A commendable piece of bargaining

Revised artist's concept.One has to give city council its due: the renegotiated version of the Water Street condominium development is a commendable piece of bargaining.

I hope to go into a little greater detail for tomorrow's paper, and the entire amended agreement can be found attached to next Tuesday's council agenda here, but for now, one detail sticks out.

The agreement specifies the city will sell Blockhouse Square Development Ltd. the stretch of land on Water Street, southwest of city hall, for $1.290 million, and then pay the company back up to that amount as its share of such work as the Water Street realignment and the relocation of hydro services.

The initial agreement allowed Blockhouse Square to sell back the land to the city, at 90 per cent of its value, should it not complete the first phase of its project: the parking podium with commercial and residential condominiums.

That would have left the city on the hook for more than $1.1 million, as well as the $1.2 million or so it was to spend on the infrastructure work.

The revised deal eliminates that worry, as the city would now buy back the land for the nominal sum of $1.

Say what you want about the deal, which will be voted on in public on Tuesday, but that little amendment is more than a little comforting.

It may also seem like a no-brainer, but it's commendable that council chose to make this a non-starter without it.