City council agrees to reconsider CalgaryNEXT proposal

The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) met with Council Monday to respond to the request to consider an alternate site for the proposed megasports complex.

In a 12-3 vote, council agreed to have the CSEC, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and other stakeholders meet over the next few months in order to consider all options.

The CSEC has asked to build a facility in the West Village that could house all of Calgary’s professional sports teams owned by the Calgary Sports and Entertainment group.

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In April, council suggested that the group behind the project was underestimating the cost of building the complex at the west end of downtown, and suggested the group look at building on the Stampede Grounds instead.

READ MORE: Flames ownership examining ‘Plan B’ for CalgaryNEXT 

 The CSEC West Village location sits on contaminated land.

A wood treatment facility owned by Canada Creosote Company used to be on the proposed site and was in operation from 1924 to 1963. The chemicals that were used in that treatment process over the 39 years leaked into the ground and contaminated the land. An extensive remuneration of the area will need to be completed before any development can occur. One of the challenges is that Canada Creosote Co. no longer exists, so it cannot help with the clean-up costs.

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One of the points of contention is who should pay to remediate the land. The CSEC said in a report Monday that clean-up costs do not typically fall on the shoulders of new developers, and it also disputes the cost of remuneration.

In a document released Monday, CSEC disputed the price tag council has offered for the site cleanup.

The city has suggested it will cost between $85 and $140 million to rehabilitate the area. The CSEC believes the cost will be closer to $50 million.

WATCH: Gord Gillies takes a bigger picture look at the CalgaryNEXT project.

Other areas of dispute included transportation and space, with the city suggesting there would not be enough public access and that the land could not possibly house a facility large enough for the complex.

A report on the CalgaryNEXT complex, as well as the alternate Plan B, must be completed by October.

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