Regina issues Capital Pointe new building permit
'There's a big hole in the heart of the city here': Coun. Bob Hawkins
The City of Regina has given the company behind Capital Pointe more time to at least get the skyscraper project's foundation in place.
We understand and appreciate residents' frustration on the slow progress of this construction given its high-profile location.- Louise Folk, City of Regina's director of development services
On Monday, the municipality announced it had issued a foundation and site services permit to Westgate Properties for the project on Sept. 15.
The project's last construction permit, for shoring and excavation, was set to expire the same day the new one was issued.
The delayed project is intended to be a 26-storey condominium and hotel building — but right now it's a large hole at Victoria Avenue and Albert Street.
Louise Folk, the City of Regina's director of development services, said the city is legally obligated to issue building permits if the project meets regulatory requirements.
After that, the developer is responsible for meeting permit timelines. The foundation and site services permit gives the company six months to begin "meaningful construction" and two years before a building permit expires under the city's building bylaws.
In the case of the latest permit, Folk said "meaningful construction" means active work towards the foundation being put in place. If that's not carried out in six months, the city will deem the permit expired.
"We understand and appreciate residents' frustration on the slow progress of this construction given its high-profile location," said Folk, explaining that the city is inspecting the site on a regular basis and following up.
"As out city continues to grow, we will evaluate policy and processes and look to other municipalities and the province for best practices to insure we have the right tools in place for successful growth," Folk said.
"We are fortunate to have very few cases where work is slow to completion."
'Many people are laughing at us about it'
Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins has been outspoken about the project's drawn out timeline, calling it "totally unacceptable."
I hear no good reason why it is being delayed.- Bob Hawkins, Ward 2 councillor
After the city's Monday announcement, he said he understands the municipality's obligations, but thinks development permits may need time limits.
"It is the place of council to be concerned about this, to hear what residents are saying and to put the necessary bylaws in place so that this can't continue and won't happen in the future," Hawkins said.
He said there are safety concerns surrounding the missing lanes of traffic near the building site. He also called it "unsightly."
"There's a big hole in the heart of the city here. Many people are laughing at us about it," he said. "I hear no good reason why it is being delayed."
Company expects occupancy in 2019
A representative for Fortress Real Developments, which is in charge of the Capital Pointe project, wrote in an email on Sept. 11 that it had experienced delays due to ground conditions at the site and weather conditions during the early parts of the year.
The project, located where the old Plains Hotel used to sit, has been in the works since 2010. The hotel was demolished in 2011 and those who invested in condos initially expected to be living in the building by 2013. At the time, another company was working on the building.
Fortress Real Developments took over the project in mid-2014.
The representative for Fortress Real Developments wrote that the company now expects occupancy in spring 2019.
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With files from Andreanne Apablaza