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Proposed tax break for Saskatoon World Trade Center receives committee approval

The tax abatement for the $55 million Saskatoon World Trade Center project is expected to start in 2020. Canwest Commercial and Land Development / Supplied

A city committee is backing a tax break for the soon-to-be-built Saskatoon World Trade Center.

The city’s original recommendation was 95 per cent, or a $2.1 million tax break, for the project to be built at 3rd Avenue South and 22nd Street East.

READ MORE: Growing demand in Saskatoon for high end office space

But at Monday’s standing committee on planning, development and community services meeting, a request for a 100 per cent abatement on the building was requested by Canwest Commercial and Land Operation.

The 100 per cent break was supported by the committee.

“It was wonderful to be able to get to 100 per cent,” former mayor and current Canwest senior consultant Don Atchison said.

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“Others have received 100 per cent and we wanted to be on the same footing they are.”

The 100 per cent tax break covers $2.2 million over the next five years, or $447,000 per year.

The break applies to the building and parking garage during development, but not the land itself.

The changes to the proposal come after the city made efforts to create incentives for downtown and infill development.

“If you don’t have development in your downtown, you end up with a donut and when you have a donut, you end up with individual communities and you don’t end up as a whole,” Atchison said. “For me, the downtown is exceedingly precious and it’s very critical that we get to a healthy and vibrant downtown.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon city council approves updated building bylaw

The $55 million World Trade Center is expected to be nine storeys with a four-tray underground parking garage. The building would include 120,000 square feet of office space with a 126-seat lecture theatre, a gym and indoor bicycle parking for tenants.

The project is expected to be complete by 2020.

The tax abatement proposal still needs to be approved by city council.

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