Calgary, Alberta — Developer Ahmed Azzam, the lead developer on a $5.8 billion development in the northern Alberta city, is suing Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s office over the $10 million project’s cancellation.
Azzami’s attorney, Patrick Martin, told the Calgary Herald that he will seek unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday.
The $5 billion project, the largest redevelopment in the country, would be the largest development in Canada since the $5-billion LRT line in the city’s northwest.
It was originally supposed to open in 2020 but was delayed to 2020 after the federal government stopped funding.
The project was to include apartments, shops and restaurants and create a community center.
Azzam is the lead development developer on the project, which has been called a “game-changer” by many Calgary residents.
He said the project was designed to create jobs, spur economic development and provide new affordable housing.
But the city of Calgary and Nenshares administration say the project is a financial disaster, costing $1.3 billion and would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.
Nenshi, in an interview last month with the Calgary Eyeopener, said the city is trying to sell the project to developers who have no plans to build.
The Calgary Sun reported that in June, Nenshals office told city officials that it has no plans for the project.
Martin said the lawsuit is a move in the right direction to get people to understand what went wrong.
He added that the city and Naishes office have been negotiating since the fall and are now looking for new ways to bring the project back.
The project was supposed to be the biggest development in Alberta since the LRT project, but the city stopped funding and is looking for a new partner to build the project on behalf of its citizens.