Condo hinges on one buyer

One buyer could mean the difference between breaking ground on the River Walk condominium project on Front Street or it never being built.
By last Friday, the Fort Frances Non-Profit Housing Committee had agreements and $10,000 deposits from 19 buyers for the proposed 32-unit complex.
Town council has said it wouldn’t start construction on the almost $5-million project until at least 75 percent, or 24 units, were pre-sold. But a last-minute deal currently in the works might see developer Penn-co Construction Corp. of Winnipeg take responsibility for four of those units.
“We’re just waiting to hear confirmation on the deal,” Fort Frances CAO Bill Naturkach said yesterday.
That means one only more buyer is needed to ensure the project goes ahead.
“It’s quite pleasing actually. We had 19 pre-sold before and 100 percent turnaround,” Naturkach said. “That’s wonderful because the possibility of dropping out was there.”
“I’m sure they’ll sell,” said Gus Landry of Cousineau Brokers Inc. here, who added the development definitely is needed in Fort Frances. “It’s a good time of year and I hope it’s positive.”
Landry and other brokers received listing information for the remaining unsold units Monday, but have until the end of the month to locate one more buyer to keep the project afloat.
“We’re confident we’ll be able to find somebody in the time allotted,” said Alan Zucchiatti of Rainy Lake Realty. “We only need to find one more to go ahead and make it happen.”
Naturkach said he’s optimistic realtors will be able to find one more buyer.
“Everybody remains optimistic. The board is eager to move forward, the contractor is eager to move forward, the brokers are eager to move forward, and the buyers are eager to move forward,” he said.
If the condo project doesn’t go ahead this time, Naturkach said he doubts such a development would ever be built here.
“I don’t see the players participating in this project having the energy to go somewhere else,” he said. “It has been a struggle. There’s been a lot of resources, energy, and time poured into this.”
“This is the only project we’re going to see,” he warned.