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Stinson files for bankruptcy protection

3Dementia

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Flux Capacitor

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Harry's come back?

Gosh, this is an scary photo

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/...stinson-turns-to-hamilton-and-vice-versa.aspx


Harry Stinson, Toronto’s dethroned condo king, has resurfaced in Hamilton, where he is in negotiations involving two of Steeltown’s most significant downtown properties.
Mr. Stinson said today he has had discussions with the Labourers’ International Union of North America, which bought two landmark Hamilton properties, the Lister Block and the Royal Connaught Hotel for $1.6-million in 1999, and was interested in getting involved in the stalled redevelopment project.
But Mr. Stinson stressed discussions with Joe Mancinelli of the labourers’ union were in a very early stage.
“As far as I’m concerned [it’s] Joe’s property and I respect his rights,†Mr. Stinson said. “[It’s] a very tentative and early relationship. We’re many months off.â€
In the past Mr. Stinson has been called Toronto’s answer to Donald Trump, but he has recently fallen on hard times. In March, Mr. Stinson’s two companies, Stinson Hospitality Inc., and Dominion Club of Canada Corp., had accrued $20-million in debt. He later filed for bankruptcy protection after a $12-million dispute over the condo hotel at 1 King West with prominent theatre producer David Mirvish, who largely financed the project.
Mr. Stinson conceded the Hamilton properties were appealing, given their central location and iconic status in the city, but because of his financial difficulties it’s not clear what role he would play in the redevelopment.
“I and many many people have looked at the properties and thought these would be great developments. I’m intrigued by Hamilton but I have other things to sort out first. It’s certainly more interesting to me than Toronto at least on an emotional level,†said Mr. Stinson.
As it stands, the city of Hamilton is slated to be the anchoring tenant in the Lister Block once it is renovated, but Mayor Fred Eisenberger said they “have a long way to go†to reach an agreement on a lease price. If the deal between the union and the city falls through, Mr. Mancinelli told the Hamilton Spectator he might consider bringing Mr. Stinson on board in an expanded partnership in order to find a new solution.
Mr. Eisenberger said he has met with Mr. Stinson to discuss investing in the city, but had not heard of any specific agreement between him and Mr. Mancinelli.
“I am aware that they have met, yes. We could all hope that they get together to do something,†said Mr. Eisenberger. “The city has put all the programs in place to encourage investment from the private sector into downtown.â€
Mr. Stinson said an article in Wednesday’s Hamilton Spectator, which reported he plans to purchase and redevelop the two Hamilton properties, was “speculative†and “premature.â€
“[The Spectator] wrote a story much to the astonishment of myself and others,†he said. “Are we talking about things? Sure. Life consists of people talking about things.â€
In the article, Mr. Mancinelli said Mr. Stinson could play a “significant role†in the redevelopment of the Connaught Hotel, given his experience and high-profile as a developer in Toronto.
— Story by Ben Shingler, photo by Peter J. Thompson, National Post
 

Flux Capacitor

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http://network.nationalpost.com/np/...04/harry-to-save-hamilton-and-vice-versa.aspx

