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Summary

As a result of receiving a wide range of valuation, tax, and cost & project management consulting from Altus Group, DewCor successfully received initial and ongoing financing for their Galway master-planned community project and saw a reduction in their property taxes.
Altus Group initially conducted a property valuation, which led to successful and timely project financing. They were then engaged for property tax consulting and ongoing loan monitoring.

About DewCor

Established in 2013, DewCor has several dynamic business ventures that consist of everything from massive real estate developments, recreation and entertainment, golf courses, a professional hockey team, to charitable organizations.

About Galway

Galway is DewCor’s unique, 2,400 acre master-planned community, consisting of residential neighbourhoods, a light industrial / mixed-use business centre, and a premiere retail space. It also includes a number of recreational amenities such as parks, golf courses, bike paths, and walking trails. The scope is large-scale, and the number and variety of amenities is what separates it and other master-planned communities, from traditional housing subdivisions

Challenge

Even as a first of its kind project in Newfoundland & Labrador, Dewcor knew they had the expertise to coordinate a project of this scale but needed to mitigate as much risk as possible by consulting with subject matter and industry experts throughout the development process.

Key goals:

  • Financing and Valuation: As with most projects, DewCor needed to obtain financing to begin the project; however, to secure that financing they also required the advice and guidance of an unbiased third party to make sure they were getting not only the appropriate financing, but also the most suitable terms.
  • Loan Monitoring: In order to begin preparing for development, DewCor required an independent third party to monitor construction progress in the field and to verify associated loan draws on an ongoing basis.
  • Property Assessment & Taxes: Originally, the 2,400-acre property was given an assessed value that was not reflective of Galway’s various planned property types over multiple phases. They needed an independent third party to represent them and propose a custom taxation approach to their unique situation.

Solution

What started out as a property valuation to support the initial financing of Galway, quickly turned into a longer term and ongoing engagement with DewCor to provide a gamut of advisory services. There was not a one-size-fits-all solution and each challenge required unique and creative solution to get the best possible outcome for the client.

  • Financing and valuation – an appraisal to support securing the first mortgage financing, and subsequent consultation to ensure appropriate financing in the most suitable terms.
  • Loan monitoring – project loan monitoring services for construction loan advance draw requests, including status reports at regular intervals. Site visits were conducted prior to the finalization of each report to substantiate the progress on site, related to the costs that were claimed.
  • Property assessment & taxes – to establish fair property assessments for the multiple parcels of land on the development and ensure equitable property tax liability throughout all phases of the project. This included proactive negotiations with the assessment authority.

Results

Despite the scope and scale of the development, the financing was achieved in a timely fashion and on DewCor’s preferred terms.

Altus Group’s team worked closely with the lender and DewCor to mitigate budget and cash flow issues, and successfully presented reporting to the bank addressing all lending terms required in order to process advances for each loan fund request.

After working extensively with the city and the assessment authority for over a year and a half, they came to a fair assessment plan that was both agreeable to the city and DewCor. Altus Group’s plan accurately reflected the development phases for the various property types, and resulted in a reduction in the assessed property taxes, due to clarifications in how the land was being used and developed by DewCor.

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