River Landing Parcel “Y” development delayed again; Victory Majors Investments Corporation seeking zoning changes
Karim Nasser of Victory Majors Investments Corporation says public opinion is strongly against the raised plaza in the long delayed Parcel “Y” development at River Landing. Why are we only hearing about it now? It’s been nearly four years since Lake Placid submitted its original proposal that called for this feature. All we’ve ever heard from Mayor Don Atchison and other councillors is about how great the project is.
Last November, when Victory Majors rescued the development by providing the city with last minute documentation saying it had the financial capacity to bring the project to grade level, the StarPhoenix reported that the developer was required to build the exact same project pitched by Lake Placid and approved by the city.
Nasser told reporters, “We’re doing it exactly the same.”
Now it’s learned that Nasser’s company has been working behind closed doors with the city and Meewasin Valley Authority on revising the plans. The developer wants to decrease the size of the parking structure underground and amend existing zoning for the area to increase the height and size of the development.
We’re told that public consultation to consider the changes will take place in September. Why bother? According to Nasser, city administrators have already decided that the new plans complement the area. Council approval is a given.
Victory Majors has the city over a barrel, as did Lake Placid and Remai Ventures before it when those companies were interested in developing Parcel “Y” as well. Council has never had a Plan B – at least not publicly.
Nasser claims it was public concern over the raised plaza that led his company to revise the plan. The reality is it sounds more like a weak excuse to push for higher density and less expensive underground parking.
The project was supposed to break ground in spring 2011. Now it’s 2012 at the earliest. What else is new?
Lake Placid’s proposal – a boring mix of condos, office space and hotel – was bad enough, a hulking monstrosity looming over the riverbank. Nasser’s plan only makes it worse.