The Mystery of the Reappearing Lifts

When President Brian Shanahan finally admitted what had been obvious since the Club was sold – that we weren’t going back to Queen St. – he said the builder had committed major failures in meeting contractual obligations. What were they? Let me quote:

“..failure to provide lifts to the Club other than the goods lift.” (President’s Letter 13.03.2020).

Amazingly enough, despite the Club spending $59,164 in one year on a major firm of international lawyers, apparently they couldn’t write an enforceable contract, and advised the Club not to fight this or demand compensation.

You might well ask – what was the Committee  and its lawyers – doing in all those negotiations if they missed this bit in the plans – rather a vital point, wouldn’t you say? But wait – a legal minded member of Dire Straits went back and read the contract and discovered that Beulah had by no means broken its terms. The contract only ever provided for a ‘cold shell’, defined as:

It seemed a bit of a mystery to us simple souls at Dire Straits that the President waited until 2020 to make an issue out of something he must surely have known when he signed on the dotted line in 2016. 

But wait!  The plot thickens.

Last Saturday’s Age carried an article about the Celtic Club walking away from its old club space (The Age, 3rd October, 2020, Commercial Real Estate, p12). Apparently the Celtic Club found “.. there was no lift access to their rooms on the plans and the project was months behind schedule.” Undeterred Beulah are planning to sell four strata spaces, including one with a liquor licence and one with a balcony.  The prices will vary between $2 million and $5 million depending on size and aspect.

The good news for buyers is in the last paragraph:

            “New owners will have access to the tower’s amenities and lifts which now

feature in the plans.”

Seriously, what on earth is going on?  Bad enough when Shanahan made a fuss about something that was in the contract all along.  Even worse when the lifts, which weren’t there in March according to him, mysteriously reappear in the middle of a 42 storey building?

What happened?  Did Beulah go back and retro-fit a lift shaft? Since the new buyers clearly intend to spend a lot more than the Club was offering for the same space, it’s no wonder that the lifts can suddenly reappear to keep them sweet.

Obviously the lifts must always have been there, so was the contract written in that way to provide an excuse for the Club to walk away from the building? Did Brian Shanahan and the rest of his cronies ever have the slightest intention of returning to Queen St.?

We were promised an Information Meeting at the last AGM. This discovery certainly warrants another one of those astounding self-justifying, blame-diverting Letters from the President.

A big thank you to all the keen eyed readers who spotted The Age article.

Reproduced with permission from Dire Straits.

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