People are already lining up to move into 111 Sheppard Ave., Perth, but during its construction, some trades people were walking away from the property.

With two weeks to go before they were due to start, the company that was supposed to provide HVAC services to the new apartment building north of Highway 7 in Perth told BLD Homes (Brownlee Land Development) that they were walking away from the project.

“We did have a few trades walk,” said Troy Brownlee, marketing manager for the company, during an interview at their Wilson Street offices on Monday, Nov. 29. (We were later joined by Troy’s father, Brent, who owns the company.)

And why did the drywallers “walk?”

“Because their quote from before the boom became outdated so fast that they decided not to take the work,” Troy said.

But that was not the only pandemic-era hurdle that the company had to deal with. Houses they have been building “doubled in price as we were building it!” said Troy. But, “we were true to our word,” and stuck with the original price agreed upon.

A lumber supplier spelled it out for Brent as the price of lumber soared during the pandemic: “Brent, you couldn’t have picked a worse time to build.”

“It’s been a tough time,” said Brent. “We would have never expected the prices to go up,” like they did.

Residents have already started moving in to 111 Sheppard Ave., with landscaping and final touches being wrapped up. But the big surge of move-ins to the “adult lifestyle, pre-retirement” building, as Troy calls it, will be in January. About 30 per cent of the building’s 57 units have already been rented, but Preece predicted that, “this time next week, it will be 50 per cent,” in part because of “a ridiculous number of private viewings.”

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