Sudbury’s Kingsway Entertainment District could face another hurdle on its way. Apart from the criticism which the project’s business plan has faced so far, the land set aside for the development could literally be on shaky ground.
David Wood, an impartial geological expert has studied the regarded area and found that there is an active fault line passing directly through the place where the planned casino, hotel and arena are set to be constructed. Mr. Wood, who works as a consultant and rock engineer, has studied the database about Canada-based earthquakes and found that there have been 850 seismic events in Sudbury, a large number of which were related to mining activity in the region. However, there were fourteen which were natural earthquakes, with six of them taking place since 2015 along a north-south fault which is roughly placed from Garson to Minnow Lake.
The earthquakes were not big ones and varied between 1.7 to 2.7 on the Richter scale. Still, they were significant enough and Mr. Wood has projected that more of them could occur in the years to come.
The geological expert shared his concerns with the Greater Sudbury Council this spring, along with the warning that the active fault which has moved recently could do that again. Mr. Wood emphasized the fact that raising the issue was not a political act against the casino and that he thought it was his duty to share his findings with the city.
The land owner and local developer Dario Zulich commented on these concerns, saying that the project management team would have addressed possible seismic activity in the region.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Project Set to Be Finalized Soon
The findings about the geological situation in the region of the new arena, casino and hotel project are the latest hurdles faced by Sudbury’s Kingsway Entertainment District.
The casino project has been facing continuous opposition lately but it is still moving forward. Last week, Sudbury’s general manager of community development, Catherine Matheson, said that she expected to see a memorandum of understanding regarding the sharing of site preparation costs finalized in the upcoming weeks. The cost-sharing agreement should be signed between the three proponents of the new Kingsway Entertainment District, including the land’s owner Dario Zulich, Gateway Casinos, and the city.
Ms. Matheson shared that there are only a few issues that need to be ironed out, but the parties are very close to a formal comprehensive agreement.
After the memorandum of understanding is reached, requests for proposals for the design and construction of the new events center are expected to be rolled out. For the time being, there are three companies which have been pre-qualified to make an offer for the entertainment district’s design – PCL Constructors Canada Inc., EllisDon Corporation, and Ball/Tesc Construction Inc., a firm led by Mr. Zulich.