Sunny Full Forecast
WELCOMING THE NATION IN:
Days
0
5
2
1
Hours
1
0
Mins
4
0
Secs
5
5
6

The Wood Innovation Center, Nothing But The Facts Please

By Ben Meisner

Thursday, March 14, 2013 03:44 AM

 If you have followed the media across the country, by now you have had several different versions of what took place, and the government’s involvement in the Wood Innovation Center in Prince George.

In one case, there is a suggestion that the loan by Commonwealth Campus is in default for $8.9 million dollars, in another the property in question is listed as the 500 block of George St. Yet in another scenario, it is suggested that the property that is in foreclosure is the property where the Wood Innovation Centre will be built.

All wrong.

Let’s make this perfectly clear. The Wood innovation property owned by the City of Prince George was purchased through Commonwealth Campuses from the Northern Development Trust who had an assignment of the property from Commonwealth.

The deal was structured in such a way that Commonwealth paid $2 million for the property and received the liquor license from the PG Hotel.

The City, which had been trying to buy the place for some time, couldn’t become involved in the liquor license. NDI Trust put the deal together and Commonwealth made $750,000 gross ($250,000 from sale of liquor license, and $500,000 from the sale of the hotel and property). NDIT received a check from Commonwealth for $1,637,865.00 on April 1st 2010 in payment for the loan.

The City had agreed to an option, (apparently) on October 26th-2009 to buy the land from Commonwealth. At the time it was said the commission that Commonwealth made on the deal was at the level of industry standards.

The letter which was circulated at the legislature dated March 8th-2010 from Janine North, CEO of the NDI Trust to Dana Hayden Deputy Minister of Lands and Forests says in part;

We do not have a role in negotiating for the Crown, the City, or UNBC with Dan McLaren, the private developer,and we do not wish to undertake that role.

The City of Prince George has an agreement, to purchase the Prince George Hotel property (eight lots) from Northern Development on March 31, 2010  if the Crown is not in a position to proceed with land acquisition for the

WIDC at that time.   Our financing agreements of November 17th 2009, November 30, 2009,  and January 6, 2010 with Commonwealth Campus Corporation are in place until October 31, 2011.  If the Crown is not interested in

these properties, we will provide commercially reasonable notice to Dan McLaren that he first replace our financing.

It is doubly  difficult to pinpoint the Province’s involvement  in  the future plans for the  lands McLaren owned adjacent to the  P.G. Hotel when  you consider the comments McLaren  made in the fall of 2010.

Dan McLaren, President of Commonwealth Campuses,  said in an interview on October 12th 2010  that the properties purchased by the city will be home to the WIDC, which could be married to the downtown campus. He went on to say if that project doesn’t develop “we are open to other concepts”.

We don’t know the date that the Bid Group worked out an option to purchase the remaining lots that Commonwealth Campuses owned, and that date is important. Did BID put forward the $150,000.00 for the option to purchase the Commonwealth lots before or after this statement on the October 12th date?

In the end let’s get back to what is needed . A full review, either voluntary or not, is needed to look at all the events beginning in 2009 with the original pitch to NDI Trust.  NDI Trusts involvement, the city of Prince George and what part they played and who played that part in the in camera meetings over the de.  The former directors and president of the DBIA, the President of UNBC George Iwama, and the head of CNC who are both being unfairly targeted in the matter, all of the folks from Commonwealth, the Bid Group, Pat Bell, and even though she played just a bit part, Shirley Bond, and former Minister Kevin Falcon. That folks is the only way we will ever get the true picture of what took place, who made the decisions and who played a role.

The speculation that the media is now involved in is just that, sheer speculation, with, in many cases, little or no solid evidence one way or the other.

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.

 


Previous Story - Next Story



Return to Home

Comments

I read the mortgage documents that NDIT and Commonwealth had registered for the PG Hotel site.

Commonwealth had the requirement of performing the demolition on the PG Hotel right in their agreement.

Why did the City and NDIT agree to let Commonwealth off the hook for the demolition?

Somebody should be asking this question.
Oh, don't think Commonwealth is in the business of high risk investments. I smell a fish or is it a snake.
Either way with BID group...This is how most business is done like it or not.
To change the subject abit, but still about buildings. I was driving by the new arena the other day and see steel beams instead of laminated wood. I could have sworn that this was a wood town and those buildings were supposed to be built with structural wood under wood first directives.

City Council has some explaining to do. I doubt the steel was fabricated here, but I could be wrong. I saw it from a distance. Could be two or more sections bolted together.
Apples and oranges gus; you cannot support a roof the size of one required for a rink with wood. Unless you wanted to put a bunch of support beams all over the ice. :)

Of course a bunch of posts on the blue line would look a lot like the Cougar's defense but that's another story. :)
Thanks axman... now I have to clean up the coffee I spit out laughing.
Gus,

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought it was a proposed 10 story building.

According to the building code (BC or Canada, not sure), wood cannot be used in structural support for a building larger than 4 stories.

Therefore, for a 10 storey building, they have to use steel.
What about links that where built out of wood, not much smaller. The old northern Thunderbird hanger was a good size. Check out the old airship hanger in Oregon. Could contain three or four links, all wood built in the forties.

