Court-appointed administrator takes over Saskatoon condo tower after board ceases 'any meaningful existence'

A Court of Queen’s Bench judge has appointed an administrator to take over the management of a problem-plagued condo building that has been closed since the beginning of May.

Clayton B. Barry has been appointed the administrator for the Prairie Heights Condominium Corporation (PHCC) for an initial term of 180 days, according to a written decision from Justice R.W. Elson.

In his decision, the judge said the PHCC board has “ceased any meaningful existence.”

Since the Saskatoon Fire Department shut down the tower on May 6, following numerous attempts to correct fire safety issues at the 44-unit highrise on 20th Street West.

Elson said court has received no information as to when, or under what circumstances the SFD will allow the condo building to open.

Elson said in his decision the appointment of an administrator “is the only circumstance that would provide any reasonable prospect of bringing order to the affairs of PHCC.”

In his role as administrator, Barry can start collecting condominium fees and will report to the court from time to time with the progress of getting the condo affairs in order.

On May 6, Saskatoon Fire Department said it was left with no other option than to close the entire building at 1416 20th St. W.

Assistant Fire Chief Yvonne Raymer said the fire department could not get ahead on making the necessary repairs on the highrise due to constant vandalism, squatting, drug trade, risky and unhealthy behaviours.

“We cannot allow people to live in this building until significant changes are made,” Raymer said.

Of the 44 units at Prairie Heights, 30 vacant units were boarded up by the fire department. Of the remaining 14 units, three were owner-occupied, the rest were renter-occupied.

Sergii Bogdanoff, one of the few owners remaining at the condo told CTV News when he refused to leave his unit, he was escorted out of the building by police. Unable to find housing and refusing to stay at a shelter, Bogdanoff resorted to sleeping in his car.

"It’s not an easy life ... I have a car but some people don’t have anything,” Bogdanoff told CTV News in late May.