Sault Ste. Marie Council will direct City Staff and will appoint two councillors to enter into negotiations with a developer who wants to buy the parcel of waterfront downtown property formerly known as the Gateway site.
The developer, Canal Village Development Corp. made up of Southern Ontario developers Paola Rovazzi ,Henry Cole and Shaun Rothberg who have been involved in a number of successful ventures including Molson Park in Barrie.
Council learned of plans for the site that will include a mixed use recreation and residential use with green space and connecting paths and the Hub Trail. Part of the Canal District the Canal Village would also include a new YMCA and and indoor soccer field.
There was a twist however concerning the OLG Casino and the possibility of the property becoming home to a new casino once a decision has been made on the “northern bundle” of casinos including Sudbury, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie being operated by the private sector as part of the OLG’s modernization plan. Identifying himself as a “person of knowledge” Local developer Frank Shunock wanted to know what “negotiations” meant and did it mean another suitor for the property would be excluded if the City entered into negotiations with the Canal Village Developer. Shunock expects the announcement concerning the Casino bundle in 6 months.
Mayor Provenzano told council that any negotiations reached between the developer and the City would come back to council. The City has owned the property for over 25 years and put it up for sale to attract a major tourist attraction for the property.