Bregg Cleaners wishes they could wash away the never-ending construction to the south of them.
The dry cleaners neighbours the Capital Pointe hotel and condominium project on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Albert Street.
Roughly 10 years ago, the idea of a 12-storey hotel with 140 suites and a 27-storey condominium building with 186 units was dreamt up. In 2010, the project was approved by the City of Regina and a completion date of June 2015 was finalized. A year later, the Plains Hotel was demolished to make room for the new development. However, the last time the site saw some action was last fall, which is when the excavation process began. Since then, its remained a vacant lot.
This perpetual project has Terry Thornsteinson, co-owner of Bregg Cleaners, frustrated.
“It’s been an ongoing, endless and — for a lack of a better term — non-productive construction site,” he said, adding that the biggest issue is not having enough parking for customers.
Daryl Boivin has been using Bregg Cleaners for almost a decade. She said before the project, parking was poor, but now it’s even more sparse and people are getting increasingly annoyed.
“The last time I came (to Bregg Cleaners) to drop something off, this guy in this great big truck came up behind me and started blowing his horn — I hadn’t even started my vehicle yet — all because he wanted my parking spot,” explained Boivin.
The parking situation is so severe that Thornsteinson said business is down between 20 to 30 per cent.
When the building permit was up last Friday, the business owner thought that the city would consider not awarding a new one, but that wasn’t case.
The City of Regina has now given the Capital Pointe developers another six months to get back to work.
Since the lot remains a crater after all these years, Mayor Michael Fougere said the city shares the same frustration many of its residents and business owners feel.
“It’s a major disappointment,” said Fougere. “This is a gateway to downtown and it’s literally a gaping hole in the middle of our city and frankly we’re a little upset about that.”
Now, Fougere said this fresh permit is the city’s way of putting fire under the developers’ boots.
“They have six months to do the foundation work and begin that process of construction in a meaningful way. Otherwise, they will not have a building permit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Thornsteinson said he doesn’t agree with the City of Regina’s decision.
“I’m very disappointed in the city,” he said. “I don’t know how the building permits get issued, but somehow somebody needs to take the bull by its horns here and get some activity or else fill that hole in.”
Endless construction and new building permit aside, Thornsteinson added that should the Capital Pointe hotel and condominium project ever come to fruition, it would be a great benefit to both the city and his business.