Strata revises minutes that detailed window failures at Vancouver's Shangri-la tower
A new version of Shangri-La minutes omits details about the risks and cost of replacing windows in the tower that had been in an earlier version.PHOTO BY FRANCIS GEORGIAN /PNG
Questions are being raised after condo strata minutes detailing serious concerns about windows possibly shattering were amended with a more muted version at the Shangri-La, Vancouver’s tallest tower, which is known for its floor-to-ceiling views.
Earlier, the building’s two stratas filed lawsuits to recover costs under warranty from insurers and are also suing developers, builders and contractors over the windows. A 100-day trial for these is set to begin in October.
It also comes as prospective buyers might be considering one of the nine units currently listed for sale. They range in asking price from $865,000 for one on the 28th floor to units on the highest floors that are asking over $5 million.
The minutes for a special general meeting held on Sept. 10, 2020, for the strata that represents owners of 234 condo units on floors 16 to 43 in the tower, originally contained details about the inner panes of what are known as insulated glass units, or windows.
A separate strata represents owners of units on floors 44 to 62.PHOTO BY FRANCIS GEORGIAN /PNG
The minutes alleged the windows “suffer from a nickel sulphide inclusion and/or manufacturing defects, which can cause (them) to spontaneously shatter.”
They also allege up to 70 per cent of the windows are failing “prematurely by decades and reaching just a fraction of their expected lifespan of 40 years.”
The minutes identified nine floors where shattered inner panes in the insulated gas units have been taken from condos.
They also presented the option of reconstructing a curtain wall and replacing all of the window units in increments at an initial cost estimate of $65 million. The final cost would depend on many things, including the type and specific design of windows that would have to be used.
On the portal with information available to owners, that version of minutes has been replaced with a new version that omits these details.
Real estate agents representing sellers and buyers say that recent requests for minutes of the special general meeting minutes get them the new version, which also does not mention the change or explain why it was done.
The details about the windows in the original minutes were in a preamble to a motion for a special levy that was ultimately defeated.
“It’s definitely brought on a lot of questions from prospective buyers that want to know about these windows and how much it could cost them in the future,” said real estate agent Paolo Cartocci.
He’s sold five units in the building in the last few years. The listing for a unit he currently has for sale went up in early January, but has been on and off the market, he said.
“What motivated the change? I would think (they) owe an explanation or some kind of indication that these are replacement minutes,” said Ron Usher, a Vancouver real estate lawyer.
A strata council “must ensure its minutes are accurate because the council knows that others will reasonably rely on those minutes. The strata council members may be liable for misrepresentation if they provide inaccurate or misleading information to someone who suffers a loss because he or she reasonably relies on it,” according to The Condominium Manual, a reference guide for the Strata Property Act.
The manual explains that if a strata council has confidential discussions, it must refer to this and label them in the minutes as having being held in camera. In minutes before the special general meeting, there are several instances where the Shangri-la strata went in camera for discussions about the windows.
Minutes in November do give some indication that the minutes for the September special general meeting were “leaked to the media following distribution to the Owners. They have since been removed and will be reviewed by council again prior to their re-distribution.”
Postmedia didn’t get a reply to a phone message and email sent to Thomas McGreer, vice-president, and Michael Schuss, CEO, at AWM-Alliance Real Estate Group, which manages the property, and to Diane Tam, who took on the position of strata council president starting in December.
Share this article in your social network
THIS WEEK IN FLYERS
Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.