Saskatoon's riverbank building slated to break ground in 2014
The developer of a $250-million office-hotel-condo
development in Saskatoon’s River Landing admits the project is slower to start
than he anticipated but says it isn’t delayed.
The project headed by Victory Majors Investment Corp. had its concept plan approved last year. Eyes are turning to the megaproject on the riverbank now that a new neighbouring development called The Banks has been approved by the City of Saskatoon.
According to Victory Majors’ agreement with the city, there is no timeline to start construction on what is known as Parcel Y, considered one of the most valuable pieces of land in Saskatoon. The contract specifies that once construction begins on the site, Victory Majors has 18 months to complete all excavation required for the construction of the development.
“I do appreciate the interest. We are very accountable to the community and our stakeholders, of which obviously is the City of Saskatoon,” John Nasser, president of Victory Majors Investment Corp., said, adding construction should begin in 2014.
“I can’t specify that and I quite frankly can’t commit to a date until I know an actual date,” he said, adding construction will likely take three to five years from start to finish.
The development, which includes an office complex, a 27-storey residential tower, hotel and one of the city’s largest parkades, was expected to break ground last summer. Changes to the concept plan however pushed back the start dates because city council had to review the amendments.
“We’re a little slower than we had hoped but we are happy with where we are at, at this current point,” Nasser said.
“I would say there are a lot of balls in the air and the odd time one gets dropped but overall they are still up in the air.”
Nasser couldn’t divulge what has been happening behind the scenes since then but said the work is to diminish the risk once construction starts. The team has been focusing on budget, costing and making the plans more efficient.
“(It’s) high cost, high risk so we want to make sure it is accessible. It’s just kind of a measure once, cut twice philosophy,” he said.
River Landing’s newest development The Banks will be built on Parcel A, a piece of land that the city sold to B.C. developer Chris Le Fevre for $4.1 million. Construction is set to begin in March.
Nasser said that development, along with the revitalization of Riversdale is exciting.
“I love the area, I love the city. To see the riverbank, which is one of our grandest features being developed into a place where people live, work and play. Of course, who doesn’t want that? Every major centre that has that makes the place more desirable to live,” Nasser said.
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