Evi Vahtra - Let’s take our family to a new home / Viime koos pere uute kodusse
Kommentaarid on kirjutatud EWR lugejate poolt. Nende sisu ei pruugi ühtida EWR toimetuse seisukohtadega.
Lugeja05 Dec 2017 12:09
Respekt arvamuse avaldajale.

Paraku minuni on jõudnud kuuldused müüjate ja kolijate poolsest kirjade aktsioonist. Organiseeritud manipulatsioonist, kui soovite.
See lisab pipratera.
selline pipratera ...06 Dec 2017 08:05
kui uurid lähemalt, on tegelikult mingi hiire pabulas... Ja kui kuulujuttud jõuavad "lugeja" kõrvaaukudeni, siis nad peavad tõelised olema !
Respect, but can't agree05 Dec 2017 23:42
I respect you, but I can’t agree with your arguments.

“There was no money to do the extensive repairs that were necessary; things were fixed to the best of Eesti Maja’s financial ability.”

What I have come to understand from all the information and critique of the past that has come to light over the last few years is that when you build a community centre and say that it is completed, this is when the work actually begins. Our beloved elders who created this wonderful house left one thing undone – and that was a plan to continually redevelop and revamp the house with capital campaigns when needed. This is what other communities do. Instead a path of “patching up the house and making do with what we have” was adopted for years and years. If we had had a committee and a plan to continually revamp the Estonian House, we would not be in the mess that we are in today. Regardless of where the new community centre is built, there needs to be a Future Committee that looks at how to keep the building viable and one that is not shy to introduce a campaign in the community to secure funding for big-ticket items. Otherwise we will be repeating the sins of the past. A capital campaign should have been mounted years ago when it became clear that e.g. the boiler needed to be replaced. Why this was not done is beyond me.

“When the boiler is on strike, it’s a cold, unfriendly place to be. I worry about the state of the plumbing when I turn on the tap in the morning to make tea and the water comes out dark brown and runs that way for a while. We have already had one fire when the wiring arced in the walls.“

This is not a good argument. These things need to be fixed and replaced with the afore mentioned capital campaigns and it is unfortunate that the house has been left to deteriorate for years and years.

“The current objections appear to have settled around the perceived lack of parking spaces. Eesti Maja in New York has survived without a parking lot since it was acquired in 1946. Apparently, where there’s a will, there’s a way. “
Why are we looking at ways to lessen the number of participants and lifespan of the Estonian community with a New York style option? People in New York choose whether to come to an event on a Saturday or on a Sunday, but not both days because of the high cost and difficulty of finding a parking spot. Why would you willingly chose this?

Are you truly happy with the future Madison “suur saal” being the size of the “keskmine saal” or smaller? Are you willing to accept that it will not have a stage? You will never be able to enjoy a play like “Klarissa kirjad” to the extent that we recently did on the stage of the Estonian House. For events with participant numbers larger than what you can fit it the keskmine saal, you will be forced to pay another facility to rent their hall. Why are we choosing to do this? This does not make sense to me and it breaks my heart that we are limiting ourselves as to what we can do for our community.

Let’s take heed of the seniors who today are against the high traffic and low parking availability at the Madison location (younger aged commuters are not fond of this either). With two towers being built close by, the density, traffic congestion and need for parking spots will likely become staggering. Many of us will be in our senior years with possibly serious health issues once this is built. Hunting down parking spots is not what seniors are willing to do. Why are we not listening to our future selves? These people we are ignoring with the Madison plan are the very people we need to financially support a future centre.

In my mind, it is not possible that the new Madison facility will be viable. The centre will have to charge rental rates for small halls that our volunteer organizations will not be able to afford in order to recoup the centre’s substantial price tag. We will end up renting space elsewhere in the end. Others who can afford it will be renting our new centre.

If people are dead set on throwing out the baby with the bathwater (the Estonian House), then build the future centre elsewhere. Beside the Latvian House, for example, they want us too. VEMU and Tartu College will be fine, the credit union can acquire an office for a branch at Tartu College to grab customers off of Bloor, and these parties can benefit from the coveted parking spaces at 9 Madison. The credit union has the option of selling its Madison house for a likely profit. An Estonian centre next to the Latvian centre will probably be cheaper to build and it will have room for parking and Eglinton light-rapid transit will run to its door. Win-win situation.
anything but madison06 Dec 2017 07:11
While there is no question that EH board has dropped the ball in the past regarding maintenance and upkeep, it makes no difference now. However, moving to the Madison site is the worst outcome of this. It does not have to be existing EH location or even Latvians (although they do have car access, parking and will have excellent transit access in few years).

