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Stinson files for bankruptcy protection

Blixtein

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so will Stinson have go to jail at the end of all this?


I don't think so. It's not like he committed fraud. He obviously had every intention of building Sapphire, except that he went bankrupt. I thought those investors were incredibly naive to hand over so much money. They surely must have had bad real estate lawyers to allow them to go along with this scheme. Clearly greed can mess up people's heads.

I very briefly considered buying into Sapphire but after meeting Stinson at Financial Forum a couple years back I came to my senses. I thought his style was way too unconventional for me to hand him over my money. I think a lof of these investors could have done themselves a great favour by checking out this forum prior to striking deals with this guy.
 

GovernorARNOLD

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Stinson to leave Toronto?

http://communities.canada.com/natio...hive/2007/09/04/stinson-to-leave-toronto.aspx


Harry Stinson has had a tough year. His long-running battle with David Mirvish over the One King West development ended in a resounding defeat for the developer when a judge ordered the building be put into receivership last week.

Stinson was even forced to leave the building hurriedly, when he was given only 15 minutes to vacate the building.

Well, the fight with Mirvish seems to have left a very bitter taste in the former condo king's mouth. Chris Wattie chatted with Stinson and reveals that the developer is pondering leaving Toronto, saying that the city, nay the entire country, is not conducive to entrepreneurs and business.

"If one wants to be an entrepreneur, with original ideas, Canada is the wrong country to be born in," he says. "This country focuses on telling you why you can't do something,"
The fact that Stinson is considering a move to the U.S. in the midst of one of the worst real estate crises in recent memory is sobering.


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GovernorARNOLD

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Stinson ponders move to U.S.
Canada not place for original ideas, developer says
Chris Wattie, National Post
Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Harry Stinson says he has all but given up on the city he helped to build.

One week after a court ruling forced the colourful developer out of One King West in Toronto, the landmark building he now admits was "my obsession," Mr. Stinson says he is already thinking of moving on and leaving the country.

"I'm looking at leaving Toronto, I'd say Canada altogether," he says wearily, leaning back in the plain office chair that is one of the few pieces of furniture in the tiny studio office where he has worked since a court order placed a receiver in charge of One King West.


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Font: ****"I'm very interested in opening up in the States. Even with the credit crunch that's on there now. If you have a legit business project, then there are thousands of financing options. And they're willing to say: 'Hey, I like that idea. Let's look at this; let's look at it on its merits.' "

And the often controversial Mr. Stinson, once hailed as the condo king of Toronto, says that the fate of his beloved condominium hotel project is an object lesson in what happens to innovative projects in this country. "If one wants to be an entrepreneur, with original ideas, Canada is the wrong country to be born in," he says. "This country focuses on telling you why you can't do something."

Mr. Stinson's creditors beg to differ. The ambitious One King West project, a combination condominium and hotel built around a heritage property on one of the busiest corners in downtown Toronto, is now awash in debt and a tangle of lawsuits, claims and accusations.

David Mirvish, who provided the bulk of the financing for the project, finally sought a court order this summer to put a receiver in charge of One King West after months of negotiations and missed payments on more than $10-million owed him by Mr. Stinson.

The 575-unit building, constructed around a historic pub and bank building on the corner of Yonge and King streets, was already in bankruptcy protection but Mr. Stinson continued to run the hotel operations of the project, working almost around the clock and often living in its upscale rooms. "It was night and day," he says.

"I was the front-line guy ... if a hotel guest got locked in the bathroom, I had a tool chest. If a car broke down, I would go and help start it ... I knew where everything was in the building, I could jump into virtually any job.

"Christmas Eve last year, I was cooking, 'cause we had a huge run on the room service because all the restaurants were closed."

But financial difficulties mounted. An April 20 agreement had given Mr. Stinson until the end of July to settle his $10.4-million debt with Mr. Mirvish, but he was unable to come up with the funds.

Last month, the theatre impresario turned real estate investor appears to have lost patience with his former partner and Mr. Mirvish went to court to ask that a receiver be put in charge of One King West. On Aug. 24 a judge agreed, placing all four Stinson-owned companies -- Stinson Hospitality Inc., Dominion Club of Canada Corp., and the two companies that operated the hotel part of the project and all their assets -- in the hands of a court-appointed trustee.

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It also ordered Mr. Stinson to vacate the property he had worked on and helped to run since it opened in August, 2005.

