved development permit for The Erickson showed the vast space as a common service area, but when Concord submitted the strata plan after construction, the area was marked for the exclusive use of the penthouse owner.

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6,000 square feet The space on the second floor of a luxury condominium building in Yaletown that had been the “exclusive” domain of the penthouse owner, Concord Pacific President and CEO Terry Hui, should be enjoyed by all residents, according to an order from the city of Vancouver. .

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But it is unclear whether this order will end a dispute that has raged for years.

The building in question, The Erickson, is a 17-story 60-unit building on the North False Creek boardwalk where the most expensive unit, the penthouse, is currently valued at $ 16.5 million and a fifth-floor unit is listed. at $ 5.3 million.

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The development permit originally submitted by Concord and approved by the city for The Erickson showed the vast space on the second floor as a common service area. But when the strata plan was later filed with the title office after the building was completed in 2010, the area was designated for the exclusive use of the attic owner.

The space is partially finished in marble and is currently unoccupied. There is a reception area and spaces for a theater and other rooms. An elevator, which is not commissioned, would go from the parkade to the attic with a stop on this second, private 6,000-square-foot floor. lobby, according to Strata president Michael Farmer.

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In an order sent to the strata on Aug. 27, the city said that within 30 days, the building must restore and maintain access to the second-floor area for all residents or make an application to amend the original development permit. . Otherwise, the matter will be referred to the city attorney and the charges could be brought in a provincial court where a conviction could mean a fine of no less than $ 500 per day.

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The strata responded by telling their members that “after five years of negotiations”, “it is no longer feasible” to work with the developer or owner of the penthouse to change the development permit and is “taking steps to restore and maintain access to the second floor area for all tenants. “

However, in an email to Postmedia last week, Hein Poulus, an attorney acting for Concord, said: “The letter from the City has just come to the attention of our client. This is not a title dispute – the second tier was never marketed or sold as a service space. Our client will take steps to amend his development permit, as suggested in the City’s letter (and pay for it) and is confident that the issue will be resolved that way. “

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Farmer said the discrepancy between what the city approved on its development permit and what was submitted to the title office after the building was completed was first noticed years later, in November 2016.

“Since 2017, five city councils have tried to solve the problem by focusing” on Concord by amending the development permit, “he said. “None of the five councils has been able to solve the problem.”

“We understand that the owners of the strata should be the part that responds to the order (of the city). It would not seem appropriate that Concord could now respond unilaterally, as there are 59 other affected owners at The Erickson, ”said Farmer.

Farmer added that there was a “small but vocal minority of residents who want to change the key and take control of the second floor immediately.”

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Over the years, various options have been explored, records show.

In early August 2017, a Concord attorney attending an annual strata general meeting, “defended his client’s designation of the second floor as repairable with the city through the use of an additional floor space ratio, or FSR, which he maintained is still available, both in this building or other buildings owned by Concord Pacific, ”according to the strata act.

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FSR is basically the density or gross floor area that the City allows to be built on a parcel of land. Developers can build more and make more money from a parcel of land if the city approves a higher FSR and it is a commodity that they sometimes trade between properties.

Title to the penthouse has been in Hui’s personal name since 2010, and the address provided is that of Concord’s Vancouver headquarters.

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The strata have been in separate conversations, but related to Hui because his attic was not completed when the building was constructed. It sat like an empty shell for years, but in May 2021, the strata reported in their minutes that Hui received their permission to apply for a building permit from the City for the construction of his two-story penthouse, including an interior. Pool en suite and private elevator.

The city said that the case involving its order to the strata at The Erickson cuts across several departments and that it “is currently seeking an active enforcement against these strata to comply with the conditions of the development permit.”

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