Armstrong council defeated a staff recommendation to renew a listing with a Vernon real estate company that has been trying, unsuccessfully, since July to sell a city-owned unit in Heaton Place retirement centre.
The city’s unit has been listed with Value Plus 3 Per Cent Real Estate Inc. for $179,000 and the listing expires Dec. 31. The city has also found out the entire Heaton Place facility has been put on the market for $20 million. The complex includes 76 units, 58 of which are owned outright and are for sale.
Staff recommended renewing the listing for six months.
“I really feel this listing should be placed with Armstrong realtors, at least one here that has an office here and is paying taxes here,” said Coun. Gary Froats. “They deserve the city’s business.”
Count. Steven Drapala said going local was tried at first but a decision to go with the Vernon company was made because its selling statistics were higher.
“We were trying to get the unit sold as quickly as possible,” said Drapala, chairperson of the city’s finance committee. “I think it would be fair to give them another six months and if it’s not sold, then go back to an Armstrong realtor.”
Count. Paul Britton said there’s not many things that come to city hall where council can go local, because, by law, they are required to choose the lowest bidder on items put out for tender. This, though, is different.
“This is one instance where we could go with somebody local if they choose to take it. It’s an opportunity. I think we should give them a chance,” said Britton, who also said earlier he was OK with giving Value Plus another chance.
The motion to re-list with the Vernon company was defeated with Drapala and Coun. Lance McGregor in opposition.
Froats’ motion to have staff negotiate terms for the listing with an Armstrong realtor and be brought back to council for approval was unanimously supported.