This week, Greater Sudbury gave an update on its multi-million and controversial Kingsway Entertainment District plan. The city administration informed that the results are now out from its Request for Proposals for KED’s general contractor and that there are only two companies that have submitted a bid before the deadline on June 16, 2022.
The brand-new event centre is set to cost more than CA$100,000,000 of taxpayers’ money and after numerous delays and obstacles, the city is hopeful to have a grand opening in 2025. It will be located in the outskirts of the city and it will have a premium casino property by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, a multi-purpose arena, a hotel amenity by Genesis Hospitality, and much more.
The Two in Consideration
Sudbury’s management informed that there were initially three bidders for the KED spot. The two final contenders in consideration are now Ball Construction/TESC Construction Inc. and PCL Constructors Canada Inc. With the third pre-qualified one EllisDon Corporation going out of the race, as the company did not submit a bid before the deadline of June 16, 2022, at 1:30 p.m.
The next step for the city is to evaluate and review the two remaining candidates and prepare a recommendation to the council next month. The administration will also have to provide a total project cost for the municipal arena centre. Last week, the city council received a comprehensive update on the project during a meeting, where city officials shared that they are hopeful of a 2025 grand opening.
Greater Sudbury’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Ian Wood, has shared that the city is trying to keep the outlined times. Back in July last year, the city council told staff to proceed quickly with the project, and that is why Mr. Wood said that the administration is trying to keep up with the schedule. The city also awaits to have a project completion agreement later this year signed by all project partners.
Previously, the city revealed that site preparation work will be split between the partners’ properties, and it will be cost-shared. The CA$100 million set aside for the project can be explained by the progressive design-build process, which the administration has selected after choosing a general contractor. Currently, the project is close to the end of the first of three stages in the design-build process.
OPP Does Not Find Irregularities
A while ago, the city’s Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier caused a controversy by saying that he was offered a bribe from KED developers to support the project before a crucial council vote. However, recently, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that it has determined that there is no evidence to support the notion that the councillor was influenced to vote in favor of the project before the said vote in 2017.
Backed by the Wahnapitae First Nation
Despite facing many opponents, last November the KED site received support from the Wahnapitae First Nation. Larry Roque, Chief of the First Nation, commented that the tribe is confident that the new arena will have a positive impact on the City of Greater Sudbury as it would provide world-class entertainment for the local population and tourists from all around the world.
Source: Clarke, Tyler “Two contractors compete for new Sudbury arena project”, Northern Ontario Business, June 20, 2022