On Wednesday, the Regina Planning Commission discussed the possibility of allowing a temporary parking lot on the site of the former Capital Pointe project.
But the Albert Street site will remain empty, at least for now, after the Regina Planning Commission voted to send the proposal back to city administration.
“The referral motion essentially put the proposal on pause pending a review of our temporary parking lot policy, Regina city councillor Andrew Stevens said.
“Part of the review involves the potential of requiring anyone who develops a parking lot like that to contribute financially to a downtown account… that can then be invested in the downtown.”
According to city documents, “a prospective purchaser of the property pursuant to a court ordered sale,” wants to develop the property, but is asking for approval to use it as a parking lot, for one year first.
“The applicant has indicated that this proposal is a necessary step in pursuit of a larger redevelopment plan for this site in the future and would be an interim measure use as future plans are developed,” the public agenda for the Regina Planning Commission’s Wednesday meeting said.
While there are few details regarding the developer’s plan, there was a motion on the table for the planning commission to recommend a proposed rezoning to allow for the parking lot.
Instead, the commission voted to send the proposal back to city administration until a new policy on temporary parking lots is released early next year.
“I’ve seen zero evidence that there is a proposal for something anymore than a parking lot on the table,” Stevens said.
“We’ve been fooled many times by people who say they want to develop 1971 Albert Street, the former Capital Pointe site, so until someone provides something concrete this is all smoke and mirrors, I’m not buying it.”
Global News spoke with David Brundige, a lawyer speaking on behalf of the potential purchaser, who says the company does have a plan, along with the capital to develop the property. However, he couldn’t say what that plan is.
Brundige said the company was hoping to have the temporary parking lot approved, so it could generate funds to pay city taxes on the property.
They are still working with the city, he added, and considering their options moving forward.
Had the plan been approved, the lot located at the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Avenue would have seen a total of 87 parking stalls, along with eight stalls for motorcycle parking and bicycle parking.
The proposed development would be fenced, gated and use the existing alley located to the north of the site.
A proposed option of right-in-right-out access on Albert Street would also be allowed, if the applicant installed a median on Albert Street.
City administration is expected to come back to council in early 2021, for further discussion.
At that time, it’s expected the city will also have a better idea on its policy for temporary parking lots in the downtown.