Former premier Danny Williams has confirmed for The Telegram that he is the developer behind a major project which has a price tag between $4 billion and $5 billion.
The Telegram broke the story last month when St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe told the paper that a proposed development between Southlands and Cochrane Pond would be about the size of the Town of Gander.
Williams said he bought the land — about 1,400 acres —in the late 1990s, but put the project on hold while he was in government.
For the multi-use development to proceed, the province would have to change legislation to allow development above the 190 contour — an elevation which is currently protected from development because water would have to be pumped up into the area.
But Williams said there are already a couple of examples of that being allowed so he doesn’t anticipate any problems.
While the city has yet to receive any formal proposals from Williams, if all works out he hopes to begin construction on the site sometime next year, beginning with a retail and possibly a industrial development, with other uses from residential to institutional to follow. The mayor told The Telegram last month, the project could take 20 years to fully develop.
For full story, see Wednesday’s Telegram.