Capital Pointe uncertainty continues after appeal board decision

After seven years of the project failing to get off the ground, the Capital Point project is turning into a capital disappointment for many.
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. Dave Parsons / Global News

Three options have been given to the owner of the Capital Pointe site, in a decision made Friday by the Saskatchewan Building and Accessibility Standards Appeal Board.

Westgate Properties has until Sept. 30 to decide if they want to complete the 27-story hotel and condo project by March 30, 2022, choose construct permanent shoring by Feb. 28, 2020, or backfill the site by April 30, 2019.

The appeal board decided against the City of Regina that the Capital Pointe hole was unsafe when the Order to Comply was issued in April earlier this year, where they agreed something had to be done.

Based on testimony by three expert witnesses, including one for the developer, the appeal board found all three agreed the site could not continue to exist in its current state indefinitely and, as a result, the appeal board gave the developer three choices.

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READ MORE: Capital Pointe appeal hearing ends but the headache, and the hole, remain

If the owner of Capital Pointe decides to complete the project, the excavation pit, which was deemed unsafe by the city, has to continue to be monitored. Construction must begin by Dec. 8, 2018.

Construction of permanent shoring would require Westgate to submit a design and permit application to the city by Oct. 8.

READ MORE: Capital Pointe safe for now, according to Regina Bypass engineer

If Westgate chooses to backfill the hole, they would be responsible to continue monitoring the 1971 Albert Street site monthly, submit all monitoring reports to the city within 15 days of being recorded and take necessary action to protect temporary shoring, adjacent buildings and rights of way from slumping or failure.

A decommission and backfill design and permit application would then be submitted to the city no later than Oct. 31. Construction could begin no later than Nov. 30.

READ MORE: City of Regina looking for contractor to fill Capital Pointe hole

In response to the decision, the city issued a statement on Friday saying “they are no longer in a legal position to backfill the excavation and will withdraw the request for proposals. The decision of the Saskatchewan Building and Accessibility Standards Appeal Board places the responsibility on Westgate Properties to act by Sept. 30.”

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“We understand public interest and frustration given the prominent location of this site and are committed to providing the public with updates when possible. However, as further legal action may be pending, we are unable to provide further information at this time.”

Since first announcing the project in 2009, developers have spent $14 million on the project.