For the first few days after the ruling, Mr. Stinson says he was in a fugue state. "It has been numbing ... to be wrenched out of something you've been working on for 11 years," he says. "It's like you've been taken in one of those Star Trek transporter machines and you're in limbo. You're physically in the same city, but it's a totally different environment."

The financial woes of One King West and the collapse of another high-profile Stinson project, the 165-metre Sapphire Tower that was to be built near Bay and Richmond streets, left hundreds of smaller investors and tradesmen holding millions more in debts but Mr. Stinson blames the failure of One King West on under-financing and lack of imagination in Canada's financial industry.


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Font: ****"The Achilles heel that is still unsolved is the legal [and] financial structure of the building. There are reasons why it was structured the way it was structured. But in the end, because the structure of the operation was so unique, the financial industry and the legal community did not, and still does not, understand it," Mr. Stinson says, running a hand through his perpetually tousled hair.

"The problem is that we don't really have a hotel there, in the conventional sense ... and we're not structured conventionally."

He pauses thoughtfully. "I keep saying 'we' as if I was still there," he adds.

The more than 400 condominiums at One King West available to use as hotel rooms were not owned by the hotel, but were instead leased from unit owners who let the hotel rent them out to guests when the owners were not using them. The result, Mr. Stinson says, was "really more like a kibbutz than a hotel."

Despite his public, often bitter courtroom battle with Mr. Mirvish, he says his former partner deserves much of the credit for getting One King West built.

"One King West owes its existence to David Mirvish's role, for better or worse," he says. "It would never have been built without him. I'm obviously disappointed how it's turned out for me, but the building got built and the hotel's turned out to be quite a dynamic operation.

"We both, still, can look at it and say: 'Wow. What a great building.' ... We created a landmark."

Mr. Stinson acknowledges that he is essentially broke, but hopes the sale of the land where Sapphire Tower was to be built will allow him to repay his investors. But he does not expect any profit from his final project, High Park Lofts in Roncesvalles Village, which is close to occupancy but which he says cost too much to complete.

And he admits that he cannot yet bring himself to even look at One King West.

"It was 11 years and at the end, to come away with nothing and millions and millions in personal debt. It's really difficult to be philosophical about that or even understand it.

"What did all that get me? It just doesn't seem right."

cwattie@nationalpost.com
 

ganjavih

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Stinson's pattern of blaming others for his own shortcomings continues. With his attitude, he'll fail in the States too.
 

DTGeek

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"I was the front-line guy ... if a hotel guest got locked in the bathroom, I had a tool chest. If a car broke down, I would go and help start it ... I knew where everything was in the building, I could jump into virtually any job.

"Christmas Eve last year, I was cooking, 'cause we had a huge run on the room service because all the restaurants were closed."

LOL. Is this just part of the spin job, or is it serious? If these anecdotes are actually a real indication of his (lack of) ability to prioritize and delegate, rather than trivial attempts to foster good will, then his management skills are even worse than I thought and it's a miracle 1 King ever got off the ground.

There are reasons why it was structured the way it was structured. But in the end, because the structure of the operation was so unique, the financial industry and the legal community did not, and still does not, understand it," Mr. Stinson says, running a hand through his perpetually tousled hair.

Or, more likely, you're just an idiot, Harry. Maybe if you had actually hired a lawyer instead of trying to do everything yourself you would have known about the legal and tax troubles he'd have *before* you started the project. Oh, but those lawyers told you your idea wouldn't work... clearly they just didn't understand your idea, it had nothing to do with those, what do you call them... laws?

But he does not expect any profit from his final project, High Park Lofts in Roncesvalles Village, which is close to occupancy but which he says cost too much to complete.

Shocking.

"It was 11 years and at the end, to come away with nothing and millions and millions in personal debt. It's really difficult to be philosophical about that or even understand it.

"What did all that get me? It just doesn't seem right."

He doesn't understand his own stupidity. And now he wants to go to the US and repeat it. How naive can this guy be? Somebody should stage an intervention.
 

rbt

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American financiers regularly fund projects in Canada. How come he doesn't find an open-minded American financing option and continue to live and work in Toronto? I expect he knows this market best.
 

AndreaPalladio

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The Globe and Mail business channel had him on last night running off at the mouth about the same stuff. Slow news day, I guess.
 

junctionist

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Stinson gone bankrupt?

923737247_6361b92cb1_m.jpg
 

vultur

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Why all the focus on this guy? He's built what, 1 & 1/2 condo buildings? Tridel does more in 6 months then he'll do in his lifetime.

Why all the attention?
 

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