A substantial residential project in the heart of Swift Current's southside has been scrapped by the developer.

Construction on the former St. Joseph's Middle School site was supposed to begin this spring but now the City will retain ownership of the three-acre lot. 

Taber's Sidney Tams bought the land last April and intended to construct 24 affordable housing units (20 single detached homes and four fourplexes), however, he recently informed the City he won't be moving forward with the plan.

"We're disappointed and the developer is awfully disappointed too, they put a lot of time, energy, and some funds into the design work," Swift Current's General Manager of Planning and Growth Development Marty Salberg said. "The situation with the economy and costs and supply chains, it just didn't work out for them right now."

Tams cited inflation in construction costs, rising interest rates, and engineering difficulties to accommodate the sanitary sewer system as to why he had to pull out of the $310,000 deal.

While this deal is dead in the water, a low-density housing development for the vacant lot still seems most likely with public and council support already established.

"We're willing to look at other options," Salberg said. "If it was more high density or commercial then we would of course... work with the developer to formulate a new concept plan which would include public consultation."    
The site will be listed back on the market shortly for what Salberg described as 'affordable as possible' to entice another developer.

"In terms of this property, we were only asking basically what we have invested in it," he said. "That's what we can do to help make it affordable."

St. Joseph's Middle School closed in 2014 and was torn down in the summer of 2016 with the lot remaining mostly untouched since.