Saskatoon City Council backs flawed Lake Placid Investments Inc. proposal for Parcel “Y” making a mockery of its process
In Council bypasses riverfront roadblock (SP Sept. 18, 2007)
“I think it’s about time that we started moving forward…I think people are anxious to see something occur sooner rather than later,”
At its September 17, 2007, meeting City Council unanimously gave its administration the go-ahead to begin negotiations with Lake Placid Investments Inc. for the development of Parcel “Y” within River Landing Phase I. In so doing Council made a mockery of its process.
The proposal by Lake Placid Investments falls short on several fronts and does not appear to meet the
The EOI called for a “destination attraction/gathering place.” City Council considers this a Priority 1 Essential Element whereas the office building in the developer’s proposal is a distant Priority 3 Allowable Use.
Section 5.0 of the River Landing Parcel “Y” Expressions of Interest (EOI) states:
“A destination attraction’s purpose is more clearly defined under “Permitted Uses” within the DCD1 guidelines: “to build on the Downtown’s role as the cultural heart of the city by the development of cultural facilities which can improve economic prospects and encourage tourism”. Suggested uses include, but are not limited to, publicly accessible interpretive centres, theatres, heritage facilities, museums, and art galleries.”The public component of
Furthermore, the uses proposed by the developer do not appear to be permitted under the City’s Direct Control District 1 (DCD1) guidelines.
The DCD1 clearly state:
“The only permitted uses in the DCD1 are those listed in the following table: Uses for the DCD1.”
According to the table the only permitted uses are: Interpretive Centres, Theatres, Heritage Facilities, Museums,
Also in question is
Section 5.0 – Information to be Submitted of the EOI states:
“6. Development and Management ExperienceThe EOI’s that were submitted by Lake Placid Investments Inc. and the consortium of WAM Development Group/Concorde Group Corp. have not been made public. According to city administration, the Executive Committee “did not review, evaluate or even see any of the EOI’s.” City administration alone handled that. This is disturbing to say the least.
Proponents are required to provide a description of projects the company has developed and/or managed over the past ten years. Experience in the type of development envisaged on the subject parcel (hotel, residential, retail, restaurant, destination attraction) is particularly important to note.”
It’s understandable that City Council cannot possibly be expected to review every single matter that comes into city hall or get into the business of micromanaging day to day operations. But given the magnitude of the subject and controversy surrounding the South Downtown you’d think this is one time that Council should be involved and the city more open with the public.
Section 13.0 – Evaluation Criteria of the EOI states:
“To assist in shortlisting proponents the City will use a point system as a guide. Information that will be used as criteria for evaluation has been identified in Section 5.0 “Information to the Submitted”. The purpose of this information is to ensure that shortlisted applicants have financial capability and integrity, development experience and a concept that is considered with the South Downtown Concept Plan. This criteria and their point rating are summarized below:A report by the city manager in the June 25, 2007, City Council agenda states: “The administrative committee conducted an evaluation based on the evaluation criteria and the information requirements of the EOI. The evaluation has found that both scored sufficiently to proceed to the RFP stage. The review indicated that
Development and Management Experience – 30 points
Development Concept Summary – 60 points
References – 10 points
Total – 100 points”
The report does not mention Development and Management Experience. Nor does it include a breakdown of the scores that each proposal received.
The only information that appears to be available to the public to gauge the experience of the developer is the RFP and what appears on the
This whole business calls into question the legitimacy of the City’s decision to give
To date the City has not provided any explanation as to how and why this mess was allowed to happen. With only two EOI’s being submitted it could be that the City couldn’t afford to lose one.