Five years after the first proposal and four years after the first ribbon cutting ceremony, there’s actually a hole in the ground at the site of Capital Pointe in downtown Regina.
“The history of the project is no mystery. It’s had lots of starts and stops. It’s passed through many hands and we are the latest and final owner of the project,” said Jawad Rathore, president and CEO of Fortress Real Developments. “It was a lot of work to get to this point, but as I said before, we’re starting now and we’re not going to stop.”
Rathore made the promise at the groundbreaking ceremony for the 27-storey luxury hotel and condo development at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Albert Street. He says the condos are 60 to 65 per cent sold, including several original buyers.
“The people who have bought in the past, yeah they’ve had to wait, but they’ve gotten such unbelievable prices they should really be thrilled with that,” he said.
The company is celebrating the start of construction with a special promotional offer to attract new buyers. Rathore said the history of delays on the project should not matter to new buyers.
“Frankly if anyone wants to hand back one of those old units, I’d be happy to take them back and sell them for an extra $30,000 or $40,000,” Rathore said with a smile.
The new timeline for construction is about 32 months, and Rathore says that accounts for contingencies with possible short delays due to weather. This will be ITC Construction Group’s first build in the province of Saskatchewan, but Rathore says that company was hired because it has a history of getting towers built on a deadline.
Greg Black has spent four years as the project director for Capital Pointe, working with all three owners of the site. He says he is confident that Fortress Real Developments will see the project through, noting that the project was basically put back to the starting point a year and a half ago after the development permit expired.
The first step of construction is to dig up debris from the Plains Hotel followed by shoring.
“Then we’ll start digging down. As we said today, it’s a month to go a floor at a time, so we’re six months down then we’re another six months building the foundation and the parking garage coming back up. So you’re going to see a big hole going down then concrete coming back up,” Black explained. “A year from now, hopefully everything goes well, and we’ll have a foundation that we’re ready to start building the tower on.”
The opening date is tentatively set for the summer of 2018.