Artists' renderings posted online show the James Walk Property in Vancouver on the left and the Residences at Gateway project in Abbotsford on the right.

Artists' renderings posted online show the James Walk Property in Vancouver on the left and the Residences at Gateway project in Abbotsford on the right.

Lawsuit alleges Gateway project design was copied

Vancouver company sues Abbotsford developer, who says the case is 'frivolous'

An Abbotsford development company is being accused of copying architectural, design and promotional documents related to a condominium property in Vancouver.

But the company, Boulevard Group Residences, says the lawsuit is “frivolous and an abuse of the court system.”

A civil lawsuit was filed March 9 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver by Mosaic East 35th Limited Partnership against Boulevard Group Residences, the developer behind the proposed Residences at Gateway project on Marshall Road.

Mosaic, which designed and developed the James Walk property currently under construction on Quebec Street in Vancouver, says in its notice of civil claim that the Boulevard Group “deliberately and intentionally copied architectural and design documents and other artistic works” from them.

Further, they state that Boulevard personnel “used, and continue to use, those unlawful copies in connection with some or all of the design, development, permitting, advertising, marketing and promotion” of the Gateway project.

The alleged copied material includes brochures, advertisements, floor plans, and interior and exterior renderings.

Mosaic states in its lawsuit that the James Walk property has “distinctive exterior and interior design elements and features.”

The company states that it has suffered and will continue to suffer “irreparable harm, damage, loss and expense” due to the defendants’ alleged misconduct.

The court documents indicate that Mosaic demanded on Feb. 26 that the Boulevard Group – whose president and CEO is Karen Matty, also named in the lawsuit – cease and desist using the materials in question, but that the defendants failed to do so.

Mosaic is seeking a declaration that some or all of their design elements and features were copied from them, as well as injunctions to prevent construction of the Gateway development and to halt further use of the materials in question.

They are also asking the courts for exemplary and punitive damages.

Boulevard spokesperson Laura Ballance said the lawsuit will be “vigorously defended” in court.

“We are dismayed that design concepts, supplied to our firm from a design firm hired by both Boulevard Properties and Mosaic are being cited in a lawsuit that is clearly an attempt to garner publicity,” she said in a written statement to The News.

“Boulevard and its principals have an outstanding reputation as a quality builder and company in the Fraser Valley, and to have a lawsuit undertaken based on early drafts of design drawings that ultimately do not even reflect the true nature of the final product, is, in our opinion, frivolous and an abuse of the court system. Mosaic was told prior to commencing their lawsuit that design changes to our building were already underway regardless …”

The Residences at Gateway project, proposed for 33553 Marshall Rd., just west of McCallum Road, proceeded through the public hearing stage at the city council meeting on Feb. 29, and has passed three of four readings.

The property was previously proposed as the location for the 174-unit 28-storey Brio high rise tower project, which did not proceed in 2008 due to a lack of luxury condominium buyers.

The Gateway development is a six-storey project described on its website as “an exclusive collection of 48 contemporary homes” that are “timeless in design” with “well-thought-out floor plans, light-filled kitchens and large patios and decks.”

The proposal also includes a second five-storey 50-unit residential building and a two-storey commercial building.

The James Walk Property, scheduled for completion next year near Queen Elizabeth Park, is a six-storey development consisting of 48 units.

Boulevard has not yet filed a response to the civil claim, nor have any of the accusations been proved in court.

Other defendants named in the lawsuit are: Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing, Focus Architecture, Rally Communications, West Coast Illustration, Hestia Marketing Group and individuals who are not named.