News

Construction costs higher than expected

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Little has changed at the site of the proposed Dover Wharf condominium project on Harbour Street in Port Dover since the former Misner fish plant was demolished last year. The revised deadline for occupying the 48-unit residential building is December, 2018.   MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

Little has changed at the site of the proposed Dover Wharf condominium project on Harbour Street in Port Dover since the former Misner fish plant was demolished last year. The revised deadline for occupying the 48-unit residential building is December, 2018. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

PORT DOVER - 

Adjustments to the Dover Wharf condominium project in Port Dover have set construction back by a year.

Prospective owners of the 48 condominiums expected to move in by the end of 2017. The developer and her team are now aiming for the end of 2018.

Nicole Diec, owner of the Fairview Inn and Clear View Motel east of Simcoe, was surprised earlier this year when construction estimates came in higher than expected. This forced Diec and her team to recalibrate the project, seek new financing, and reset the calendar for occupancy.

Diec needs between $12- and $15 million to build the complex. She is discussing the project with a local bank and said Friday that she will know sometime this month where she stands on financing.

“The money is not easy,” Diec said. “But I never give up what I’m doing.”

After the project was approved, 48 potential tenants put down $5,000 for the right-of-first-refusal on the units of their choice.

Prospective residents were provided with soft estimates of how much the units would cost. Some were shocked and angry this spring when prices were adjusted upward in light of the new cost estimates. Diec says the price increase was in the range of 28 per cent.

Those who wanted out got their money back. Diec said eight have moved on while 40 remain on board at the higher price point.

Managing sales for Dover Wharf is real estate agent Leslie Lee of Chase Realty in Caledonia.

Lee said eight of the original depositors have backed out while several more continue to weigh their options.

Lee said about 10 units remain in play and can be purchased outright now that Diec and her team have a good idea of the project’s true cost.

“We all thought it would go much more quickly than this,” Lee said. “The initial estimates were too conservative. The prices had to go up because no one will build at a loss. It’s unfortunate.”

Lee shed more light on the delay on Friday. She said it took more time than expected to satisfy the requirements of the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, the Long Point Region Conservation Authority and Norfolk County.

As for the increased costs, Lee says it will cost much more than expected for shoreline fortifications, sheet-piling and the like. Diec says a contractor has been hired for the latter and expects to begin work shortly.

The former Misner fish plant on Harbour Street was demolished last year to make way for Dover Wharf. The condos will range in size from 871 square feet to 1,313 square feet.

The new price range is $350,000 to $650,000 per condo. The most expensive units will be the ones high up on the fourth floor with a panoramic view of the harbour, Black Creek and Long Point Bay.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com