This week Greater Sudbury is expected to have more development on the Kingsway Entertainment District’s matter. The council will be voting once again on the project as the vote will be based on the approval of site preparation work at the city outskirt’s location. If approved groundwork should begin by November 29 this year.
Previously, the city council voted to proceed with the KED site as a location for a new arena, which will feature a hotel, casino property, and a concert hall. However, the decision has faced some major criticism from local officials and residents. The opposers of the location believe it is not sustainable and they are in favor do redesign the current downtown arena.
This week, and specifically on Tuesday, Greater Sudbury’s city council will vote on a motion to approve staff negotiations to start site preparation work for the long-discussed event centre. The preparation will be conducted by Oakville-headquartered Bot Engineering & Construction Ltd., which is ready to begin work on the site this November.
The company won the preparation contract back in 2018, but the project has faced numerous legal issues since then, and it was later also impacted by the occurrence of the unprecedented situation. Their bid was the lowest of a total of seven received, and it would cost around CA$8.5 million including HST. However, due to the effect of the unprecedented situation, an increase in the contract is being discussed.
The improved contract will be worth over CA$9.4 million, and the company pointed out that the amount is still lower than the second-lowest bid from 2018. The total cost will be split between the city and partners from the project, as the city will pay CA$5.9 million, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment CA$2.2 and the hotel company will commit CA$1.1 million. The developer’s share is estimated to be around CA$530,000.
According to a report from engineering services director David Shelsted, Tuesday’s vote will be followed by a process to select a venue operator in the new few weeks. This way this company can be in place to participate in the design-build RFP process that begins early in 2022. The vote will be live-streamed on greatersudbury.ca and it is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
However, it seems that the recent legal challenges on the KED’s path do not seem to stop as the city officials proceed with the project. Currently, the Minnow Lake Restoration Group has filed for a judicial court review of the decision to go with the KED location. The non-profit group claim is that crucial information was not presented at the PricewaterhouseCoopers’s report, therefore the omitted information could have had an impact on the vote.
Back in February this year, the city council gave the go-ahead to PricewaterhouseCoopers to compile a report for the KED project and its possible costs. The reports cost the city CA$125,000 and it was presented to the council on June 16, 2021. According to Minnow Lake Restoration Group, crucial information that was requested by councillors was not presented with the report.
Source: Clarke, Tyler “A divided city council to vote on the KED’s next step on Tuesday”, Sudbury.com, September 27, 2021