Smith Street Lands Ltd. is asking city council to remove $692,562.60 of $2,901,030.71 owed in outstanding property taxes.
The issue was brought forward at a council meeting on Wednesday where it was decided a private meeting would take place to better understand Smith Street Lands’ plan moving forward.
Smith Street Lands told city council it had great plans for the site, but was unable to share the information because of confidentiality reasons.
“Council clearly signalled that they are looking for information and if the purchaser is of the mind to share some of that to better inform us,” Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said following Wednesday’s council meeting.
“At the end of the day, the city does not want to own that property and would appreciate collecting the money that has been put into it on behalf of the taxpayers in the city of Regina.
“With the long-term saga that is 1971 Albert St., we want to make sure we get it as right as possible.”
In a letter sent to the city dated Dec. 3, Smith Street Land said a property tax reduction was crucial to finalizing the deal.
“If we cannot agree to eliminate the compounding interest that has been accruing since July 2018, we will not be able to close on the property as that would push the purchase price to far exceed the appraised value of the property,” the letter read.
There have been talks of a possible conditional grant equivalent to a partial property tax reduction of $600,000, but nothing has been decided.
The site has been sitting vacant since 2017 after work stopped on the Capital Pointe project — a promised 27-storey condo and hotel complex — leaving a giant hole in the city’s core.
The city paid to have it filled in 2019.
On Dec. 2, city council approved Smith Street Lands Ltd.’s application to build a temporary parking lot.
The city hasn’t disclosed when the private meeting would take place, but scheduled a public meeting for Friday at 9:30 a.m. where it’s expected to discuss what happened in the private meeting.