taluswood 

Whistler Mountain took possession of the Taluswood development Wednesday and announced it would resume construction this summer. Whistler Mountain CEO Charles Young said in a press release a start-up date for construction on the 250-unit townhouse development would be announced once the various parties involved meet to iron our financial and scheduling details. "The path for resurrecting this project presents a number of hurdles yet to be overcome. However, we look forward to working with the community to move this quality development forward and see units completed this summer," Young said in the release. Whistler Mountain paid $14 million for the entire project. The assessed value was $17.87 million, although more than $30 million is owed to creditors. The only other offer on the project received by receivers Coopers and Lybrand was a bid of approximately $10 million from Intrawest. The $14 million purchase price is only enough to pay the top three creditors on the list, Bank of Montreal ($6.7 million), Scott Oki ($3.7 million) and Whistler Mountain ($7.28 million). The other creditors, including 62 local contractors owed $3,815,000, will not be paid from the purchase price. However, Whistler Mountain has said it will pay the contractors. The other creditors who won’t receive anything from the purchase price include Chuck Dwight ($250,000), Jeff Harbers with two claims ($3,250,000 and $835,000) and the MacIntosh family ($4,6250,500). The Taluswood development was placed in receivership last year. While the sale should get the project restarted, once negotiations with the contractors are completed, questions remain. Earlier, Eric Biagi of Coopers and Lybrand explained the $12.58 million difference between the $30 million owed and the assessed value of $17.87 million by saying: "They just lost money. They owed a lot of money on the project; costs were not committed before construction began and site servicing cost a lot." Coopers and Lybrand was appointed receiver by Whistler Mountain after the Bank of Montreal started foreclosure actions against the project last fall. Whistler Mountain also solicited the appraisal. A forensic audit would show exactly where the money was lost but would likely cost about $20,000. The contractors have indicated they prefer not spend any more money on the project and hope that Whistler Mountain will live up to its word and pay them what they are owed. Some of the local lien holders may get paid from the $14 million purchase price because they had separate liens on a lot after it was subdivided. Whistler Mountain bought inherited those liens when it bought the property. "The completion of Taluswood is definitely part of a fundamental and long-term commitment by Whistler Mountain to the Creekside base area," Young said.

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