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Mrdjenovich buys Bayview Estates
Developer says construction could resume next summer

Guy Quenneville
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Prominent developer Mike Mrdjenovich has bought the troubled Bayview Estates property on Niven Drive, meaning the project could resume construction next summer.

The owner of Edmonton-based Nova Builders, which completed a 60,000 square foot office building on 52 Street earlier this year, confirmed the Bayview purchase took place a few weeks ago.

"We just bought it," said Mrdjenovich on Monday. "Now we have to go and look at it and think of ideas. We've got to build something."

The uncompleted townhouses - original developer Bond Street Properties proposed to construct 24 units - have languished on the 7.31 acre lot for more than two years.

The property was listed for sale at $5.6 million on real estate company Coldwell Banker's website in July. Mrdjenovich would not reveal how much he paid.

An assessment of the property, conducted by Vancouver-based investment and lending firm Fisgard Capital - which lent money to Bond Street and foreclosed on the property last summer - found that "we would have to replace some sheeting ... but the foundation and main structure is fine," said Mrdjenovich.

He added his company will hire its own engineers to do a second assessment.

"(They'll) take a look to make sure that everything's up to standards," he said.

Construction could resume next summer, he said.

"We're going to start finishing whatever (was) started and make plans for some new buildings," he said, adding that Nova Builders is considering adding some apartment buildings to the mix.

"We're going to try to make it so that everybody's happy, let's put it that way, which is easier said than done. There's always somebody who has something to say about it."

Given the current financial climate, "I think he's going about it the right way," said Ken Pearman, realtor with Coldwell Banker, of Mrdjenovich's tentative plans.

"I don't know how wide the market would be for townhouses, so I think a combination of the two would work best."