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Mondo Condo X

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Elvis
Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:25 am

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
Hello to all uncharted.ca readers and welcome to the continuing saga of the Mondo Condo... the hell-hole former Toronto hotel where millions upon millions of UFCW union member pension dollars have 'disappeared' over the years... and where a bunch of corrupt jackasses are now mired in a glorious condo conversion mess.

For those that don't know, our former home at MFD had a series of eight articles,one pictorial, and many more threads, dedicated to the very interesting building on Keele St. I won't provide any links because I'm not actually sure how that will work yet. But everything written on the subject will be available (countin' on ya Kelsey!) to uncharted readers.

So, I needed a title for this thread and looking back at wm's nine mondo volumes (which I should publicly thank her for on behalf of the former hotel employees and screwed over CCWIPP members- thanks wm!)... and I though X would be a great '10' capper. And the perfect start for the uncharted.ca readers.

As we all know, X marks the spot, so let's mark it clearly!... I do really hate confusion. For best close-up, when the page opens, maximize the page size and click refresh.

What you should be seeing is a satellite image of 2737 Keele St. in Toronto. And the white looking box to the right of the arrow is the famous Satan's parking garage, fronted by the old hotel. Directly to to the south of the garage you will notice a tract of land that houses the soon to be Independence Way slum project. Let's just say that it will be unlike any other in the city I'm all sentimental looking at the roads and nice city planning of the surounding area, knowing that the quality of this corner just won't measure up. Oh well, times change.

On the north you will see the promised land known as "Wilson Ave." where a road extension is somehow supposed to make it. Trivia question for our friend Joe... Moses spent how many years in the desert?

If by chance you're curious about that large swath of land on the west side of Keele, that's the old Ministry of Trasport which is disposable land and IMO would make a great location for Toronto's first casino. Highway next door, airport next door, parking, just missing hotels, but I digress.

Surely to be continued. Evil or Very Mad

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SharynS
Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:22 pm

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3625
Location: the 'puter
I'm sure Joe thanks you Elvis for keeping his dream alive. Keep the mondo dream alive here at unchart'd and then of course coming soon, joe's mondo memories archived.

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wm pasz
Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:59 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
You can get up to speed on the Mondo Condo fiasco by visiting this page from the MFD web site. Links to the first 8 installments are near the bottom of the page and the 9th segment (the pictorial) is at the top.

This place has a major part to play in the story of unravelling biz unionism. The story is still playing out but thankfully the end is near. This west end Toronto hotel was where the Canadian UFCW's pension plundering began. It was hear that their pension trustees made their initial $15 million loan to a non-entity sex offender name Ron Kelly and launched his career as a real estate tycoon (or front man for a clever pension-fleecers). Their song and dance at the time was that this was all about job creation. They were financing the reopening of the hotel to create good union jobs - or so they said.

In the ensuing 10 years or so, millions more pension dollars were poured into the hotel (a total of about $30 million from what we can tell) as the business ran into the ground. By 2001, a strange scheme was hatched to convert the place into a hybrid hotel-condo. That didn't get off the ground but by 2003, another plan, this time to convert the place to a full condo did. For over a year, the staff (all of them UFCW members) watched the business get driven into the ground by Joe - an unknown local developer and a lot of colourful friends. By 2004, Joe was peddling units out of a sales centre on the top floor, promising Jan. 05 move in date. In 2005, all 150 or so staff members were laid off and the place closed for good.

In Feb. 2005 Joe bought the hotel from its previous owners, the CCWIPP pension plan and Royal Host REIT and renovations began with a view to turning the hotel into a condo for (from the looks of its advertising) hip young types. Although a sign out front boasts that 94% of the units have been sold, there are still no signs of anyone moving in. We're sure it's been a challenge for Joe. The building is located at a busy intersection. Access is from one driveway only that lets out just in front a set of traffic lights. Concerns about traffic conjestion in the area from the condo residents as well as residents from a wierd little rabbit-warren-like townhouse complex that's going up just to the south, led the City to make its approval of the condo contingent upon Joe ceding some land through the hotel property to so that a city road could be built from the townhouse complex to Wilson Ave. just north of the hotel. We're still not sure where the road is going to go. Immediately behind the hotel is a huge ugly above ground parking garage (the place Elvis calls Satan's garage). It sort of gets in the way of where the road might go but it's the only place where the condo owners can park. So that's still a bit of a mystery although I'm sure Joe has it all figured out.

More recently, a big sign and an ad campaign announced the building of a "Phase 2" condo on the site. We were hard pressed to figure out where it would go since there's no room for another building. Then it dawned on us that Phase 2 - a 12 story terraced building was going to go on top of the old above ground parking garage. What a novel idea. But it turns out that the City is not impressed and has nixed the plan. From the look of things though, units in Phase 2 are still being advertised.

