August 8, 2012
Architectural firm sues Regina over plaza construction
An architectural firm launched a lawsuit against the City of Regina to recover costs associated with the construction of a downtown plaza.
The legal action prompted a candidate for city council to call for an independent audit of the project.
“I’m not surprised by the lawsuit,” said Eric Anderson, a candidate for a seat on Regina city council in Ward 3. “To me, this is the tip of what is a very large iceberg. This project has clearly been mismanaged from its inception.”
The construction of the City Square Plaza was part of a major revitalization project that took place in 2011.
It was intended to create an urban district, which includes Victoria Park and the F.W. Hill Mall. The project cost about $12.5 million, which is almost double the original projected budget. As a result of the cost escalation, Cohlmeyer Architecture, the designer of the plaza, made a claim against the city on June 22 in the Regina Court of Queen’s Bench.
The statement of claim said the two sides entered into a contract on Dec. 2, 2008 to build City Square Plaza. Under the contract, Cohlmeyer agreed to be paid a fixed fee of $520,000 for consulting services and $200,000 for other fees based on an estimated project construction price of $4 million.
As construction costs escalated to $6 million and then $9.1 million, Cohlmeyer claims it was owed an additional $160,000 and $248,000.
The court document said Cohlmeyer agreed to perform additional services, including a traffic and transportation study for $325,000 and underground service work for $58,000.
Cohlmeyer sent an invoice to the city for $1,638,360.30 and was paid $1,044,095, which leaves a balance of $594,265.32 to be paid.
The company is seeking $594,265.32 plus taxes and interest, general damages for breach of contract and costs of a lawyer.
“Those involved with this project need to be held accountable and information regarding the details have been severely lacking,” said Anderson.
“Moreover, there has been a complete disregard for taxpayers’ dollars, which is increasingly indicative of this administrations approach.”
Cohlmeyer was contacted by the Journal of Commerce, but they were not willing to comment at this time.
The municipal elections in Regina are being held on October 24.
“This current council wants to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on a football stadium, yet they can’t even manage the costs of a key downtown street,” he added. “Is Regina’s square plaza project a sign of things to come for future large scale city projects?”
Regina City Square Plaza, which officially opened on June 9, has been designed to host cultural events all year round and features a performance stage, programmable lighting, electrical and water services and space for participants, spectators and vendors.
The Regina City Square plaza project included design and construction work to convert 12th Avenue between Lorne and Scarth Streets into a new, continuous plaza-style surface from Victoria Park to the buildings on the north side.
Initially, the project was to be completed with an investment of $1.7 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada, along with $500,000 from the City of Regina and $300,000 from Saskatchewan Municipal Affairs provided through the Regina Urban Development Agreement. The province also provided $3.3 million through its Municipal Economic Enhancement Program.
However, the city contributed an additional $5.2 million to complete the project.
In other Regina development news, city councillors voted unanimously in favour of building a new $278 million stadium on July 23.
A crowd let out boos of disappointment as city council passed a Memorandum of Understanding that would have the city start building the proposed 33,000 seat, ‘roof-ready’ football stadium at Evraz Place in 2013.
To pay for the project, the city will have to take a $100 million loan from the province, which is to be paid down over 30 years through a $12 per-ticket facility fee added to each football game or event at the stadium.
The province will be giving the city an $80 million grant, $25 million will come from the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the city will put in $73 million.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 316 projects with a total value of $2,787,806,637 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$1,000,000,000 Edmonton AB Prebid
$220,000,000 Medicine Hat AB Negotiated
$50,000,000 Calgary AB Prebid
- Construction Site Arson
- Industry reacts to surprise B.C. Liberal majority
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 20th, 2013
- Calgary Airport Tunnel
- Worker at centre of union sign up allegations speaks out
- Calgary program aims to get more people into the trades
- Midrise in the City
- Veterans battle barriers into the trades
- Government makes changes to online tendering
- SNC-Lavalin maintains that new bribery allegations have been resolved
- B.C. faces a tough battle for top talent
- Keyano College building state of the art training facility
- Essential skills can play a vital role in an apprentices' success
- Taking a closer look at the risks in green building for contractors
- Colleges conduct construction research in addition to teaching
- Skills Canada BC Competition
- Lower Mainland high school trades program is unique
- Construction Learning Forum aims to educate
- High schools looking for more industry participation
- Industrial construction supervisor program takes off
- Saskatchewan bill passed
- Edmonton garners support for regional cash for arena
- Feds pledge $5 million for Vimy memorial
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- Provinces need to loosen up apprenticeship rules
- Way Up on Westwood
- Building Up On Bayview
- Barrie Construction Association rolls with motorcycle ride for cancer
- Vimy Ridge memorial gets new visitor centre
- Minnesota Vikings unveil new multi-use stadium plan
- Proposed Ambassador Bridge twinning draws Windsor mayor’s ire
- Construction on pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport continues to make progress
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)