Downtown Propaganda Fueling KED Doubts

In a perfect world where things can be built without unreasonable objections we would already have construction of the Kingsway Entertainment District or KED for short, near complete or completed. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and as delays mount on the most important project Greater Sudbury has potentially seen in 20 years we are getting unreasonable delay after unreasonable delay. 

When the KED was announced the city was a buzz with hope and optimism, as the Kingsway Entertainment District would transform our city into something buzzworthy. 

The project was ripe with opportunity, jobs and additional outside investment. Something the city could really build off of. However there are always bumps in the road when orchestrating a project of this magnitude in a city that really hasn’t had anything significant added to it in decades. 

Also Read: 5 Reasons The KED Will Be Wildly Awesome

Those dreams of a small northern Ontario town becoming a player in entertainment have been put on hold. The site preparation appears to be all but stalled. Elections have come and gone and with a new crop of politicians comes new ambitions.

The KED has faced legal delays for quite some time now and unfortunately some people are banking on them to put an end to the massive income and economic prosperity projects. The reality is, we are in a situation now where the project has been delayed for a few years and it’s up to the city, it’s councillors and the investors to keep this project moving forward. 

It would almost seem to good to be true to have a huge, modern entertainment district, 12 minutes up the road from a quickly deteriorating downtown and minutes away from some of the most populated areas of the city. So what has changed? 

Coronavirus came and gave more delays and more oxygen to people who clearly don’t want the KED to succeed. The Sudbury Star reports that there is a new group vying for the city to make prosperity ulterior plans. 

The new group is a local architecture firm by the name of 3RD Line Studio. This group believes they have a plan that doesn’t include the KED and that can save $40 Million as well. 

The group has dubbed the feeble attempt to stop the KED as Project Now. 

The group doesn’t come into the mix without support of at least one city councillor either. They appear to be supported by Greater Sudbury City Councillor Mark Signoretti. Signoretti if you don’t remember has been a vocal opponent of the KED from the beginning and was one of only 2 city councillors that voted against the project. 

What is also more predictable than Signoretti supporting another downtown bid at an arena, is that they are using the Coronavirus pandemic to try and manipulate people to believing in their new found idea. 

Signoretti is quoted in the Sudbury Star by saying “We’re living in a new world right now. No one predicted COVID would happen and as a municipality, we need to re-evaluate not just what’s going on with new projects, but existing projects,”. 

Signoretti also goes on to say, “We know we’re Greater Sudbury, so we need to be benefitting the greater city … That money can go a long way toward allowing multiple things to happen, not just one,” he said. “My understanding is this (the renovated arena) would be as good as new, without the price tag.”

The one thing all these groups fail to understand is that the Sudbury Wolves and the Sudbury Five are anchor tenants. This means that in order for the city to go ahead with any new project they would basically need an anchor tenant to ensure the place is being paid for. 

It also just so happens that the anchor tenant of the current arena is the Sudbury Wolves. It also just so happens a that the Sudbury Wolves owner is part of the group that wants to develop the KED. 

So with all of these roadblocks how does the city expect to get a fair deal for taxpayers if they just kiboshed the plans that have already been in place for a few years now?

Another scenario could be that some of these councillors and community “activists” trying to stop the KED would like to see the city purchase the OHL Franchise. 

That could be a story for another day!

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