Condo builder aims to mend fences

When Nick Ainis last spoke to Beach Metro News, he invited the paper to make a return trip.

Concrete forming work at the site of the future Carmelina condos at Danforth and Woodbine Avenue is scheduled to finish by the end of the year, with occupancy sometime in spring of 2014.
Concrete forming work at the site of the future Carmelina condos at Danforth and Woodbine Avenue is scheduled to finish by the end of the year, with occupancy sometime in spring of 2014.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

At the time, Ainis had just left a two-hour meeting where, as construction manager for the Carmelina condos at Danforth and Woodbine, he heard many complaints from some of the 22 residents living beside the site.

Bent fences. Unsafe hoarding. A cracked garage floor. Buckets of cement swung over family yards. Nearly 60 people were in the room, including Carmelina owner Frank Magno, city buildings officials and Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon.

Five months later, Ainis says his company, Fusioncorp Developments, has mended most of those fences.

“We tried to show good faith and rebuild a little bit of trust,” he said.

Councillor McMahon said that soon after the April meeting, Fusioncorp installed lights in the hoarding that runs along the sidewalk on Danforth, opened the structure on one side for better safety and posted the company contact information as required.

“They really made a strong effort to clean up their act and work with neighbours,” she said, noting that just one person came to a follow-up meeting in May.

Regarding the cracked garage floor, Ainis says he has not heard from the resident who has the damage, nor her insurance company. He said Fusioncorp is watching closely and will fix the cracks, which he said were likely caused when sandy soil spilled out from under some supports and left a gap behind the excavation wall and the ground under the garage.

“When the sand did spill out, we backfilled it,” he said. “We did our best to minimize it, but it’s impossible to totally prevent.”

While other residents seem to have had their concerns addressed, that is not true for Enzo Spatone, who owns a building on Danforth adjacent to the Carmelina site.

Spatone says Fusioncorp did agree to repave some damaged asphalt on his property, but he said he has more recent and serious concerns.

Rainwater has twice flooded into his tenants’ apartment from the undrained construction site, he said. The second time, during the record storm on July 8, water ran halfway up their windows.

“No one could have anticipated that we would get that much rain,” said Ainis about the flooding, noting that his crews dug out parts of the affected area and put in gravel for better drainage.

“If something happens you have to deal with it – that’s pretty much the obligation you have.”

Along with flooding photos, Spatone recently emailed the Beach Metro News a picture of a worker from the Carmelina site standing on the roof of his building with a cement bucket hanging from a crane just behind him.

Spatone said he is fed up with the response from most city staff. Recently he has been in touch with 55 Division over trespassing concerns, and has emailed Mayor Rob Ford’s office about the situation.

“It’s like an invasion,” he said. “These guys come onto my property, and no one can do anything about it.”

When asked about the photo, Ainis said he was on site that day and dealt with the issue as quickly as he could.

“At the end of the day, sometimes the tradespeople do things without thinking. You have to explain to them that you can’t do that, you have to follow the rules,” Ainis said.

“I would say it was an isolated incident.”

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