The latest chapter in the Kelowna Mountain debacle is a court-ordered sale of half of the property for $8 million.
The portion listed for sale with HM Commercial Group, a division of Macdonald Realty Kelowna, measures 129 hectares and contains the 604-square-metre welcome centre, a portion of the tiered patio used as an amphitheatre and the land for a proposed golf course.
It does not include the other 129 hectares that make up the development, which contain a wine cave and suspension bridges to view platforms.
Mortgage holders who haven’t been able to get paid went to court to force the sale in hopes of getting their money back.
The mortgage holders were not identified in the HM Commercial Group listing.
However, a dispute between Tri City Capital Corp. and Kelowna Mountain developer Mark Consiglio came to light last fall.
In August, the B.C. Supreme Court ordered Consiglio to pay $1.6 million, plus interest, to Tri City for three defaulted mortgages from 2012 for $541,000, $539,000 and $538,000.
The Daily Courier attempted to find out more on Thursday from both Consiglio and HM Commercial Group.
The developer’s cellphone rang and then went directly to a generic message saying the customer was not available and to try again. The line then went dead without giving the option of leaving a message.
The person who answered the phone at HM Commercial Group said it would be making no further comment about the court-ordered sale apart from some scant details reported online and the property listing on HM Commercial’s website.
The website listing mentions the resort-style development, which also proposed to build a ski hill, vineyards and many homes on the Upper Mission site off Chute Lake Road overlooking Okanagan Lake.
The web listing also mentions the property is zoned RU1 rural and the $7,995,000 list price works out to less than $25,000 per acre. The website contained photos and maps showing the property’s location and what the welcome centre and amphitheatre look like.
Kelowna Mountain has been controversial ever since Consiglio and his wife, Nicola, bought the 259 hectares in 2005 for $7 million.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan has jurisdiction over the property and currently has it zoned RU1 rural.
Consiglio didn’t bother to get rezoning and went ahead with building the welcome centre, suspension bridges, wine cave and amphitheatre.
There were also grand plans for many homes with lake and vineyard views, which don’t conform to the rural zoning.
The work was funded by investors who bought $40,000 and $150,000 shares.
In all, Kelowna Mountain hoped to raise $69 million by selling 849 shares.
However, the B.C. Securities Commission in August 2012 issued a cease-trade order halting further investments for 15 months.
Two followup partial revocation orders allowed Consiglio to pay off some debt and protect the development from foreclosure and demanded that existing investors be offered their money back.
Consiglio opened Kelowna Mountain in the summer of 2013 for locals and tourists alike to have a look, wander through the welcome centre, sit on the tiered patios and hike the suspension bridges.
By November 2013, the cease-trade order had been lifted and Consiglio said 88 per cent of investors didn’t want their money back, evidence investors were happy and he was on the right track.
Since then, there have been zoning disputes with the regional district and Tri City Capital Corp. started its mortgage-default action.
Nothing’s happening at the property now, and a gate blocks the access on the main road to the development.