Capital Pointe was once again on the minds of Regina City Council Wednesday as the future of the site is still unclear.
The group behind the purchase of 1971 Albert Street are asking the city to forgive a portion of the property taxes accumulated over the years, threatening to pull out of the deal if they can’t reach an agreement.
Council decided to have a private meeting with Smith Street Lands Ltd, a possible developer of the site, to learn more about their plans before making a decision.
Mayor Sandra Masters says it’s frustrating that the saga of the site continues, but council wants to make sure the right decision is made.
“I think council clearly signaled that they’re looking for a little bit more information, and if the purchasers are of a mind to share some of that to better inform a decision, that should lead to a better decision,” said Masters. “I think at the end of the day, the city doesn’t want to own that property, we would appreciate collecting the money that’s been put into it on behalf of the taxpayers of the city of Regina.”
That private meeting is scheduled to take place Friday, as the deal must be closed, one way or another, December 22nd.
Despite the privacy of the meeting, Mayor Masters is doubtful about how much information will actually be shared.
“I’m not overly hopeful, I used to deal in banking and real estate deals, I do understand confidentiality agreements, and what can and can’t be shared to a certain extent,” said Masters. “I’m just not inside the minds of the other 10 councillors to understand where their level of comfort is, and where they’re going to come down on that decision.”
Masters says she hopes a deal can be done soon, because with a price tag of between $2.3 and $3.1 million, it’s clearly a valuable piece of property.
She adds on issue that has plagued the site is a lack of trust between the city and the developers.
“I would suggest that there were three purchasers for the judicial sale, but those other purchasers could also purchase and hold the land for future development,” said Masters. “There’s no guarantee from the city, there’s no lever for a city to pull to guarantee development.”
City Council also approved a land lease for a proposed McDonald’s on the Evraz campus, a property tax reduction for the city’s non-profits, and the removal of the 9th Avenue truck route.