Developer mum on 23-storey downtown apartment skyscraper plans outlined in city report

A city report says Baydo Development Corp. is planning two 23-storey towers with approximately 364 rental units at the corner of 25th Street and Fifth Avenue. The company says otherwise.

Baydo Development Corp. says the project is merely at the early stages of planning

This rendering was provided to the City of Saskatoon by Baydo Development Corporation and included in a public report published last week. (Baydo Development Corporation)

Plans for a potential pair of 23-storey apartment towers on a prime piece of downtown Saskatoon land have surfaced in a city report, but a company associated with those plans says it's too early to comment.

Last week, the City of Saskatoon reported that Baydo Development Corp. had conditionally purchased a parking lot at the corner of 25th Street and Fifth Avenue. The parcel was put up for sale in 2017 with a conditional purchase price of $4 million.

According to the city, "Plans for the site include two 23-storey towers with approximately 364 rental units and four levels of underground parking spaces."

A conceptual drawing for the project, courtesy of Baydo, was also included in the city's report

The maximum allowed height on the parcel is 76 metres. At 23 storeys, the towers discussed in the report would practically scrape that limit. (Baydo Development Corp.)

Saskatoon-based Baydo is singing a different tune.

Chris Luczka, Baydo's vice-president of finance, said Monday there are no details to share as there's no "real project" in the works yet for that location. He said anything released so far is conceptual. 

He added that it's a Baydo subsidiary that's looking at the property.

Luczka also stressed that the title hasn't passed out of the city's hands yet, before declining further comment. 

According to the city, while there were a number of inquiries made about the parcel, Baydo's offer was the only one to meet all the terms set out by the city. 

Project would nearly reach the height limit

One of the conditions imposed on the final sale is that construction work begin in 36 months.

According to the city, "Current plans for the project may see ground breaking on the site in 2019."

The maximum allowed height on that parcel is 76 metres. At 23 storeys, the building would reach 75.9 metres.

An architectural firm was asked by the city to suggest "architectural control guidelines" for the parcel. The company recommended against the idea of "monolithic massing" and provided this conceptual example of "columnar towers" designed "to reduce the effects of a large massing." (KSA Group Architecture)

The city asked KSA Group Architecture to suggest architectural control guidelines for the parcel. KSA ultimately recommended "creating depth of elevation through levels of modulation" and nixed the idea of "monolithic massing."

There is no requirement for Baydo to incorporate a retail space on the ground floor of the development, according to the city but "the architectural controls that were developed for the site [by KSA] definitely encourage that type of use for the main floor."

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

Reporter and web writer for CBC Saskatoon

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