Greater Sudbury’s city council voted last week to back out of the multi-million Kingsway Entertainment District project. The decision by the council to distance the city from the project is being celebrated by the Downtown Sudbury BIA, who have been a major opponent of the site.
The project dates back to a few years ago and would have included a municipal event centre, a hotel and a casino by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment. Greater Sudbury’s city council voted to back out of the project last week due to a new total cost of more than CA$200 million.
There were two possibilities for the location of the KED, the first being the last year’s approved The Kingsway one in the outskirts of the city, and the other renovation or building a new one in downtown. The news that the remote location has been rejected could be good news for a possible downtown one.
Rob Jones said that it was nice to finally see some logic coming to the forefront. The BIA opposed the outskirts location as it believes that the city’s main arena should not shift the city’s historic downtown core, and it was one of the appellants in the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal case against the project.
It’s not clear if the city council would vote to proceed with a new arena. The death of KED renewed the possibility of a downtown project according to Mr. Jones. The administration of the city will have to decide between an outdoor theatre on Durham Street or an art and culture centre downtown. The task will be difficult for the new council.
After the latest KED vote, it is expected that the city administration will send out a report to the city council which will highlight what needs to be conducted to formally end the city’s involvement in the project. The city administration has earmarked CA$90 million in debt for the project, out of which more than CA$85 million will remain after expenses are calculated.
Greater Sudbury received letters of commitment from private partners before the vote to withdraw from the KED arena centre. Jagtar Nijjar is the Executive Vice President of Development and Construction for Gateway Casino. Private partners can proceed with the project without the city’s involvement.
Mayor Brian Bigger claimed after the vote that the vote was for the future. The cost of the new CA$215 million was too high for the council and put the city off. The city would have had to borrow an additional CA$115 million to cover the project, which would have had an interest rate of 5%.
The Downtown Sudbury BIA celebrates the death of the KED.
The Greater Toronto City Council has voted to back out of the multi-million Kingsway Entertainment District (KED) project due to a new total cost of more than CA$200 million. The city administration has already earmarked CA$90 million in debt for the project, out of which more than CA$85 million will remain after expenses are calculated.