After a lengthy in-camera session at the end of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, it was revealed that a private party had offered land to the City of North Bay to use for the construction of a new arena.
Councillor Daryl Vaillancourt sees the offer to sell the City eight acres of land on Pinewood Park Drive for $8 as the private sector’s response to Councillor Mark King’s assertion that he wishes to speak to all stakeholders before the arena committee puts any recommendations forward. King was absent from Tuesday’s meeting and Vaillancourt took the lead on the matter as vice-chair of community services.
Vaillancourt stresses that the offer does not come without caveats. He points out that it would be a sizable expense for the City to extend sewer services to the currently undeveloped land.
It is clear that the owners of the land are making a sort of real estate power play at the south end of town. The land will be basically given to the City to build the new arena on, but in return, the developers get the services needed to develop the rest of their land installed by the municipal government. Not to mention the ancillary benefits of developing land near a brand new arena in what could be a growing sector of the city.
The land is said to be on the Highway 11 side of Pinewood Park Drive between Callander and land across from the former Moe-Ze-On-Inn that was previously presented to and declined by, casino operators as a potential location for a new build.
Vaillancourt says the Pinewood Park proposal will be examined like all other possibilities, including the Thomson Park and Omischl Complex options.