Yan Raymond and Robert Sévigny, representing the numbered company, 9414-9812 Québec Inc., met with Hawkesbury council during its September 14 teleconference session to argue for a six-month extension of the sale agreement between the company and the Town of Hawkesbury for the Main Street municipal property. But Mayor Paula Assaly said that is not possible.
“We are not in a position at the moment to consider your request,” said Mayor Assaly, adding that all of council needs time first for a thorough discussion of the issue.
The development company had negotiated a deal with the municipality for purchase of the former Catholic school site with the goal of creating a high-end seniors retirement condo project. But the company failed to meet the July deadline condition for providing proof of financing for the project.
The original plan was to seek financing from the National Bank for the project but Raymond told council that the COVID-19 pandemic situation has “changed the dynamic” for senior retirement development projects. He said neither the National Bank nor any other financial institutions are willing to finance such projects now unless there is a partnership for the development.
Both Raymond and Sévigny said their company has potential partners that would secure the financing for the project. But the company needs to secure title to the land first.
They asked council to approve a letter that states the company will have title to the municipal land. Both Mayor Assaly and Councillor Antonios Tsourounakis explained that council cannot do that because the original purchase agreement between the municipality and the company has expired.
“We can’t legally extend an agreement that has run out,” said Councillor Tsourounakis, adding that council is not refusing to let the company have the land. “We’re not saying ‘No’. We just need to start fresh.”
Sévigny expressed concern that any more delays could jeopardize the project.
“The problem is we lose time,” he said.