Saskatoon moves ahead on downtown development deal
A $200-million proposal for downtown development is back in play, now that Saskatoon's mayor and city council have voted to restart negotiations with Calgary developer Michael Lobsinger.
Last year, Lobsinger's proposal to build the hotel, condo and office complex on prime riverfront land fell apart after he failed to come up with the $4.5 million to buy the plot of land known as Parcel Y.
Now that his company, Lake Placid Developments, has a new financial partner in local businessman Karim Nasser, the city is taking another chance with him at the River Landing site.
Council could have gone back to square one, putting out a request for proposals, but instead opted on Monday to stick with Lake Placid and negotiate the land sale.
Mayor Don Atchison said Saskatoon needs to see this kind of big project move forward.
"How many cranes have we seen in the downtown of Saskatoon over the past few years?" Atkinson asked council. "How many cranes do we expect to see in the future? It's all about Parcel Y."
It's not a done deal by any measure, however. One sticking point may be the price of Parcel Y, which has been recently appraised with a value of $11 million — more than twice the original price.
In addition to concluding the land sale, Lobsinger will also have to satisfy the city's auditors that his project is now financially viable.
Council will meet next month to decide if all the pieces are in place for the city to sign a new deal with the Calgary developer.