Council offers land worth $6.3M to unnamed purchaser for $4M
REGINA -- Regina city council has offered a piece of land for significantly less than its appraised value to an unnamed purchaser.
A purchaser is looking to buy a piece of land north of the City. The development is still confidential, but the rail line is expected to be used.
“This could have dire results if it was out in the public, because any competitor that caught wind of it could potentially insert themselves on a very minor scale, which could ruin the compilation of land that’s required in order for something of this nature to go forward,” Mayor Sandra Masters said.
At a special meeting on Monday, council approved to change the price of the land to $4 million for the sale. That’s $2.3 million less than the appraised value of $6.3 million.
If the land is purchased, the city would receive a non-refundable option fee of $50,000.
According to administration, the proposed development will be a substantial economic opportunity for Regina.
Economic Development Regina estimates it would add approximately $500 million to Regina region’s gross domestic product and indirectly support up to 1,500 jobs.
Businesses could also be created in the area once the development is established.
The development is expected to result in several construction jobs and ongoing permanent jobs.
“The economic impact, economic spinoff, more than compensate for any reduction in the fair market value of the land,” Masters said.
The buyer has one year to purchase the land for $4 million. If the purchase is made, but construction does not begin within two years, the City would regain ownership of the land and keep the $50,000 fee.
NEARBY BUSINESS CONCERNED
At the meeting on Monday, Gil Le Dressay, Vice-President Refinery Operations, Federated Co-operatives Limited, said FCL wants to build a renewable diesel complex with an integrated agriculture facility adjacent to the refinery, but allowing the proposed land to be purchased could interfere with those plans.
“If we are boxed in for growth and expansion, we will have to consider other options that includes locations outside the city,” Le Dressay said during the meeting.
FCL suggested the buyer could choose other land nearby to accommodate both developments.
Councillor Andrew Stevens pointed out that about 633 acres of land is being offered, but 980 acres is still available in the area.
Le Dressay and Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO of AGT Foods said there was not enough notification given to the public about the change in price.
Administration said notification was posted on its website and in local media. As well, no companies beside the current potential buyer have shown interest in purchasing this piece of land.