Monday afternoon: Harry Stinson, the once and future developer, has four tickets to Bruce Springsteen tonight at Copps Coliseum. He walks over to the downtown office of his new best friend, longtime Hamilton architect John Mokrycke. He takes the stairs two at a time in his black RBK running shoes, and hands over two tickets.
“OK,†smiles Mr. Mokrycke, “I’ll meet you at 5:30 p.m. at the restaurant.â€
The friendship began last fall after Mr. Mokrycke read in the National Post of Mr. Stinson’s plan to move to the United States, fed up with a Toronto that tarred and feathered him.
“I thought, ‘What a waste,’†says Mr. Mokrycke. “I considered Harry a visionary.†He was most impressed with Mr. Stinson’s 51-storey condo tower atop the historic Toronto-Dominion Bank at 1 King St. W., which opened in 2005.
“The building got built, and it’s an amazing building,†Mr. Mokrycke continues. “It seemed awfully suspicious to me that, right at the end, when the project was done, there were problems. Perhaps the money people didn’t need Harry anymore.â€
Mr. Mokrycke cold-called Mr. Stinson and invited him to address a United Way lunch. Harry liked Hamilton; on Jan. 1, he, his wife Linda, and their daughter moved here, buying a spacious house on the hill overlooking the city.
“The other day I had an 8 a.m. dentist appointment in Toronto,†says Mr. Stinson. “I got up at 6:20, ran down the stairs [which hug the mountain] and I was on the 6:34 GO Train.â€
Now Mr. Stinson is raising $9.5-million to buy the Royal Connaught Hotel, on King Street in the heart of Hamilton, a 13-storey palace built 1914 and 1930, with plans to insert 100 hotel rooms and 200 condo units for a Christmas, 2009, opening, and eventually add a 50 to 80-storey tower. The building is presently gutted.
Mr. Stinson had a productive run in Toronto as condo salesman and developer, building the Candy Factory lofts on Queen Street West (1993), a seven-storey loft building on Roncesvalles (now filling with occupants), and One King West. But he filed for creditor protection for the Dominion Club at One King West last year and subsequently for his 90-storey Sapphire Tower on Temperance Street, saying he could no longer build that tower “because of all the clouds hanging around.†Banks kicked him out of the Roncesvalles project.
I punched Mr. Stinson’s name into the Toronto courthouse computer and it lit up like a Christmas tree; along with his court battle with David Mirvish, who now controls 1 King West, everyone from Precise Contracting to TD Bank to Trevor Moo to Segura Investments is after him.
Mr. Moo’s claim says he loaned Mr. Stinson $400,000 in 2005-2006, “and Harry Stinson personally, jointly and severally promised to repay the sum†by May 2007, plus 20% interest. Mr. Stinson, the claim states, did not.
Jay Rayan of Tampa, Fl., sued Mr. Stinson last May for $480,000, the amount the plaintiff invested in a suite on the 60th floor of the proposed Sapphire, after, “it became readily apparent that my wife, Usha and I would not be getting what we paid ... for,†Mr. Rayan states in an affidavit.
Mr. Rayan attached to his claim Mr. Stinson’s “Update on the Sapphire Tower, 2006,†which offers a glimpse into the developer’s head.
‘‘The development business is very much like professional wrestling,†Mr. Stinson wrote. “Despite all the public drama and posturing, in fact behind the scenes, there is a rather predictable script and the outcome is not often a total surprise to the contestants.â€
Predictable outcome: Mr. Stinson’s innovative projects usually get built, those who bet on him see mixed results, and Mr. Stinson, the pencil-weight wrangler, winds up lying on the mat.
Still, Hamilton and Harry seem made for each other. The downtown crawls with sublime stone masterpieces, many boarded up. Mr. Stinson, of the untucked shirt and windbreaker, belongs.
“I dress the same, pretty much, but here I fit right in,†he observes.
He takes me on a breakneck two-hour walk, through downtown and then up Locke Street, where Hamilton’s first Starbucks is “coming soon†to Aberdeen Street, lined with mansions. Mr. Stinson “100% financed†his own house; I ask whether he is worth $1.
“No, I’m worth negative many dollars,†he says. “The people who invested in 1 King and Sapphire, we obviously have a collective problem. I could have thrown in the towel, and instead I chose a workout [creditor arrangement], which should take about five years.†Creditors, including Mr. Moo and Mr. Rayan, whose claims Mr. Stinson does not dispute, will vote in two weeks on Mr. Stinson’s offer to repay them. “Sapphire was partly vindicated because the land was sold for $24-million. We bought it for $7-million.â€
Meanwhile, Mr. Stinson has stayed afloat selling seven of his nine vintage cars; the red 1960 Cadillac and the 1988 Bentley are for sale. He remains feisty about his ouster from 1 King.
“I’d rather not speculate about how 1 King will be resolved,†he says. “Obviously, Elvis has left the building. Left the town, in fact.â€
As we part at the GO station, I ask why he is attempting another high-stakes, complex, highly public redevelopment. How about opening a bakery, making muffins? With a baleful stare like a hound dog, he shakes hisead.
“If nothing else, it’s been a good education up to this point,†Mr. Stinson says. “I need to pull off something big. There’s a lot of people I need to make whole.â€
 

ganjavih

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Patient: Harry Stinson

Progress note: delusional thoughts and narcissistic character traits persist.
 

syn

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“I thought, ‘What a waste,’” says Mr. Mokrycke. “I considered Harry a visionary.” He was most impressed with Mr. Stinson’s 51-storey condo tower atop the historic Toronto-Dominion Bank at 1 King St. W., which opened in 2005.
“The building got built, and it’s an amazing building,” Mr. Mokrycke continues. “It seemed awfully suspicious to me that, right at the end, when the project was done, there were problems. Perhaps the money people didn’t need Harry anymore.”

Wow, this guy is really out of touch.

Him and Stinson seem like a perfect match.
 

Flux Capacitor

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Stinson's Connaught offer firm
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 22, 2008)


Developer Harry Stinson has firmed up his deal to buy the Connaught, setting the stage for him to take possession of the historic downtown Hamilton hotel by the end of June, possibly sooner.

Stinson recently moved to Hamilton from Toronto, where he left a mixed record of impressive successes and ongoing legal snarls.

He is planning to convert three-quarters of the original Connaught into condos and the rest into a boutique hotel, and to build two other buildings on the site, including a condo tower of up to 60 storeys. He estimates the whole project will be worth $300 million by the time it's finished around 2010.

