It may not be exactly circled on a lot of calendars but this year marks a significant anniversary down at city hall.
It’s the tenth year since the city dipped into its land reserve for $1 million in late 2005 to buy the four-plus acres of the former Terrace Co-op shopping complex on Greig Ave.
Back then the idea was that if anyone was to control the destiny of the property, it should be the city and not anyone else.
The purchase, where essentially the city loaned itself the money from its own land reserve and has been paying it back in annual $100,000 installments, remains controversial.
For one, the city has foregone the annual tax revenue it would have received from other owners.
And after several years of debate, the complex was demolished after the decision was reached that it could simply not be renovated.
A small portion of the land was sold to a local group for a brew pub and the city achieved what it had hoped was a major prize – a deal to sell the majority of the property to Calgary hotel developer.
But 10 years on, the land remains vacant. The brew pub is still unrealized and a major snag remains unresolved and that is for the city to obtain a clean environmental bill of health as a condition of the hotel deal.
Not all anniversaries are happy ones. This is a cautionary tale that all that glitters is sometimes not gold.