By Meg Olson
With an infusion of capital from their parent company in China, Mengfa International Resources Inc. (MIRI) is reaffirming its commitment to the Cottages at Seabright Farm.
“We remain very committed to the company, the development and the community of Point Roberts,” said MIRI president Frank Li.
As the majority shareholder in Orca Shores LLC, the company responsible for the development of Seabright, Li said MIRI decided to step up and fill the current funding gap so maintenance of the property can resume. “We have started discussions about how to restructure the company to make it more workable,” Li said.
As of September 9, Li said, Orca Shores, which owns 33 unsold lots of the 59 in the development, had met its financial obligations to the homeowners’ association. “We are planning to bring back maintenance staff as soon as possible,” Li said. “Our top priority right now is to ensure continued site maintenance.”
Li added that they would be reviewing back pay for maintenance staff and correcting any impediments to staff members applying for unemployment benefits. “We understand our legal obligations as employers,” he said.
A lengthy approval process, changing market conditions, and the death last July of Wayne Knowles, partner in Orca Shores LLC and project manager, had all contributed to the company running out of budget to fund its commitments to the homeowners’ association and contractors, Li said. “It is a complicated issue with many challenges.”
Li said that moving forward Orca Shores would be developing partnerships to restart property sales and home building at Seabright, which has languished in recent years. Since the project received final approval in September 2016 seven homes have been built. Two of these are show homes owned by MIRI.
“We expect to change direction and let owners who are interested take a more active role in management,” by the end of October, Li said.
Li also reaffirmed the company’s commitment to maintaining public access components of the development, such as the trails and stairs to the beach which Seabright has spent $140,000 building and maintaining. “We care about our relationship with this community,” he said.