Comment 59623

By jason (registered) | Posted February 12, 2011 at 08:45:44

He's planning 5 projects on these sites? Man, I wish I owned a company that specialized in low quality stucco.

If this guy wants any goodwill or confidence from the city or public, he should build his condo project 7 steps from the Federal Building on his illegal parking lot. Surely if there is a market for a 20 storey condo at the fed building site, there is a market for one 7 feet away.

This is why we need an architectural design board. Based on Vranich's track record, this will be the ugliest complex of buildings ever built in the city. I'd much rather see empty lots for another decade than low quality buildings.

Also, is nobody else concerned that the new 20 storey proposal will hold less units than the original proposal for the federal building? In other words, expect most of this site to house a parking lot.

I came across this beauty quote from Bratina in 2007: "they don't just sit on properties. They do things with them".

ARTICLE: Developer owns troubled building What will Denis Vranich do with Dundurn eyesore that cost $1.5 million?

Steve Arnold and Lisa Grace Marr The Hamilton Spectator (Oct 2, 2007)

Denis Vranich is the latest owner of 220 Dundurn St. -- a sorry four-acre plot of land with a large building that has at times acted as a hosiery factory, school board storage facility and flophouse.

Land registry records show Vranich purchased the site Jan. 31 for $1.5 million under the name 220 Dundurn St. Inc.

The building on the site has been plagued with problems that have intensified since 2004 when its third-floor caught fire under then-suspicious circumstances. In 2005, under the ownership of a numbered company in Thornhill, the city had dozens of calls a week from residents complaining about the derelict state of the building.

Brian McHattie, Ward 1 councillor, said the plot at the corner of Chatham and Dundurn streets has been at the top of his priority list since he was elected four years ago.

"It is one of the great frustrations in the city how these abandoned buildings can bring down neighbourhoods," he said.

McHattie said he met with Vranich twice since he purchased the property and while there were no definite plans discussed, Vranich indicated he hoped to submit building plans to the city by the end of November.

"I'm not getting too excited except I'll give him a call about it at that time."

McHattie said the city has received two property standard complaints since Vranich purchased the property.

"We've sent over cleanup crews and just added it to his tax bill -- just what we've done with previous owners."

Paul Buckle, acting co-ordinator of the municipal law enforcement division, said two orders to clear up the property and a third to secure it against trespassers have been issued. The boarding up of windows was done by a city contractor. The status of the cleanup work remains uncertain, but Buckle said if work is being done at the property now, it is likely ordered by Vranich.

Vranich did not return phone calls from The Hamilton Spectator. His father, developer Darko Vranich, refused to comment.

Since 1998, the building has been through five owners -- the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board sold it for $400,000 to a company called Dundurn Street Loffts Inc. which planned to turn it into loft apartments. A year after the purchase Dundurn Loffts gave a $1.5 million mortgage to Mississauga-based Retrocom Growth Fund Inc. Retrocom took possession of the property under power of sale in 2003 and sold it to 1574296 Ontario Inc., of Thornhill, for $2 million. The numbered company then sold it this year to Vranich for $1.5 million.

Neighbour Mark Powell, was delighted by the chance something might finally happen with a building which has been a blight on the neighbourhood for years. "If we can do anything to expedite something happening there I'm sure the whole community will get behind it," he said.

Ward 2 Councillor Bob Bratina said it was his understanding that Denis has a business separate from his father.

But Bratina said that both father and son don't "just sit on properties, (they) do things with them."

Darko Vranich owns the former Hamilton Motor Products (HMP) building on Bay Street and is proposing a 120-room Hilton Homewood Suites Hotel at that site. He is also behind plans for a 100-room Holiday Inn Express at King and Queen streets and a 60-room Days Inn at Main and Spring streets.

Bratina said Darko Vranich told him he intends to submit plans to the city's building department in October, which will have details about the Hilton hotel complex.

"He's had to change his plans for the (HMP) building at the behest of the heritage committee," said Bratina.

Darko Vranich, with partner Steve Pocrnic, is also behind a plan to transform ratty buildings on Main Street West, Hess Street South and Queen Street South into modern loft-office combinations, while Denis Vranich and partner John Bukovac are behind plans for a $30-million hotel-office project at Golf Links and Stone Church roads in Ancaster's Meadowlands.

Denis Vranich, 31, pleaded guilty in court in September to sexually assaulting a female bartender at a Hess Street business where he is property owner and manager. He is to be sentenced Oct. 30.

He is not the first owner of the Dundurn Street building to find himself in court -- in 2005 Dundurn Loffts owner Adam J. Stelmaszynski of Brantford and two of his companies were convicted of four charges under the federal Excise Tax Act in a Brantford court.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-02-12 08:47:08

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