Former premier confirms he’s the developer behind major St. John’s proposal

Dave Bartlett
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Danny Williams

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.

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Southlands

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Recent comments

  • MBC
    December 14, 2011 - 11:16

    Willaims for Mayor and O'Keefe could..........what could he do??? He's just a winney whimp!

  • Kate
    December 14, 2011 - 09:23

    So let me get this straight, there are regulations saying you can't develop the land, but Danny wants to do it anyway? Please Telegram, do a report on why you can't develop above the 190 contour. You mention water pumping, but what about water run off? When the are above Higgins Line was developed, the area lost it's ability to absorb water and the increased run off created flooding in half the houses below the higher development. It should never have been allowed. Was this one of the examples Danny was referring to? What examples was he referring to? Have there been any negative outcomes based on these high-ground developments?

  • Job For Dean
    December 14, 2011 - 09:01

    A chance for billions! I hope Danny rehires Dean. Dean's best work is as Danny's number 2.

  • Old Tomer
    December 14, 2011 - 08:54

    Some research will show that this development was planned many years ago by the provincial housing agency...but they were forced out of the land development business by a previous liberal government. Come on Telegram reporters, do a bit of research here.

  • C. Murphy
    December 14, 2011 - 05:30

    I would hope and pray that Danny Williams would consider taking on the Mayor position at St. John's. We need a man with vision and business smarts to run our city. I am sure that St. John's, its people and the province would be huge benefactors. Please Danny, think about it!

  • Darryl
    December 14, 2011 - 02:08

    That guy can't sit still

  • Graham
    December 13, 2011 - 19:25

    Welcome to Williams Ville....

  • William Daniels
    December 13, 2011 - 18:49

    All sounds pretty fishy to me.

  • Bob Young
    December 13, 2011 - 17:59

    Go Danny Go! It's great to see a man with so much talent doing great thing for Newfoundland. It doesn't matter what Danny put his mind and money to, it will work. An example is the Ice Caps flourishing in Nfld, if it doesn't work under the guidance of Danny, it will never work in Newfoundland. Go Ice Caps Go The future look great for Newfoundland.

  • Edmund
    December 13, 2011 - 17:40

    What a joke. Dennis O'Keefe didn't break the story of Danny being the name on this development last month, he did not have the guts to or Danny told him to lay low. Check the comments section on that article and you will see that it was me that brought Danny's name fwd, as if anyone else didn't know. Dennis O'keefe is a whimp and should not take any credit for no property or business tax increase next year. A baby could have done that with all the oil and gas activity driving the city and province. He should thank Danny for that too. Water taxes should not have been increased and shame on Dennis the whimp and council for taking wage hikes and uping the water tax. Should have taken a cut and $0.00 water tax increase but no Dennis wants to get his City Hall income up so he can get bigger pension income to go along with his teacher pension. He could care less about the ordinary citizen and would be totally out of his element trying to run the city in any other economic climate. Stay out of Danny's way Dennis, he will call the shots on who the next mayor will be and it will not be you.

    • Obtuse
      December 14, 2011 - 09:22

      yyyawwwnnnn

  • Wendy
    December 13, 2011 - 17:36

    Mr. Williams is quite the shrewd businessman.