Stinson, 54, says he has lined up private investors to cover the $9.5-million purchase price and that his study of the property proves to him that his plans are viable.

"We are comfortable that we are going to be able to close," he said, adding he hopes to move up the closing date so he can open a sales office in June.

Stinson has now waived the conditions on the offer he made last month, when he asked for 30 days to assemble the money and perform due diligence. His $100,000 deposit is now irrevocable.

Stinson is buying the hotel from a group of Hamilton investors who had begun restoring the Connaught and had been assembling the money to finish their project when Stinson's unsolicited offer came in.

Tony Battaglia, a member of the group that bought the hotel in 2005, said he is pleased Stinson has firmed up the deal and believes it will be good for downtown.

"I'm happy things are going to work out," he said.

"We certainly had our challenges with it. I'm hoping that with his plans he won't have the same challenges -- that he'll be able to move the project forward as quickly as possible."

Stinson said he has assembled a broad network of private investors. Most live outside Hamilton, he said, but most have connections to the city, such as having worked here or gone to McMaster University.

He declined to name them.

Stinson has been inside the Connaught several times since his original offer and has been developing architectural, logistical and marketing plans as he prepares to tackle the next challenge: getting the money together to restore the 1916 hotel and erect two new buildings.

"I'm feeling very good about it now," he said.

"We've been able to massage this so that the numbers make sense and we're comfortable enough to be able to proceed."

He plans to build a new condominium tower facing Main Street -- perhaps 50 to 60 storeys, according to his current thinking. That's lower than the 80-storey tower he talked about last month.

"This will be an evolutionary process for the next several months."

Stinson is also working on plans to complete the complex with a smaller building on Catharine Street, composed of street-level stores and upper-level lofts.

whemsworth@thespec.com

905-526-3254
 

Edward Skira

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Stinson's One King West goes to condo corporation

http://www.thestar.com/article/500449

Stinson's One King West goes to condo corporation

Judge approves offer of $13.9 million, but some owners protest decision
Sep 17, 2008 04:30 AM

TONY WONG
BUSINESS REPORTER

A sale of Harry Stinson's One King West condominium and hotel business operations has been conditionally approved, but not without controversy.

The new buyer is the condominium corporation, representing the unit owners themselves.

Receiver Ira Smith appeared before Madam Justice Sarah Pepall of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice yesterday to request that the court accept the condominium corporation's $13.9 million offer for the Stinson properties.

"The receiver worked to maximize the value recoverable and the proposed transaction represents the best possible outcome that could be obtained in the circumstances," Pepall said in her ruling approving the proposal.

The deal still requires the approval of a two-thirds majority of condo owners, Smith said.

"I think this is a good ending for everyone since the residential condominium corporation is a natural purchaser for the assets," he said in an interview.

Stinson had a very public falling out with partner David Mirvish, the theatre impresario, over mortgage obligations to the Mirvish Group.

Stinson's companies owed nearly $20 million to creditors and a court-ordered receiver began managing the Stinson firms, which include a housekeeping, food and beverage and hotel management company.

But the deal doesn't sit well with some owners, especially those who do not rent out their condos as hotel rooms. All suites are individually owned, but owners can choose to participate in a hotel pool that rents out the suites for a fee.

"Why am I forced into a commercial venture and paying for it when I purchased my condo without any encumbrances?" condo owner Mark Borowski asked in a letter to fellow owners.

Borowski, who runs a financial services company in his unit, feels the condo corporation has "grossly overpaid" for the assets and will have a shortfall based on projected revenues. Some unitholders who are not part of the hotel pool have hired a lawyer to review the sale, he said.

Meanwhile, the condo board, which includes shareholder activist Bob Verdun, argues that annual net revenues from the Stinson companies are roughly $1.8 million – enough to pay the debt without further cost to condo owners.

With purchase cost, closing, acquisition and future building improvements, condo owners are expected to eventually pay $17.9 million for the operation.

If owners vote against the proposal, the receiver will go back to court to seek direction, Smith said. That could mean contacting prior bidders to determine the next-best offer. The corporation's offer was not the highest among six received.
 

Hank

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I'm a suite owner at 1KW and I have to say, I don't know how Mark Borkowski keeps getting quoted in these stories as any sort of reputable source...anybody that reads his posts on the private 1KW google group would put a lot less faith in his opinions, that's for sure.

I do think that it's a lot of money to pay, but it's the only real alternative...the hotel's never going to be successful for suite owners unless they own the whole building. The proposal also involves a plan to lower condo fees by 20% over five years, which will benefit everyone (not just the people in the hotel rental program).

Despite the fact that Harry's probably the worst businessman I've ever seen, the funny thing is that his companies actually made a bunch of money...he just couldn't afford to pay the crazy mortgage payments he owed to Mirvish (why he agreed to that sort of setup in the first place is beyond me).
 

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