It has always been unclear to me the implied synergies between Madison project and TC. One of the arguments by 3orgs is that "people are used to come there". This argument is so weak that I don't even want to waste my time debating it. Close proximity to TC is going to cannibalize any potential rentals from the community, you can't compete with free. Add the subway underneath, planned towers all around and Madison site is a real dud. And how come everybody else can build towers there, but "Estonians want to give back to the city and build public squares"?
An Observer06 Dec 2017 06:44
Well written Evi. The due diligence process needs to be completed. It needs to be robust as it is a major initiative. No doubt that this takes time. Why this all has to be so divisive is beyond me.
anything but madison06 Dec 2017 07:17
Due diligence should be completed, but I'm not holding by breath.

It was supposed to be completed in 11/2017, now it is "early spring 2018". I bet they just need more time to complete the deals to make the whole mess irreversible.

I bet that in "early spring 2018", 3Orgs will announce that "results from due diligence process were favorable, EH has been sold, parking lot has been purchased, be grateful for our vision and hard work, thank you very much".
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: anything but madison (07:11)
lugeja06 Dec 2017 10:04
"We have a wonderful chance to build on the legacy we have been left."

I agree. Unfortunately we are being pushed to instead tear down (or I should say sell) our legacy.
Ingrid Tanner06 Dec 2017 10:42
Hi Evi...
I tried to get on the board... but as you know the current board and 3 orgs already chose whom they wanted to have as per the handouts and bios outlining their selection at the shareholders meeting. It would have been nice if ONE of the outsiders could have been chosen... One outsider would not have derailed any votes...
As for water pipes... one of our 4 story apartments with 50 suites is over 60 years old and we DID replace the water pipes... and it does NOT entail ripping out walls... one opens up the ceiling on the bottom floor and little holes are drilled to take the pipes UP each level... with minimal destruction and disruption.
Boiler replacement would have saved over the years thousands of dollars... and the payback could have been calculated out... prior to installation.
Another issue concerns me... At a conference regarding construction/redevelopment the hot topic was that there is such a shortage of land in Toronto to build on.. Thus, I wonder why the Estonian House and 3 orgs did NOT hire a specialist real-estate agent that only deals in apartment construction/redevelopment sales. I mean if you want to get the best price.... could have a bidding war.
This leads me to believe there is something not right.
Who is running the sale... the Esto House Board or the 3 org's or the bank?
I wonder if anyone has looked at the companies that were asked to bid over the years if there is a board member or two in the 3 orgs who might have a vested interest in choosing the buyer.
And borrowing for more due diligence … means that there will be less funds after the sale since one has to pay back the loans out of the sale proceeds.
I say, borrow funds to fix the current Estonian House. At least we can be sure that we HAVE a place - Madison feels like vaporware.
lugeja06 Dec 2017 11:01
"I wonder if anyone has looked at the companies that were asked to bid over the years if there is a board member or two in the 3 orgs who might have a vested interest in choosing the buyer."

You will probably get many angry comments for this so I'll lend my support FWIW in advance of that. I've been trying to figure out what is driving this plan which seems so irrational and I keep asking myself - who benefits from this?

I hate to be cynical but there it is.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: lugeja (10:04)
Ingrid Tanner06 Dec 2017 11:35

Those lines sat on my computer screen for a long time... before I decided to post it...

To me and others... NOT going out to the FULL market seems odd... they NEED lots of money to build and operate Madison... why would they NOT want the Maximum Selling Value.... and the ONLY way to get it is to market it to all....

I spoke with a real estate agent about that... they were shocked.... and they were the one's who commented on "concerns" - so in an effort to ensure there is nothing there... I posted it... and if there is nothing... then no one should be concerned with my comments.

Transparency is NOT available to us as share holders - but it should be.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Ingrid Tanner (10:42)
Sad shareholder06 Dec 2017 13:04
I agree that everything done around this does not follow logic, and so there are likely factors at play that the rest of us do not know about to explain this mess and it likely involves malfeasance.

The stench around this project just gets worse and worse.

We need a shareholder meeting to address the grave concerns that has come up. If the board is truly doing everything in an upstanding, honest way, they would be happy to address shareholder concerns so that we would all be behind this Madison project.

Another issue outstanding is that the board would not answer the shareholder questions about how the shares in the EM2 would be determined. This is something that must be disclosed to the shareholders before the original EM is ever sold off.

In light of the widespread distrust of the board, we need to have a vote of confidence/non-confidence in the board. A fair one conducted with scrutineers, and subject to recount upon request.
Ingrid Tanner06 Dec 2017 17:31

I forgot to mention there are companies that can LINE the pipes... less disruption if I understood the marketing.

I have never used their services... but that is an option... They market it as a better priced option.

I think there is an Estonian that owns one such company.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Ingrid Tanner (10:42), Ingrid Tanner (11:35)
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