Nova Scotia

New developer sought for Salter Block

The province is taking back control of Salter Block, a valuable piece of real estate on the Halifax waterfront.

The province is taking back control of Salter Block, a valuable piece of real estate on the Halifax waterfront.

The Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. had a deal with Centennial Group to build a condominium, hotel and retail complex. It was to include 142 residential units, 60,000 square metres of retail space, a 98-room boutique hotel, and a .5-hectare public park. Construction estimates were purported to be about $75 million.

The development was hailed as the biggest on the Halifax waterfront in a decade with potential to become a local landmark and tourist destination.

But the company, owned by developer Ralph Medjuck, missed a second deadline to begin construction. It had already been granted an extension after failing to begin construction within 12 months of signing the agreement.

Colin MacLean, president of the WDCL, said the land was fenced off, but no work had taken place.

"So we've had meetings with them and requests for information asking them if they could actually meet the milestone, and they said they could not and they asked for another 12-month extension, which we looked at. We analyzed, did not take the decision lightly, but we didn't feel it was reasonable to wait any longer," said MacLean.

MacLean said the crown corporation will talk to the public about ideas for the Salter Block and then re-issue a request for proposals — hopefully within the next 12 months.

In the meantime, the property will likely once again become a temporary parking lot.

Representatives from Centennial Group refused an interview with CBC News Thursday.

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