Nearly seven years ago Regina got its first look at the $80 million Capital Point project. It offered residents a whole new world – the problem is Regina is still waiting for that promise to be realized.
Capital Point project is turning into a capital disappointment for many.
“Well I think it’s an ongoing frustration for downtown and the entire ward,” said City Councillor Andrew Steven who represents Ward 3 in the city where Capital Pointe resides.
Plans for Capital Pointe were unveiled in September 2010. Since the announcement the Regina skyline has welcomed Mosaic Tower (Hill Tower 3), Agriculture Place and of course new Mosaic Stadium and Capital Pointe remains a giant hole in downtown Regina.
In an interview on November 15, 2016 Fortress Real Development President/CEO Jawad Rathore told reporters that the development will be at ground level by July of 2017.
Eight months since that interview and Capital Pointe appears no closer to ground level than it was when the interview was conducted.
Currently the City of Regina is reviewing permits from the developer, Fortress Real Developments. Construction of the foundation and the parking garage cannot proceed without their green light.
Unfortunately for Capital Pointe permits aren’t the only obstacle facing the hotel and luxury condo complex.
“I mean there certainly was a demand for condos. The market couldn’t keep up at that time, but the market’s changed quite a bit today,” said John Hopkins CEO for Regina District Chamber and Commerce.
“Right now, we’ve worked through a lot of the oversupply that might have been built around 2015, so I think things are becoming a little more balanced,” said Jason Carlston Vice President of Dream Development Land.
Carlson added that projects like Capital Pointe need an element of presales because it’s essential to obtain financing.
Over the past two weeks phone calls and emails from Global News to the developer requesting an update have gone unanswered. Fortress Real Development says company policy prohibits interviews.
On the morning of June 15, Fortress brand and communications manager Natasha Alibahi replied to a list of questions sent in by Global News by email.
In the email, she said “the final stages of the excavation of the site, with the required shoring of the side walls and corners, is nearing completion”.
However, on Fortress’ website the developer said excavation and shoring was 100 per cent complete in their April, 2017 update.
Additionally, completion of the project has been pushed back again.
“Because of the delays that have been experienced with excavation, we are now expecting occupancy in the spring of 2019, rather than in late 2018, which was the initial 1000 day timeline,” Alibahli said in her email.
Rathore announced the 1,000 day timeline at the groundbreaking ceremony on October 29, 2015. If the building is occupancy ready by March 20, 2019, the first day of spring that year, construction will have taken 1,238 days.
Additionally Fortress has not yet received a building permit to begin work on the foundation of the building. However, they appear ready to get back to work once that step is taken care of.
“There have been very, very substantial investments, in excess of $8million, made so far, and these investments by Fortress will continue,” Alibahli said.
“We are still reviewing our options for the construction financing package.”
As for this projects timeline compared to other major projects in the city, Fortress does not believe there is a comparison.
“Capital Pointe is a very unique project that can hardly be compared to other recent projects but we continue to work in earnest on the construction and look forward to delivering this landmark project to downtown Regina,” Alibahli said.