The City of Regina is offering the province $16.2 million to buy the old Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) bus depot and three nearby parking lots. This offer is based on a $15.5 million appraisal from B.R. Graffney & Associates for the entire parcel and furniture.
However, Minister Responsible for STC Joe Hargrave revealed the province’s third party appraiser valued the parcel at $10 million.
“I still think that’s a good deal for the City of Regina. It’s a win-win for them,” Hargrave said.
Differing appraisals aside, Mayor Michael Fougere stands by the city’s offer.
“We know we’re getting a very good price because we’re saving $100 million dollars,” Fougere said.
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It is estimated that building an entirely new police headquarters would cost $140 million. The city plans to spend $37 million on the purchase of the building and $21 million to turn the bus depot into an expansion of the existing police headquarters across the street.
The STC depot and associated parking lots were put up for sale in a public tender process, and Hargrave confirmed there were other offers. The City of Regina’s was highest, so it was chosen.
“I understand why they want that property. I think it’s an ideal situation for them and sometimes for that you do pay the premium,” Hargrave said.
City manager Chris Holden said he is confident in the appraisal process and the competitive nature of the tender process drives up the price.
“Normally people bid between 10 to 15 per cent within their appraised value. We went to the high end of that, because again this was an important property for us. It was in an ideal location,” Holden said.
The province can’t reveal who bid on the STC properties. Ward 10 city councillor and realtor Jerry Flegel said that he heard rumblings the city’s offer to the province was the most complete.
“There was two individuals or three individuals, other parties that wanted just the parking lots. So when we put the whole package together it looked better for the government and it made better for us too,” Flegel said.
Regina city council still needs to approve the offer and subsequent sale. That vote will take place at their November 27 meeting.