Council approves proposed $800,000 land sale to SGEU

Prince Albert city council has voted to sell two parcels of land for $800,000 to SGEU, pending approval from the organization’s directorship. – Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald

Prince Albert city council has agreed to sell two parcels on land along 40th Street East to the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) for $800,000.

The SGEU directorship has one year to approve the purchase, and the City of Prince Albert has agreed to keep the property off the market during that time.

The first parcel, located at 435 40th Street East, is 1.55 acres and was listed for $660,000. The second, located at 451 40th Street West, is the same size, but was listed at $620,000. The two properties are next to one another on the southern edge of Prince Albert.

Ward 7 Coun. Dennis Nowoselsky, who represents the area, said he’s excited to see more development in that part of the city.

“I think SGEU is making a good investment,” he said during the most recent council meeting. “Finally we’re going to see some land developed, and in the long run, some tax revenue for this city. It’s a good move.”

SGEU has placed a $50,000 refundable deposit on the land, a practice typically seen with residential developments. Craig Guidginer, the City’s planning and development director, said they brought the option to council because both properties have been on the market for several years without any interest.

The sale has several conditions attached to it, the biggest being the SGEU’s request for a five-year tax abatement. Council will vote on that condition separately at a later date.

SGEU has also requested zoning changes, which would allow them to construct a multi-use building made up of office and retail space, and an additional access route from Fourth Avenue East. The properties are currently zoned as “M1 – Heavy Industrial.”

“Right now we haven’t deliberated with SGEU on exactly what that abatement might look like,” Guidinger told council. “All they have requested is that it be in the form of five years. Typically the trigger date would be upon final inspection of the building.”

SGEU still needs a full set of site plans and a development permit before construction can begin. If their directorship approves the sale, they’ll have one year to acquire the necessary permits, and two more to finish construction.

City representatives have spent several months negotiating the sale with SGEU, according to a report from city property coordinator Leanne Fyrk, which was included in the agenda package for the Jan. 27 meeting. Fyrk wrote that the offer was reasonable, and should be seriously considered by city council.

The transaction wasn’t the only land deal council approved on during their last meeting. They also voted to purchase 73.17 acres of land near the Crescent Acres neighbourhood for $510,000. The land will be used for future land development and growth east of the city.