Major Saskatoon landlord Block 1 files for creditor protection

WATCH ABOVE: Several construction companies in Saskatchewan may be out of thousands of dollars after New Summit Partners Corp, which owns a number of properties in Saskatoon, filed for creditor protection. Jacqueline Wilson reports.

Several construction companies in Saskatoon may be out of thousands of dollars after New Summit Partners Corp., a company that owns a handful of properties in the city under Block 1 Property Management, filed for creditor protection on Dec. 16, 2016.

One of those companies is EuroKraft Tiling Design, owned by Warman residents Barbara and Geerd Martin, which hasn’t been paid for its work on 17 bathrooms in The Crossing apartment complex on Idylwyld Drive.

“This was a shock to everybody that had done work with them in the past,” Barbara Martin said Thursday from her home in Warman.

READ MORE: Saskatoon leads country in apartment vacancy rate: CMHC

In 2014 EuroKraft completed 330 bathrooms for New Summit’s Stonebridge complex and the payment was received on time, so the two didn’t think anything of starting on a second project. But several months after completing The Crossing project, they found out several subsidies of the company were granted creditor protection.

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In a letter to creditors New Summit Partners CEO Timothy Clark wrote, “The decision to file for CCAA protection was not taken lightly but is a necessary step for the Entities to address their financial affairs. Our assets remain strong, but unfortunately, we have insufficient cash flow to meeting ongoing operational and construction requirements.”

“Generally, debts incurred by the Entities up to December 16, 2016 cannot be paid at this time.”

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New Summit Partners Corp is the managing legal entity of 45 companies which filed for creditor protection, itself excluded.

Over $12.7 million is owed to companies across North America, but mainly in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. A list released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), who is monitoring the proceedings, shows over 100 companies linked to Saskatoon are affected.

“At the end of the day this is a huge problem with trades. We’re scared to work for big companies because they’ve refined the art of theft,” Barbara said.

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READ MORE: New Saskatoon housing starts off over 50% in November

The Martin’s have registered a lien against New Summit, but aren’t the only ones. In order to prevent this from happened against she would like to see a widely recognized forum and payment system developed for the construction industry.

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“Like the PayPal system. If a company is going to hire you, you agree on a contract price and that sum can be put into a neutral account. Once the job is complete to both parties satisfaction, the funds are released. Then trades people can work with the comfort of knowing they’re going to get paid at the end of the day,” Barbara Martin explained.

Global News reached out to Block 1 Property Management, but the company denied comment.

“Maybe there’s a little bit of hope that we might get something. But we’re not counting on it,” she added.

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