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Victoria's Belleville Street hotel property once again in receivership

A year after the Belleville Park Resort was sold by court order, the high-profile Belleville Street hotel property is once again in the hands of a receiver looking for a new owner. The 1.
The historic Gatsby Mansion is among the properties listed in the Belleville Park Resort receivership sale.

A year after the Belleville Park Resort was sold by court order, the high-profile Belleville Street hotel property is once again in the hands of a receiver looking for a new owner.

The 1.87-hectare property includes the Huntingdon Hotel and Suites and the three buildings of the Gatsby Mansion Hotel on a city block bordered by Belleville, Oswego, Quebec and Pendray streets across from the Belleville Street Terminal. It is now controlled by Vancouver-based receiver D. Manning and Associates.

“We are operating the property as efficiently as possible and we’ve advertised the property for sale,” said president Don Manning. The firm has been in control since mid-March.

Manning could not say what tipped the property into receivership, only that there were likely some “unhappy events that happened between the lender and the owners.”

Dominion Grand Hotel Group bought the hotel for $5.65 million in February 2012.

At the time, the company outbid in court Saskatchewan-based d3h Hotels, which had earlier agreed to pay $5.2 million for the property.

Both companies said the buildings required about $3 million in upgrades to bring them back to respectability.

Attempts to contact Dominion Grand were unsuccessful.

Manning said there has been some interest in the property, but would not tip his hand as to who those companies may be.

Attempts to contact d3h to gauge that company’s interest were also unsuccessful. Last year, d3h CEO Don Rosten said they were excited about the prospect of having a property in B.C.

Manning said he has a running tally of about 90 trades creditors, but doesn’t yet have a complete picture of what the property owes them.

He said his firm has not set an asking price, but is taking offers. “We are requesting people who want to make an offer do so before the end of May, so we can decide which direction we want to go,” he said.

When Reliant Capital, which controlled the property last year, tried to sell it in 2012, it was listed at $5.95 million. In court documents, Reliant noted it expected to take a significant loss.

“The ongoing expenses associated with the property will only continue as time goes on and it is therefore imperative that a sale be concluded at the earliest date to minimize such further loss to [Reliant],” the company said in the documents.

Before last year’s sale to Dominion Grand, the resort had been on the market since July 2009, after Reliant Capital foreclosed on hotel owner Rita Roy in April of that year.

According to court documents, Reliant Capital lent Roy $7 million in 2007.

That debt had grown to $12.9 million as a result of interest accruing at $99,888 per month and Reliant having to pay rent, expenses and property taxes totalling $1.7 million since foreclosure.

Reliant originally listed the property for $12 million in 2009. The price dropped to $9.9 million in March 2010, $7.45 million in December 2010 and finally $5.95 million in July 2011.

Commercial real estate experts have suggested the property’s worth is likely close to $6 million because the hotelier does not own the land and must pay annual rent of more than $350,000 — an amount that increases each year as it is tied to the consumer price index — and because there are fewer than 41 years left on the land lease.

The land is owned by the Plasterer family of Victoria, held by their company, International Travel Inns Ltd.

The sale includes four buildings with 135 guest rooms — 115 in the Huntingdon, 10 in Gatsby’s Main House, eight in the Judges House and two in the Middle House — as well as Hunter’s Bar and Grill, the Gatsby Mansion Restaurant, a spa, wine, beer and spirits shop and fitness facilities.

Santiago’s restaurant is leased to a third party.

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