Arena decision heading for overtime?
In this July 2018 photo, Jamie Lowery speaks on behalf of the North Bay Mall arena group. Photo by Stu Campaigne, Moose FM
A decision on a new arena in North Bay is no closer following Tuesday’s council meeting.
A report from City staff that was to recommend purchasing land near the Steve Omischl Complex was pulled from the agenda due to what Councillor Mark King calls a “problem with the wording.”
King, who also heads the arena committee, admits that the scope of the decision has grown exponentially with the inclusion of private sector interests.
Six potential sites have been submitted as part of a request for expressions of interest from the City of North Bay.
Included are privately owned locations that announced their intentions early on, such as the Pinewood Park Drive Inc. proposal from Jesse Shortt and the North End Sports and Entertainment Complex by Nordfibre Corp. Other submissions include 1059 Lakeshore Dr. by JP Investments, Wallace Road and Mountainview Drive by G&P Welding and Iron Works, and West Ferris Lot 38 by Mark Truchon.
The pulled report included a recommendation from staff in favour of the 1059 Lakeshore property which is near the Omischl Complex.
Jamie Lowery presented on behalf of a sixth group seeking a partnership with the City. This proponent has publicized plans to redevelop the North Bay Mall and build a twin-pad arena and other amenities. Lowery has years of experience in urban planning and says he firmly believes that building a single-use facility like a hockey arena is not in the best interests of the community.
LISTEN: Lowery on his vision for a new arena
King says the matter will come back before Council at the next meeting and adds that timelines are getting tight to make a decision.
Meanwhile, fellow arena committee member and Councillor Daryl Vaillancourt says he is looking forward to seeing all of the proposals and moving forward with a plan to get the arena built, wherever that may be, in North Bay.
LISTEN: Vaillancourt on the arena decision