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Sun sets on developer, leaving buyers in the lurch

The-Acre-2.jpg

An artist's impression of the unfinished Acre complex

The Sydney property developer that was the first to fall foul of NSW’s ‘sunset clawbacks’ laws has gone bust – leaving the buyers of its latest apartments, already three years’ behind schedule, devastated in its wake.

Developer-builder Parker Logan first hit the headlines in 2018 for allegedly delaying construction work on an apartment block in Surry Hills past the sunset clause date after which it could legally rescind buyers’ contracts.

Previously, a Domain Group and Flat Chat campaign had revealed that a number of developers were revoking contracts, returning deposits and re-selling apartments after deliberately delaying completion so that they could hike the prices in a booming market.

That prompted then NSW Minister for Better Regulation Victor Dominello to bring in changes to the law to protect off-the-plan apartment buyers, writes Sue Williams. 

Under the new regulations, developers had to convince the NSW Supreme Court that their delays were unavoidable, rather than deliberately stalled completions to invoke ‘sunset clawbacks’.

Months later, Parker Logan’s attempts to rescind contracts were tested in court when buyers in their ‘Harmony’ apartments in Surry Hills refused to allow their contracts to be cancelled and protested that Mr Redelman had actually moved into one of the buyer’s apartments.

After the hearing, the judge ruled the purchasers had the right to keep their new homes at the agreed sales price, with all costs awarded against the company.

“Home-buyers can now make their decisions knowing they aren’t defenceless against developers who try to abuse their power,” Mr Dominello said at the time. “It gives me enormous comfort to know that they now have a lot more protection.”

None of this, it has to be said, is of any comfort to off-the-plan purchasers in The Acre apartment complex, which Parker Logan began building on the site of Bellevue Hill’s Cooper Park bowling green.

That scheme, embroiled in controversy over density and roof heights, was supposed to have been completed in March 2018.

“It’s still going,” said Carlo Fini, principal of Lewis & Charles Lawyers. “Now we all believe the completion date of this job is somewhere in the never-never. The strata plan was registered last year, but hardly anything has been done in the interim.”

And on May 11 there was even worse news for off-the-plan purchasers when Parker Logan went into voluntary administration. A creditors’ meeting is to be held by Zoom on May 20 but an ASIC search revealed the company CEO Joel Redelman is now resident in Israel.

In the interim, their complex has now been taken over by another developer, Maryland Developments, but it has also earned the ire of the NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler who has just revoked the registration of the strata scheme and denied it an occupation certificate until a “serious defect in the building” is rectified.

A spokesperson for his office said, “The developer Maryland Developments and builder Parker Logan are related entities. NSW Fair Trading has issued a prohibition order to Maryland this week to ensure that the issues related to 9A Cooper Park Road, Bellevue Hill, are satisfactorily closed out before an occupation certificate is issued.”

You can read the full story, here in Domain online.

One Reply to “Sun sets on developer, leaving buyers in the lurch”

  1. Jimmy-T says:

    If you want to start a discussion or ask a question about this, log into the Flat Chat Forum (using the Forum link on the menu at the very top of your screen). More people will read it there and you can more easily keep track of responses.

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