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Developer Westbank sued for allegedly not paying printing bill

Many other companies have sued the large Vancouver developer in the past year
The under-construction Oakridge Park shopping centre in Vancouver is one project in which Westbank has a financial stake

One of Vancouver's largest developers is being sued in BC Supreme Court for allegedly not paying a US$657,326.60 bill for printed marketing materials, or US$230,158.87 in interest that has racked up on that bill. 

Vancouver-based Metropolitan Fine Printers (MFP) is suing Westbank Projects PP (US) Corp. and Westbank Projects Inc. for allegedly not paying for the work performed, the materials or the interest. Westbank conducts business under various corporate names, including Westbank Corp.

The company is known for many large projects in Vancouver, including Telus Garden, the Woodwards redevelopment, Vancouver House and more. It is also a partner, with QuadReal, in redeveloping Oakridge Park and a partner with the Squamish Nation on its Sen̓áḵw project.

News reports in the past year have documented problems Westbank faced at various projects, with more than two dozen contractors claiming millions of dollars in unpaid bills, although none of the allegations has been proven in court.

Westbank in November denied what it called "malicious rumours" that the company was in financial trouble

In an undated, unsigned, one-page statement that was circulating among real estate agents, Westbank suggested it would take legal action to protect its reputation against “malicious rumours circulating online surrounding the integrity of our company and success of our developments,” BIV reported last November.

The Globe and Mail, which last year reported that there were dozens of contractors suing Westbank, noted that EllisDon construction had left Westbank’s Mirvish Village site in Toronto and was suing for $8.7 million in unpaid bills. Three other companies, Global Precast, Flat Iron Building Group Inc. and BV Glazing Systems Ltd., also filed multimillion-dollar claims, it said. None of the allegations in those lawsuits has been proven in court.

MFP's lawsuit, filed June 20, claims that Westbank in September 2022 contracted it to make US$657,326.60 worth of marketing materials related to Westbank's Ko Alina project in Hawaii. As part of the printing agreement, the standard interest rate for money owed after 30 days is 19.56 per cent, the lawsuit alleges. 

"On or about Sept. 20, 2022, in response to demands for payment, Westbank acknowledged in writing its obligation to MFP to pay the indebtedness and promised to pay it in full by Oct. 27, 2023, and, with that assurance, MFP took no further steps to recover the indebtedness," MFP wrote in its notice of civil claim.

"Despite further demands for payment, neither Westbank US nor Westbank have paid the indebtedness or any part of it by the promised date of Oct. 27, 2023, or thereafter up to the present, and no further payments in respect of interest have been made."

None of MFP's allegations has been proven in court.

Other Vancouver developers have endured financial trouble, following rapid increases in prices for building materials and much higher interest rates than before the pandemic. 

Coromandel Properties filed for creditor protection last year, with the company having about $700 million in debt.

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