As seen in the May 2015 article in the Hamilton Spectator. 

Jeff Paikin is building his new home — and those of about 150 of his neighbours.

Paikin, a partner in Hamilton-based New Horizon Development Group, bought a luxury waterfront condo last year in an ambitious proposed development in Burlington. It would be the perfect empty-nest home for him and his wife.

Then he got a call in January: did he want to build the project?

The original builder, Markham-based Mady Development Corporation, has run into financial problems with projects in Barrie, Markham, Scarborough and Waterloo.

Paikin took over Mady’s position in a development partnership on the 0.7-hectare, block-long property between Elizabeth and Pearl streets just east of Brant. Plans call for a 22-storey condo tower, a seven-storey condo and a four-star Delta hotel. There will be a courtyard and small retail shops designed to allow for public access to the waterfront trail.

“The design is so fantastic and the location is probably the No. 1 location in all of Ontario, if not Canada, as a place to live.”

The $210-million project has virtually all its approvals in place and about half the units have been sold, says Paikin. He expects construction will begin at the end of the year.

Prices start at about $400,000 and climb to about $3.5 million.

Mady Developments has been around for 40 years, says Paikin. The company owned by Charles Mady at one time had a reported $1 billion of residential and commercial projects under development across southern Ontario.

But he has run into financial troubles recently, including seeking court protection on a mixed-use project in Barrie called the Collier Centre. The Barrie Advance has reported that more than $11 million in liens have been filed against Mady by various suppliers and subcontractors. There are also about $50 million in mortgages and lines of credit, says the paper.

“It goes to show you how fragile this all is,” said Paikin. “The timing of municipal approvals is crucial and I think timing is what killed Mr. Mady; not getting things to where he needed them. The interest meter just keeps ticking.”

But the transition from Mady to New Horizon on the Bridgewater project was fast and seamless, said Ward 2 Coun. Marianne Meed Ward. She heard of Mady’s financial troubles one day and the next that New Horizon had stepped in.

The project has been deemed a “landmark” in Burlington’s official plan.

“It’s intended to be a signature piece,” said Meed Ward. “Any future development on Old Lakeshore Road or across the street needs to defer to the landmark and not overwhelm it.”

The site, in what has been designated the Old Lakeshore Road precinct, was once home to an ice cream shop and the Riviera hotel, which was built in 1964 and changed very little before it was demolished in 2012.

A study is underway on a potential redevelopment of the Waterfront Hotel property at the foot of Brant and the city is fighting an appeal of a rejection of a 28-storey tower at Lakeshore Road and Martha Street, said Meed Ward.

The approvals for the Bridgewater date back to about 2006, she said, and though many residents don’t want to see tall towers at the lakefront, most realize the project will go ahead. The city ensured that public shoreline access will be part of the plan, in exchange for extra height and density.

The Bridgewater will be the biggest build for New Horizon, which has built homes and condos in Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton.

New Horizon is also building a 209-unit condo and townhouse development on the Stoney Creek waterfront just east of Centennial Parkway.