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Calgary executives to mediate arena talks between the city, the property of the flame

The brokerage group consists of three people with backgrounds in commercial real estate development

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Three Calgary businessmen co-owned Calgary Flames with the goal of facilitating a new circuit deal with the city.

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Calgary’s director of planning and development, Stuart Dalglish, revealed who the third party the city had chosen to resume track negotiations at a meeting Wednesday of the council’s events center committee.

The third party consists of three people with backgrounds in commercial real estate development – John Fisher, Executive Vice President of CBRE; Jay Huntingford, Strategic Director, NAIOP Calgary; and Phil Swift, CEO of the Ayrshire Group.

Dalglish said the group follows city administration and is subject to a strict confidentiality agreement.

“I think this is a very positive point in the process, in the progress towards reaching the potential of the agreements to create a new events center for Calgary,” he said.

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City officials gave the Juvenile Center Committee its first update on the plaza talks Wednesday in a lengthy meeting behind closed doors.

John Fisher, CBRE's executive vice president, will help mediate between the city's ownership and that of the Flames.
John Fisher, CBRE’s executive vice president, will help mediate between the city’s ownership and that of the Flames. Image via Postmedia

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dalglish remained silent about the details, and said there was no specific commitment or timeline for a new circuit deal.

Chairman of the Event Center Committee Coun. Sonia Sharp said it will “take some time” before progress reaches its next stage. But she said she was pleased with the update on Wednesday.

“We had a hitch, and that was relationship building. We’ve done it, we’re on our way,” Sharpe said.

“Everyone wants to build an event center . . . the city must be excited, the people of Calgar must be happy about this moment.”

Wednesday’s update comes during the second round of the Flames Series playoff round against the Edmonton Oilers, as Calgary was on the verge of elimination after losing Game 4 at Edmonton on Tuesday night.

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Sharp declined to comment on whether an increase in Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp’s revenue during the playoff might give the city more leverage in the negotiations.

The CSEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Guy Huntingford, Strategic Director of NAIOP Calgary.
Guy Huntingford, Strategic Director of NAIOP Calgary. Image via Postmedia

The previous ring agreement between the two parties collapsed in the closing weeks of 2021, when the commercial sexual exploitation of children withdrew from the $650 million deal of more than $16 million in climate-related costs and infrastructure expenditures.

In January, the board directed management to explore avenues for a new events center project.

This request involved having a third party consider whether parties other than the ownership of Flames might wish to partner with the City on the project. When pressed, Dalglish only said that the designated third party was in discussions with the city and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gundyk was one of the many non-members of the Juvenile Center Committee who sat at Wednesday’s meeting.

She told reporters that she was pleased with the progress the committee had made so far.

“We have to be patient with what comes next and I think qualifying is something we are all focused on right now, so let’s keep our eyes on that award,” Gundyk said.

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2022-05-25 23:19:01

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