The NDP will launch an investigation. Along with a couple of dozen other investigations. Sarc tag on.
Apples and oranges gus; you cannot support a roof the size of one required for a rink with wood. Unless you wanted to put a bunch of support beams all over the ice. :)

---------------------------------------------
Hey guys,

The Richmond Oval built for the 2010 Olympics comes to mind as as one of many clear span ice rinks using wood beams ... and the roof has lots of wood also ..on the inside ;)
Its a rare day indeed that they use wood in buildings in this town. Mostly steel and concrete.
Keep up the great work on this Meisner. It smells like a shore road at low tide!!!
"Hey guys,

The Richmond Oval built for the 2010 Olympics comes to mind as as one of many clear span ice rinks using wood beams ... and the roof has lots of wood also ..on the inside ;)"


Lots of wood all supported by steel and concrete. The base of the wooden spans is steel. Please don't be giving council the idea that we need a roof that the Richmond Oval. Can you imagine the tax increase for that?
PS...the benches might be wood. Does that satisfy all y'all? :)
Here you go Axman .. a link to the engineers of a recent South Surrey rink with a wood roof .. as you are right .. maybe the Olympic style is too rich for our blood

[url]http://www.lubortrubka.com/south_surrey_ice_arena.htm[url]

.. of course steel connectors will be needed at the base to connect to the concrete foundations .. but the roofs are wood .. just a matter of choices .. frustrating to hear about the squawking regarding the export of raw logs, etc. and we don't even want to use wood at home ... hmmmmm
thought I followed directions regarding links but maybe not .. will try harder next time :)
no forward slash on the last tag
http://www.lubortrubka.com/south_surrey_ice_arena.htm


Interesting...I'll have to check the drawings next time I'm in the arena -if they're still on display. I have no idea what their plan is for the roof. I think the outside canopies are slated to be wood.
Interesting. I think I've been in that building a couple years back. I believe it's in White Rock where the Surrey Eagles play.
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=vaillant+arena&hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1T4NDKB_enCA525CA525&biw=1257&bih=677&tbm=isch&tbnid=4NS7WNt9_FR9pM:&imgrefurl=http://www.flickriver.com/photos/plaudy/tags/arena/&docid=hfbdbBa1bBQjOM&imgurl=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2412/1560936436_9684b84d22.jpg&w=500&h=281&ei=rChCUcKTM6LbyQGz_IB4&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=423&vpy=407&dur=1248&hovh=168&hovw=300&tx=172&ty=117&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=259&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:12,s:0,i:118

Any of you watch the Spengalr cup held at the Valliant Arena in Switzerland. Made completely of wood.
OOOps my link doesn't work however google it. Beautiful place to those who think an arena cannot be made of wood.

And its the Spenglar Cup.
"Interesting...I'll have to check the drawings next time I'm in the arena -if they're still on display. I have no idea what their plan is for the roof. I think the outside canopies are slated to be wood."
The roof deck is made of solid wood. There is about 5 or 6 trailer loads of the wood on site- on the east side of the new arena steel.
I read a while back where using wood for the buildings would show good support for our local mills. lol. Carrier lumber would
take maybe 10 minutes to cut all that lumber. So funny.
They should add the future PG manager Beth James to the investigation. From Mar 5, 2010, she was the associate deputy minister for "wood Innovation Center" reporting to minister of transportation and infrastructure Shirley Bond.

I won't be surprised if it turns out that Shirley Bond pulled the strings behind the scenes.

Even James' selection for the PG manager post could become an issue in the investigation.
Posted by: red2b on March 14 2013 1:14 PM
"Interesting...I'll have to check the drawings next time I'm in the arena -if they're still on display. I have no idea what their plan is for the roof. I think the outside canopies are slated to be wood."
The roof deck is made of solid wood. There is about 5 or 6 trailer loads of the wood on site- on the east side of the new arena steel.
-------------------------


Well there you go. Thanks. I guess we'll call it a wood structure then.
well axman .. it is sort of a wood structure ... and in that lies the problem.
wood decking is not the real innovative "structural" breakthrough that we need to advance the use of wood ... the 4 story limits (supported by the steel industry lobbies) won't be overcome with the continued "decorative" use of wood

... the real future for wood could be in "engineered products" .. parallam beams, structural panels, etc. UBC Wood Science program has been developing some cool stuff; but one of the major obstacles is the lack of design and manufacturing expertise and educational opportunities for getting these new products into the market .. that was to be part of the role of the WIC (if it ever gets built)

another $0.75 for univ... ;)
"One of the major obstacles is the lack of design and manufacturing expertise"....so if the WIDC does get built where are they going to find any professor/ instructor type's to teach the course's they MIGHT be planning to offer.

Also, I thought I read somewhere that the steel beams at Kin1 will be encased in wood. Faux wood beams.
"where are they going to find any professor/ instructor type's to teach the course's they MIGHT be planning to offer."

I recall that being an argument against the Cancer Clinic with the specialists required for that facility.
So, steel encased with wood ..... that is the system used to build that monstrocity at UNBC overlookng the City. TERRIBLE!!!!! Especially since there are some very nice lookout shelters built from wood throughout the world.
All the old Safeway roofs were wood laminated beams, no supports in the middle of any of them. Built in the 60s and still standing, even the one at Spruceland. Not sure if the Princess Auto (ex Safeway) had wood laminate beams too
South Surrey Ice Arean by Trubka, a transplanted Czech who knows how to build traditional long spans with wood.

http://www.lubortrubka.com/jpegs/south%20surrey%20arena/SSIA_02.jpg