And the Winner Is: Ben Eoin Development Group!

On Tuesday, I received the following email from Aaron Bower, a senior communications adviser with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the government branch tasked with selling “surplus” property, including that once owned by Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation:

Just following up based on our last email exchange to let you know that the sale has been finalized on the property at the top of the hill in Ben Eoin you were asking about in October.

The sale closed yesterday for $66,500 and the property was sold to the numbered company listed as 3312636 Nova Scotia Limited (commonly referred to as the Ben Eoin Development Group).

Top of the hill, Aerie Estates. The Spectator took the photo but did not burn the rubber.

Top of the hill, Aerie Estates. The Spectator took the photo but did not burn the rubber.

The property in question is a 1.6 hectare lot at the top of the hill adjacent to the Ben Eoin ski hill — a lot that had been earmarked for a hotel by Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) when it first embarked on its mission to turn Ben Eoin into a four-seasons resort area. A lot that is accessed by a $1.1 million road constructed by ECBC and now owned by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).

The Ben Eoin Development Group, made up of four businessmen a doctor and a physiotherapist — Mike Kenny, Troy Wilson, Rodney Colbourne, Steve MacDougall, Siva Thanamayooran and Glen Brann — have also purchased 15 lots in the Aerie Estates subdivision in Ben Eoin for $445,000 and The Birches at Ben Eoin Country Inn (which they are now in the process of expanding) for $675,000 (The Birches originally went on the market in 2013 for $1.7 million but as of 2015, the price had been dropped to $1 million and the CBC was reporting there were no takers.) The group also bought the land beneath the Ben Eoin Marina in August for $150,000.

Colbourne told the CBC the group also owns shares in The Lakes Golf Club and that their aim is basically to realize Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation’s (ECBC) original dream of turning Ben Eoin into a “Four Seasons” resort area.

In the case of the marina, the group outbid the actual owners of the marina building and in the case of this most recent purchase, they outbid the Ben Eoin Ski Club, which had hoped to re-acquire the land, which they had sold to ECBC.

When I asked Bower why the Ski Club’s bid had been unsuccessful, he explained:

When disposing of surplus properties, PSPC is committed to following an open and transparent process to ensure best value for Canadians. The disposal process, which in this instance led to the property being listed on MLS through a realtor, allowed all interested parties, including Ski Ben Eoin, the opportunity to bid on the property. All offers to purchase the property were reviewed by PSPC to determine which offer represented the best value for Canada.

It seems the “best value for Canada” also represents a pretty sweet deal for the Ben Eoin Development Group.

 

 

 

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