Discussion in 'Real Estate - Individual Project Threads' started by Chris Burland, May 31, 2011.
Brant Park Condo (Lamb Development Corp) a 11 storey condo at 438 Adelaide West. Toronto.
For anyone who is considering purchasing a Lamb Development preconstruction condo,
I just want to warn you in advance of what you’re getting yourself into.
I bought into the Gotham Ottawa three and a half years ago.
After several tentative occupancy delays, we had a firm occupancy date of November 28, 2014.
Two months before our firm occupancy delay, they claimed an unavoidable delay due to a trade going bankrupt (based on my conversations with Tarion, FYI, this likely does not constitute an unavoidable delay as it cannot be the fault of the company or the purchaser and it has to be an *extreme circumstance*). As an unavoidable delay, they would not have to pay us compensation
As I’ve heard from others, this was due to the plumbing trade cutting holes in our building the wrong size and having to redo them all (and not being able to afford it).
We had a new firm occupancy date set for January 30, 2015.
We gave our two months’ notice at our current apartment.
Ten days before we were set to move in, we were informed there was another delay and our firm occupancy date was moved to February 9, 2015.
Because we gave our notice already, we had to move out and we moved into an extended stay temporarily on January 30 and put all our stuff in storage.
On that day, we got a notice that our building occupancy had been delayed to February 18, 2015. (10 days notice)
On February 6, 2015, we got a notice that our occupancy had been delayed to February 24, 2015. (12 days notice)
On February 19, 2015, we got a notice that our occupancy had been delayed to March 4, 2015. (5 days notice)
At the end of day March 2, 2015, we got a notice that our occupancy had been delayed to March 24, 2015. (essentially 1 day's notice).
We were assured that they believed this to be the final delay.
Today, March 20, 2015, we got a notice that we’ve been delayed from March 24 to April 1, 2015 (four days notice)
Tarion has a $7500 max compensation cap which they’ve blown past. So at this point, they’re just completely disregarding all niceties of communication.
They’ve been so terrible at communicating, I’ve actually gotten more information consistently out of the concierge company representative, the internet sales people (who have a deal with the builder), and a certain fast food restaurant worker nearby (who interacts with the construction guys all the time and gets the inside scoop) than I have from the builder representative.
We’re also just lucky that our current extended stay hotel contact is sympathetic to our situation and willing to extend us on last minute notice consistently (minimum there is 14 days notice).
They’ve also eliminated features that were (still are) listed on the features list on their website and promotional material - specifically a vapour-proof pot light that is supposed to go above the bathtub/shower stall - and claimed because there was an asterisk beside the feature that said “availability based on suite design”, that they didn’t have to include it (for the record, I asked the woman doing our PDI and not a single suite in the building has the feature).
There’s a thread of us frustrated owners here if you need further convincing:
And we’re not a one-off case.
See the epic King East thread on this forum for more horror stories involving Lamb - that was where I was first alerted to possible problems although it was too late by that point because I had already bought the condo.
And there used to be a blog detailing the horror stories of dealing with Lamb for a townhouse development where they completely forgot to construct the landing the way it was supposed to be in the floor plan, as well as the cheap quality of the build and all the struggles of getting Lamb to actually fix the issues after move-in. I think it was called Bad J. Lamb but it seems to have been wiped off the face of the internet.
I've heard stories of frustration with Lamb's projects as well. Though he sets out to build some very attractive buildings, he doesn't seem to be a builder at the top of his game. It wouldn't be the first time I heard of quality, timing and customer service issues with his projects. People generally don't complain in public unless they've had a genuinely bad experience or are the types to feel entitled to special treatment for no reason.
Yup, you'll hear the same story from several posters here. Great designs on the outside, but you'll probably go into debt fixing interior deficiencies yourself.
Yup, this is one of those cases where I really can't believe the experience we've had (and are still having). I remember stumbling onto the King East thread about a year ago and being a little worried but thinking maybe lessons were learned from it and it wouldn't be the same in Ottawa.