This is high strangeness without a doubt. There's still UFCW pension money in this place too. It's beyond disgraceful that a union would invest its members money in such a venture, throw over a hundred members out of work and then sit around and watch its investment gather dust as even wierder schemes are grounded by City officials who are understandably concerned.

For sure, there's more to come on this story! I've been calling the place "The Cliff Evans Tribute Tower". [/url]
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Elvis
Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:55 pm

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
The Ontario Municipal Board hearing for Joe's neighbours has been set for the 15th of next month.

Quote:
2701 Keele St. Independence Way - temp. entry easement Open PL051025

Hearing and Decision Information

New Hearing 15 MAR 2006 10:00AM Ontario Municipal Board,Hearing Room, 655 Bay St., 16th Floor,

Individuals should appear at the start time of the proceedings.

OMB Contact: Matthew Blevins, Planner (416) 326-6785


I'm curious as to what they are arguing about. Is it possible that without a road in place , their project is in a little shit as well? "Sorry Independence Way customers... that car we gave you with your purchase didn't come with a road included."

Seriously, I am in awe of the guys that came up with their marketing plan They really were advertising a free car with purchase. And to call a project hinging on a road extension "Independence Way" is bloody hillarious... I mean brilliant!

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wm pasz
Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:54 am

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
Quote:
The Ontario Municipal Board hearing for Joe's neighbours has been set for the 15th of next month.


Dude, we have to gotta be there! March 15, 10:00 a.m. MFD/uncharted is there! Wonder if they allow video? What a cool news-real that would be. Wonder if Joe and Cliff will be there... Twisted Evil
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Elvis
Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:48 am

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
Twisted Evil It's a date. Twisted Evil

Quote:
Q: Can media attend OMB hearings?
A: Yes, OMB hearings are open to the public and the media.

The only time a hearing is not open to the public or media is when the Board is of the opinion that matters involving public security may be disclosed or intimate financial or personal matters or other matters may be disclosed at the hearing of such a nature that the desirability of avoiding disclosure outweighs the desirability of adhering to the principle that hearings be open to the public. Please note that there are restrictions on the use of electronic devices in OMB hearings. For further information, see the Statutory Powers Procedure Act – Section 9 (1).

Q: Can I record an OMB hearing?
A: Photographic, audio or video recording of a proceeding that is open to the public will be permitted only on conditions that the Board considers appropriate.

A person wishing to make a photographic, audio or video recording of a proceeding must ask for authorization from the Chair as soon as possible after notice of the proceeding; from the presiding Member at the beginning of the proceeding; or as the issue arises.

The parties will be given the opportunity to comment on the request, and if the Board approves it, to make a request to vary the permission at any time. In evaluating the request, the Board will consider, among other issues,

whether the proceedings will be disturbed or disrupted;
any undue discomfort for any participant; and
any public interest in having proceedings accessible to all those affected or interested.
The Board may approve recording on conditions, and the following conditions shall always apply to any approval:

only equipment which does not produce a distracting noise or light may be used and it must be placed in one location approved by the Board;
a person recording shall not move about the hearing room while the proceeding is going on; and
the activity authorized will occur only within the times and portions of the proceeding determined by the Board.


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Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
Bruce Wayne: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.
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Elvis
Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:26 pm

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
Another "townsuite" or "townhome" or "townhouse condo" (no one really knows what to call the unique things) is on the rental market.

Joining slum-lord Joe Filipe

is slum-lord Tony G.

Note the differences in their rental presentation. It's almost like these guys know each other! And isn't that sweet... the Independence Way guys giving them both the same promo material to use in their ad. Wow, imagine if these guys also knew the nextdoor neighbour Joe and his buddy Cliff and all their Woodbridge buddies too! What kind of parlay odds would Vegas give me on that one???

Doesn't anyone want to actually live at 125 George Appleton Way?? Can the slum-lords supply us a picture of the northern view from the homes? Or does that pesky parking garage standing 3 feet from the window get in the way?? Remember...



Look!! Rolling hills and trees at the end of a gorgeous George Appleton Way. I can't wait to see how close the artist's rendering was!

Rolling Eyes

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Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
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SharynS
Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:40 pm

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3625
Location: the 'puter
Quote:
Rolling hills and trees at the end of a gorgeous George Appleton Way
A mural painted on one wall of satan's garage could cover that off couldn't it?

