Land surrounding Regina is owned by a mixture of corporate interests, local businsesses, individual farmers and First Nations. With land speculation and expropriations unfolding at a rapid pace, ownership is a moving target. By the spring of 2016, a few dominant players had emerged.
Among the some 76 individual landowners in March 2016, the highest concentration of land belonged to Doug Harle. Harle owns several pieces of land adjacent to the west bypass route. He was a reeve for the rural municipality of Sherwood and chair of its transportation advisory committee during the years when various bypass options were under discussion. However, he recused himself from a vote on a City proposal for a western interchange, at a meeting on Dec. 10, 2008, citing a conflict of interest.
Corporate ownership is more evenly spread out, and is concentrated in high value areas where additional residential and commercial developments are planned. Among the corporate players who had emerged by the spring of 2016 were:
Long Lake Investments
A consortium of local business operators involved in construction and exports, including:
- Murad Al-Katib of Al-Katib Consulting, Inc and AGT Foods, a major pulse food exporter. He also chairs Economic Development Regina, a municipal agency engaged in developing growth strategies for the City of Regina.
- Gaetan Bourassa, AGT Food’s chief operating officer and owner of BC Bourassa Investments.
- Mark Kush of MWK Holdings and General Sandblasting and Paint.
- Kerry Heid, president of Shermco Industries Canada, a construction electrical service provider. He was named one of Saskatchewan’s Most Influential Men by Saskatchewan Business Magazine in 2014, as someone who “exhibits the capacity to sway opinion or trajectories” on “big-picture issues weighing on Saskatchewan.”
- Kevin Stricker of KRS Holdings and owner-operator of Fries Tallman Lumber.
Aurora Retail Corp.
Aurora is a partnership of Harvard Developments, one of the Hill Companies, owned by Regina’s most influential business family, and Forster Investments, a company closely associated with Harvard. Aurora has plans for a major retail shopping centre adjacent to the bypass on Victoria Ave. E., part of the East Victoria concept plan.
A residential property company, Brightstone is also part of the East Regina Concept Plan, with property facing Aurora’s retail centre. It is held by Brian Morsky, founder of Morsky Construction, a highway construction company, and one of his other companies, Zocalo Holdings.
Part of the Morsky group of companies, Zocolo is a holding company with land next to Brightstone’s.
Tell Properties, owned by Kevin Tell, has owned various pieces of land along Highway 1, including service road approaches. Some is still retained by Tell Properties, and some has been transferred to the ministry of highways for the bypass project.