And yet this is increasingly looking to be an even more disastrous launch than the King East case.
I was on the phone with the lady arranging the internet in the building - and she went back to look through our history and said we first spoke January 12 - and we've now rescheduled the internet setup date ten times and counting. Actually, we've become kind of friends just from chatting so frequently. And she was saying just how angry so many people are right now that they're dealing with.
There are owners who have already had to move twice - one specific case moved out of his current condo because he sold it so he wasn't carrying two mortgages at the same time - and had to move into another place temporarily. He was reassured by the builder that they were on track for his Feb 28 occupancy date so he gave his notice there too. And then he found out he was delayed but couldn't do anything about it because the landlady had already gotten her next tenant. So now his stuff is also all in storage and he's living off of his friend's couch. And last I heard, his occupancy date was mid-April, it's surely been delayed again as well as he's on a higher floor.
Delays like this is pretty much the norm for most developments these days, even from some of the most reputable developers, as developers are busier than ever with a shortage of trade and some building supplies.
As long as the developer is delivering the quality and design they were supposed produce, I personally would be happy to put up with the delays. There are many developers that will cut corners in order to minimize delays which is a compromise I am not willing to accept. It's the risk and realities you have to accept when purchasing preconstruction.
I still think Lamb is one of the better developers out there and one of the few I could buy into. I also really like how Lamb's buildings turn out, but all developers are experiencing growing pains (Lamb is no exception) and taking on a lot more than they could handle, so there will always be issues with everyone.
I lived in many condos and the Lamb one I live in now is by far the best. They communicated the best (although not great) and the finishes were outstanding. We've had very little issues. Having said that, I appreciate that each project/experience is different.
My issues with Lamb ended when I sold my unit. I have never been happier.
And yes, they offered many things in the sales packaging and even in the purchase agreement and did not include them. Just terrible overall experience.
Yes, the finishes are nice...and that's about it. Building homes is more than engineered hardwood and quartz countertops. If more people speak up, maybe it'll force Lamb to start focussing on the other less cache aspects of building like customer service, workmanship and integrity.
We as in the general public will never have to see the inside. We comment on what we see, which is the exterior. The interiors look no different than a Lamb condo (like it or not).
I mean, if these aren't soft lofts then what am I missing.
I am commenting on the building's form and function, which includes interiors.
The premise that these units are "loft-style" is laughable. LAUGHABLE!
Soft loft = minimum 10' ceiling, exposed ductwork/pipes, loft-style windows, open floor plans; none of which are evident in BP.
Anyway, my criticism goes far beyond the superficial style. You're missing the point.
Not sure why anyone would assume I am writing from L.A.
Lifelong primary Toronto resident here, although I have lived in various other cities.
Where did you get that definition from? Soft loft to me has always been a new condo with some loft elements ie: concrete walls/ceilings.
There is no "concrete" (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!?!?) definition of a "soft" loft, but to characterize these units as such is completely ignorant.
I guess I am just disappointed because it IS a rather attractive building from the outside, but aside from a few penthouses, I can't imagine anyone who isn't accustomed to tuna can accomodations would want to live there. /2c
You'd be surprised.
That's one word for it. Also, baffled, appalled, amazed, etc.
This building is beautiful both in and out. My finishes that I chose look awesome and my layout is very functional for the size I purchased.
The exposed concrete walls and ceiling was an added bonus for me - I love the concrete look and was specifically looking for a condo with this type of finish. It's not for everyone but it definitely does sell.
I recently seen a friend's brand new condo close by that closed a few months ago... Wow what a difference. You can tell that the basic finishes were far better in the Brant Park.
The one negative thing I would say is the hallway wall colour... Looks too dark but will wait till it's all finished to make a final judgement call.
Other than that. I am pleased to say that I am very satisfied with my purchase.