By Robert Frank
Pomerleau has won the contract to build Laval’s Place Bell arena and cultural event complex, Mayor Marc Demers’ office has confirmed.
The Montreal construction firm beat out three other bidding consortia—Astaldi Canada, Groupe Complexe Laval–Verrault, Magil-QMD—to get the nod.
In April, The Suburban reported that the estimated cost of building the 10,000-seat amphitheatre and accompanying 2,500-seat and 500-seat ice rinks had soared from $156 million to $200 million.
Laval enlisted the expertise of the provincial infrastructure agency Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) to assess the bids in a process that city officials had told The Suburban they expected would wrap up by mid-summer.
The city has asked the Quebec government to increase its $46.3 million subsidy to the project in order to match the scale of the province’s contribution to similar facilities in Quebec City and Trois Rivières.
However, that prospect has dimmed in the wake of the Liberal government’s recent austerity budget.
Entertainment giant Evenko, which also owns the Montreal Canadiens hockey club, is expected to kick in $32 million toward building Place Bell.
As reported in The Suburban last year, other controversy swirled around the Place Bell project, including a decision to change where it would be located and a lawsuit which mainly dealt with a dispute over the reimbursement of taxes by the city to Evenko.
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