Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ancaster company behind troubled Waterloo student building

From luxury hotels to fine dining restaurants to a private, high-end golf course, Pearle Hospitality has a carefully calculated and refined public image.

Less is known, however, about another business in the family that focuses on condo development.

Rise Real Estate, based in Ancaster, is behind a long list of student-oriented condominium projects — ventures that have earned their share of controversy, leaving behind a trail of frustrated buyers, angry tenants, labour squabbles, spurned lenders and subcontractors alleging unpaid work.

While you may not have heard of Rise Real Estate, you may know about Ancaster Mill, Whistle Bear Golf Course, Cambridge Mill and Elora Mill, all prominent properties owned by Pearle Hospitality.

The private company, started by Hamilton’s Ciancone family, has grown into a successful, multi-generational enterprise that branched out into condo development a few years ago.

While one side of the family runs some of Waterloo Region’s best-known hospitality businesses, Rise Real Estate specializes in student-oriented condo towers, including the ICON Waterloo and Luxe I and II in Waterloo, the Luxe London in London, Ont., and similar projects in Hamilton, Guelph, Winnipeg, Edmonton and elsewhere.

The companies share an office at an industrial plaza in Ancaster. But Rise Real Estate insists there’s no overlap between the family’s two companies.

“The owners of Pearle Hospitality have no stakes or interests in Rise Real Estate,” the company said, in a statement.

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