As you’ve probably already observed with your own eyes, either by passing through our fine city, or via, here, here, and here, something’s finally happening around the Capital Pointe site at Victoria and Albert – though, technically, not on it. In a nutshell, Sask Power has begun the process of moving an electrical duct (work that has to be completed in order for construction to begin on Capital Pointe itself) and traffic is being rerouted around the area.

So, while Sask Power’s subcontractor is beavering away, it must have seemed like as good an excuse as any for a photo-op. Which is what happened at 10am this morning* when the developers, BrightStar Corporation, made a “major media announcement”. In the end, that announcement wasn’t so much about construction as it was about their new partner: Augustine Group, a developer based in Niagara Falls, ON.

BrightStar’s VP and Capital Pointe’s project director Greg Black said that they’d taken the project “as far as they could”, and had arrived at a point where they felt they had to bring a new partner on board to start construction.

According to Brian Tilley, Augustine Group’s VP of sales and marketing, they are now the controlling shareholder of Capital Pointe. They expect to start construction on the site after Sask Power is finished with their electrical infrastructure work – in about 5 months – with occupancy now anticipated for Fall 2015.

But, in terms of how Capital Pointe itself has progressed, it doesn’t appear that much has changed. According to Tilley, they are still only 40 per cent sold, and they have yet to secure a buyer for the hotel – though they say they are in serious negotiations with five interested parties, and should be making an announcement about the hotel portion of the development in late June.

They also announced that they will make 36 new units available, starting at $189,000. These are being sold as studio suites, and will result in the development having a total of 180 residential suites, and 144 hotel rooms.

“All the less expensive suites sold out very quickly on the first launch,” Tilley said. “We believe, with the affordability of that price, and what rent prices are here — it’s crazy how high the rent is here — that product will be very, very affordable.”

Are they concerned about the lower price point of these units affecting the “luxury brand” of Capital Pointe?  “No,” Tilley said. “Because I think, at that price, even for the lower units, it’s still a luxury condominium.”

When one of the reporters assembled questioned whether construction had really started in earnest, when it’s Sask Power that is doing all the heavy lifting at the moment – not Augustine or BrightStar – Tilley responded: “Well, I see trucks moving dirt, and, to me, that’s construction.  We had to pay for this work to be done,” he said. “We’re not paying money to put a duct bank in if we’re not going to start construction.” He declined to disclose how much Sask Power has been paid to start this electrical work, but according to a statement from Sask Power last fall, the developers had to pay a deposit to start this infrastructure work, not the entire amount.

So… something’s happening at the Capital Pointe site. And, as usual, we’ll find out what it’ll mean in a few months time.

Prairie Dog will follow up on this story in a future print issue.

(photo: BrightStar Corporation’s Greg Black (left) passes the Capital Pointe torch to Augustine Group’s Brian Tilley).

*Prairie Dog prides itself on bringing you breaking news, as it happens!