July 20, 2009

Rumours and gossip — the omnipresent companion of real estate and land-development. Those involved in land development are all too familiar with the viral nature of rumours and the sometimes disastrous impact of gossip. It is scary how fast the misinformation can spread.

Agents spreading gossip about other agents. Developers spreading gossip about their competition. Developers spreading rumours about themselves… it is a whirlwind of unchecked information, and for spectators on the sidelines it can be amusing to follow!

An almost perfect illustration of this trend is with Bazis International’s project “1 Bloor“, which from its marketing launch has been entrenched in gossip, rumour and speculation.

Few people in Toronto can forget the images of agents, students, the unemployed, and everyone’s mother, lined up for weeks around the block — just for the chance to purchase units. Then, rumours quickly spread that the developer increased the prices by 25 per cent (plus), from what they were originally quoted.

The rumours and gossip surrounding this project surged, and people bought into the hype. Within days, hundreds upon hundreds of units were sold.

Did the rumours and gossip work for 1 Bloor? Well, fast forward two years, and BOOM — the project is engulfed in gossip and rumour again without any sign of construction. Lehman Brothers rumours, road occupancy permit and City delay gossip…. …the list goes on and on!

This time rumours are more negative in nature, and has turned some agents into over-night celebrities for their spreading of the gossip. Below are the major originators of the (mis)information that people are talking about:

Sogol Monfared, Sales Representative for Coldwell Banker / Terrequity Realty, posts on her website “The Project will go ahead and it has secured financing up to 68th floor only… contact me for more information”. BuzzBuzzHome emails Ms. Monfared, and asks the source of information, to which Ms. Monfared responds: ” Good day, The information on my website is based on facts. Thank you”. BOOM! The online posting went crazy. Everyone was in a stir — chit chatting and bee-boxing about the status of the project.

– The Globe and Mail releases an article on June 17, stating that the project would be scaled back to 68 stories, making the project no longer Canada’s largest residential building. Check it out here. [side note: no wonder “David” doesn’t want to be identified… he purchased a 540 SF unit for $370,000!!]

– Wait one second… On July 18 the Toronto Star releases an article (here) stating that 1 Bloor is going into receivership, and that the project is engulfed in scandal.

– An other article on July 20th, by The Star, stating that the owner of the proposed 80 storey condo project at Yonge and Bloor Sts. says the receivership proceedings are “just a back door way to steal land at 1 Bloor.” Read the article here.

– The National Post states that Bazis has fended off receivership… for now. Check the article here. Bloomberg News is stating much of the same information, here.

YIKES! Rumour and gossip.

The chat boards and blog posts are going crazy, and some people are actively looking for a source of creditable information (others, just looking for gossip and rumour).

This is the beauty, or the dreaded evil force, of land-development… rumours, speculation, and little reliable information.

BuzzBuzzHome Team

Further Reading on this subject? Click ‘here‘.

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