Previous government of troubled developer Fortress included in new serious estate firm

Vince Petrozza, then-main working officer of Fortress Authentic Developments, arrives at the business offices in

Vince Petrozza, then-main working officer of Fortress Authentic Developments, arrives at the business offices in Richmond Hill, Ont., on Nov. 22, 2017.


A Toronto-centered developer and government who performed a vital purpose in a syndicated-house loan scandal, which observed traders drop hundreds of tens of millions of bucks in the slide of Fortress Genuine Developments Inc., is component of a team spearheading two major developments below the banner of a distinct firm.

Vince Petrozza, who was main working officer of Fortress when it crumbled in 2018 amid regulatory scrutiny and an RCMP probe, is involved in a new organization, Matera Developments Inc. It has submitted advancement proposals to the town of Newmarket, Ont., about 50 kilometres north of Toronto, to construct townhouses and condominium buildings in two places.

On its website, Matera calls by itself a “diversified, experienced real estate company with roots in building for over two a long time.” There are several stock photographs of condominium properties and properties, but none of the pics reveal places of the properties or whether or not Matera was involved in developing them. Mr. Petrozza’s identify is not outlined on the web-site, nor are the names of any other individuals guiding Matera.

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The internet site does goes into depth about 1 undertaking known as Lundy’s Lane Assembly – a strategy to build a multi-device residential rental constructing on a plot of land in Newmarket in the up coming 18 months.

Paperwork submitted to the town by Matera, as section of the company’s development proposal for Lundy’s Lane, were signed by Vince Petrozza on Matera’s behalf.

Mr. Petrozza did not respond to many requests by cell phone and e-mail for remark.

The Fortress scandal shook the serious estate sector in the Toronto spot in 2018, soon after the RCMP conducted shock raids on the company’s headquarters in Richmond Hill, which is north of Toronto and south of Newmarket, as portion of a fraud investigation stemming from various complaints of lost investments.

From 2009 to 2017, Fortress helped increase $920-million for developers by facilitating the sale of syndicated mortgage loan investments to hundreds of retail buyers with the guarantee of generous returns. The company’s mortgage affiliate also provided appealing commissions to mortgage loan brokers who introduced in people buyers.

But under the management of chief govt officer Jawad Rathore and Mr. Petrozza, Fortress began but did not finish many genuine estate assignments across Canada, leaving quite a few communities that ended up anticipating transformative developments in the lurch.

Several of these developments, these as the SkyCity rental challenge in Winnipeg and the Cash Pointe condo undertaking in downtown Regina, hardly ever bought crafted, and loan providers and receivers put a amount of web sites up for sale. Investors are continue to striving to get better their authentic investments in some of the jobs or were being compensated back again a portion of their investments in many others. Fortress regularly preserved it sufficiently warned traders about the pitfalls of syndicated home loans.

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Mr. Petrozza was never charged by the RCMP or other regulatory bodies for the mortgage loan scandal, nor was he fined, but he gave up his licence to run as a property finance loan broker in a settlement with Ontario’s house loan regulator. Fortress was slapped with a $250,000 penalty by the Money Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario past 12 months for breaking the province’s property finance loan rules.

At a May 31 digital meeting organized the city council of Newmarket concerning the Lundy’s Lane growth, long-time resident Frances Darwin expressed problem about Matera – specially Mr. Petrozza’s involvement in the enterprise, offered his position at Fortress.

“I am requesting that Newmarket team perform thanks diligence on Matera, particularly in relation to any danger of funding and development of any new initiatives in Newmarket,” Ms. Darwin informed town councillors, incorporating any because of diligence executed by the town really should be created general public.

In an job interview with The World, Ms. Darwin reported she researched Matera and located inbound links to Mr. Petrozza. She mentioned she introduced this to the awareness of Newmarket officers and questioned to make a full deposition relating to the background of the developer at a council meeting, but town officials cautioned her towards carrying out so mainly because she could not confirm Vince Petrozza from Matera was Vince Petrozza from Fortress.

“Residents deserve to know,” Ms. Darwin said, referring to Mr. Petrozza’s function at Fortress and the calamitous heritage of the corporation.

According to a spokesperson for the municipality, the city is assessing two apps from Matera, but has “no first-hand knowledge of the background of the specific named Vince Petrozza.”

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“The municipality does not have the capacity to deny a planning application based on past lawful difficulties,” the spokesperson added.

Company data exhibit that Matera is registered to Robert Marzilli, who also owns RAM Contracting Inc., a design corporation affiliated with the Lundy’s Lane project. In an e-mail to The Globe, Mr. Marzilli explained he is the sole operator of Matera and Mr. Petrozza will work for the firm, but is not an officer, shareholder or director.

Mr. Marzilli’s relationship to Mr. Petrozza dates back again much more than a decade, residence data demonstrate. The two developers co-owned quite a few houses in Newmarket, including 49 Charles St. and 52 Prospect St., which are the two element of a next Matera townhouse and condo proposal that is underneath assessment by the municipality.

The possession on both addresses was transferred to Mr. Marzilli by itself in Oct, 2018, at the height of the legislation enforcement scrutiny into Fortress. There is no direct point out of this 2nd job on Matera’s site, but the minutes of a town council meeting on June 29, 2020, say a Vince Petrozza attended virtually and pitched the venture.

Home data also show that the five attributes slated for redevelopment as component of the Lundy’s Lane challenge had been obtained by Lundy’s Lane Newmarket Assembly Inc., a corporation integrated by Mr. Marzilli, for $3.65-million in June, 2020.

The task been given backing of a lot more than $4-million from Advance Automotive Industries Inc., a enterprise registered to John Brnjas, in accordance to documents reviewed by The Globe. Mr. Brnjas did not reply to a ask for for comment.

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For Ms. Darwin, it is crucial that Newmarket residents know who is being invited into the local community and getting authorized to profit from developments there. “There wants to be transparency,” she said.

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