Obituary: Capital Pointe hole, 2009 - 2019
REGINA -- The City of Regina is mourning the passing of the Capital Pointe hole.
It succumbed to being filled by thousands of square feet of dirt in fall 2019, just shy of ten years since its initial announcement.
The project was buried at the corner of Albert St. and Victoria Ave. in downtown Regina.
Its gravesite is marked by a new sidewalk, a new set of traffic lights and a chain link fence.
Capital Point is predeceased by the Plains Hotel, the Capital Pointe Presentation Centre on the other side of Victoria Ave. and the project’s website.
It’s survived by its enduring neighbours, Bregg Cleaners and Fresh and Sweet.
No funeral arrangements have been made at this time.
“The hole was filled with dirt, some of the bracing was removed, the compaction was done to make sure that the finished product was to specification,” said Karen Gasmo, the director of sustainable infrastructure with the City of Regina at a press conference announcing work to backfill the hole had wrapped. “The sidewalks were restored around the property and the site was made safe for the public.”
The project’s life: remembered
Announced nearly a decade ago in 2009, Capital Pointe was set to become the tallest building in Saskatchewan upon its completion. But after construction finally began following years of delays, progress stalled out well before even making it back to ground level leading to the infamous six-story deep hole.
The lack of work lead to the City stepping in, leading to a time-consuming legal battle with the property owners before the Saskatchewan Building and Accessibility Standards Appeal Board granted them permission to backfill the hole in March.
The decision was the result of a final hearing in January the owners, Westgate Properties, no-showed.
On Friday, the City officially announced that work to fill the hole has wrapped up.
The $2 million plus dollars in costs are being billed to the owners.
Is this the end?
From a construction standpoint, 1971 Albert St. is now more or less another empty lot.
But if the bill for backfilling and other outstanding property taxes are not paid, the City does still have some potential options for recourse. Officials say enforcement action has already begun, since the site has outstanding property taxes from 2018.
The end result could be the city taking control of the property.
“The legislation requires that we put that property up for sale and go through the proper steps after that,” explained Deborah Bryden, the City’s director of assessment, taxation and utility billing.
For now Capital Pointe is buried, but if it will rest in peace remains to be seen.