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weiser
Post Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:51 pm

Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 190
Location: Chilliwack
Oh, whatever happened to Joe's boast of two years ago:
Quote:
As for making sure the decorative finishes are top-of –the-line, Ieradi is taking care of that in his typical hands-on fashion. Suites now boast expensive features personally selected by Ieradi, including granite countertops in the kitchens, marble floors and counters in the bathrooms, hardwood flooring and brushed nickel door handles. In addition, the exterior of the hotel will be redone in classic stucco.

“Construction is an interesting animal,” Ieradi notes. “You create structures and they are there for generations. You look at a building you built and you want to be proud – that’s why I build things a little better so that I can feel proud to put my name to them.”


Is "classic stucco" and "cheap coat of paint" the same thing? I think that I'd be asking for my money back. Doubly so when I found out that the HVAC systems weren't replaced with new systems as was promised.
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unionnow
Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:09 am

Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 848
Location: Gettin the Hell out of retail
How do you screw a condo coversion up?

I have worked on some in the States and they are real moneymakers.

All you have to do is clean it up hire a realtor and sell 'em.

It looks to me like your pension fund is so mobbed up that if the RCMP gets to the bottom of this not only the UFCW front men will go to jail but a few gangsters will as well.
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Elvis
Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:18 am

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
unionnow wrote:
How do you screw a condo coversion up?


First, you're assuming that the condo conversion was the original intent for the property and not just a front/scam idea for something larger.

But making the assumption that this was the original intent and that the CCWIPP jackasses approved, backed and threw money at this idea...

this has to win the Construction Oscar award for THE WORST idea ever thought up.

Accepting on behalf of the CCWIPP fools is executive producer Joe Ieradi accompanied by his P.O. box. Smile! Click, flash, applause.

Highlights of this trage-comi-mystery...


  • main building nowhere close to finished yet (with main idea hatched years ago)

  • no parking available for the main building occupants even if the building ever gets finished

  • a new proposal to build a terraced condominium above the current unusable parking garage is concocted... which would make the wait for phase 1 parking spots just a little longer... and it would be an incredible challenge to not make it look better than the phase 1 building (for aesthetic purposes it's gotta look like shit).

  • the new proposal was just shot down by the city and is now in queue at the Ontario Municipal Board with no date set... indefinitely delaying any possible backup plans the geniuses can come up with.

  • a road for the neighbours must bisect the property, which is like allowing a road to be built through your backyard between the house and the shed.


As a spoiler to those that haven't seen the full thing yet... the classic final shot is of the ugly garage, representing the CCWIPP bastards, full of rot.

And then they're... I mean it's... blown up.

Who pushed the lever?? Was it Joe?? Was it the neighbour wanting to see sunlight through his windows?? Did it implode naturally?? Will legal counsel ever figure it out?? We're left to wonder.

Awesome stuff guys. Just awesome!

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Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
Bruce Wayne: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.
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Elvis
Post Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:31 pm

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
Joe's date has been set...

Quote:
2737 Keele St Westmount-Keele Ltd, 7-storey condo Open PL060079

New Hearing 12 APR 2006 10:00AM Ontario Municipal Board,Hearing Room, 655 Bay St., 16th Floor




The dream is still alive.

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Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
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SharynS
Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:33 am

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3625
Location: the 'puter
"New Hearing"??? - shouldn't it be a re-hearing? Does "new" mean that the old information presented at the first hearing will be replaced with "new" information?

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Elvis
Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:44 pm

Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 661
Location: Toronto
You might be confused sig. It was the neighbours that are going for round 2. They appeared 2 years ago.

Sometime after that, the glacier-slow moving Westmount project gave the neighbours and the city this little gift (see road sketches at bottom)

So from the first file, I think the city is now going to argue that it has the road it originally spoke of, and that the Independence Way project has to conform.

On the Westmount side, I think Joe will cry that he gave up the road... that somebody owes him something for that... that the corruption, I mean construction biz worka like dat, no??... and that since Cliffie doesn't return any of his phone calls, they can't possibly be friends and he shouldn't have to go down with the guy.

The next six weeks is gonna be fun. It's like a WWE Battle Royal sponsored by Cliff Evans. We've got city wrestlers, construction wrestlers, union wrestlers, uncharted wrestlers, all in the ring.

Twisted Evil

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Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
Bruce Wayne: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.
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SharynS
Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:15 am

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3625
Location: the 'puter
It is confusing alright, no doubt about that. Is this it?
Quote:
If a Part II Order is granted, then the project cannot proceed until an Individual Environmental Assessment is prepared by the proponent and approved by the Minister. If a Part II Order is not granted, or if no objections are submitted during the 30-day filing period, the project is approved under the Environmental Assessment Act and may proceed to construction.


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