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Private Sector Invests in Waterfront Development


July 28, 2009 – Downtown renewal, economic development, job creation and a vibrant gathering place for the community at Prince Arthur’s Landing will officially get underway now that the City of Thunder Bay signed four Waterfront Development agreements today with a private development consortium.

The consortium consists of Laureate Developments Ltd., Resolve Group Inc., Lombard North Group Ltd., and Double A Ventures Ltd. The decision to finalize the agreements was ratified by Council at last night’s City Council meeting.

“We are extremely pleased that the developers have demonstrated their belief in this project and this community,” said Mayor Lynn Peterson.

The development of Prince Arthur’s Landing is expected to generate 250 direct construction jobs for each year of construction and $202 million in spending within the local economy. Once construction is complete, Prince Arthur’s Landing is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and contribute $1 million a year in taxes to the City.

Mayor Peterson, Councillor Mark Bentz, and City Manager Tim Commisso were at the Waterfront Development office this morning to take part in the official signing.

“This private sector investment will see this portion of our Waterfront developed as a vibrant, mixed use space that is active year round and attractive to all ages,” said Councillor Bentz, Chair of the Waterfront Development Committee. “With all funding partners now in place, Thunder Bay is realizing its vision for waterfront development. It’s happening.”

The private development will consist of a hotel and water park, two condominiums, a commercial building for shops and restaurants, and redevelopment of the CN Station into hotel-related uses including a spa, restaurant, and meeting rooms.

In September of 2007, City Council began looking for private development firms to assist in fulfilling the vision for Prince Arthur’s Landing. City Council declared a portion of property surplus to municipal needs for the purpose of sale or long-term lease to a developer.

A lengthy process of negotiation involving City Administration, with Ron Bidulka of Deloitte & Touche LLP providing real estate advisory services, resulted in four agreements with the developers.

Summary of Agreements

Development Agreement: Sets out the City's and the Developer's responsibiliites for their respective project works.

Purchase Agreement: Selling 2.65 acres of land on which developer will build a hotel and two condominiums. At $250,000 and acre the City will receive $662,500.

CN Station and Commercial Leases: Leasing the CN Station for commercial uses associated with the hotel and leasing land for construction by the developer of a retail building for shops and restaurants. The leases are long-term (60 years with renewal at 40 years for another 60 years). The City will receive $40,993 a year. The Developer will maintain, repair and tenant the buildings, saving the City a further $117,000 a year on its annual budget.
 
Phase one of waterfront development begins this September and will focus on preparing Prince Arthur’s Landing at Marina Park for recreational, commercial and residential development. This work includes site preparation and infrastructure improvements, which will lay the foundation for the private and public sector developments.

The public projects include expanded trails, an expansion and renovation to the Baggage Building, a new Water Garden Pavilion (washrooms, maintenance, change rooms and concessions), ice rink/splash pad, market square, events plaza, beacons on the piers, public art, parking, spirit garden and other public facilities.

An economic impact analysis for Prince Arthur’s Landing was presented to City Council in April by global audit, consulting and financial advisory specialists Deloitte & Touche LLP. The report shows significant economic benefits for the City of Thunder Bay and highlights direct and indirect economic benefits of $41 million annually.

Mr. Bidulka is an Associate Partner with Deloitte & Touche who specializes in real estate and land development projects many of which are public private partnerships.  His recent experience includes providing advice and direction for the redevelopment of Union Station and for other large development projects including multiplexes and satellite campuses.  Mr. Bidulka worked with City Administration throughout the negotiating process providing advice on the real estate and development agreements. 

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Contact: Katherine Dugmore, Waterfront Project Manager, 625-2406