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Full report on Laurentian’s real estate holdings likely won’t be made public, president says

Robert Haché said he expects to receive the report sometime around the end of this month 
Laurentian University campus aerial
An aerial image of the Laurentian University environs and campus. Some members of the public fear that the ample greenspace that is visible is threatened by the university's efforts to fix its financial crisis. (File)

The consultants’ review of Laurentian University’s real estate holdings is expected to be done sometime around the end of November, but the university’s president said he doesn’t expect the full report to be made public.

As part of Laurentian University’s insolvency restructuring and filing under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), the university has undertaken a review of all of its real estate holdings (i.e. its buildings and property) to see if they can be “monetized.”

In July, the firm Cushman and Wakefield was selected to review Laurentian’s real estate holdings.

This situation has many Sudburians worried that Laurentian may sell off some of the beloved greenspace surrounding the university to developers, and a campaign has been launched to protect the area. obtained a copy of a Nov. 4 email from Laurentian’s advancement office, which said the report is currently expected by the end of November.

Speaking to us in an interview last week, Laurentian president Robert Haché also confirmed the university expects to receive the report somewhere around that time.

“I do understand sometime around the end of November is when we are projected to see the fulsome report,” he said, adding he can’t provide the exact date the report will be ready.

“Those are the projected timelines, and we continue to work with Cushman Wakefield to successfully complete and provide the report.”

Asked if the full report will be released publicly, Haché said he does not believe that’s the expectation at the present time. 

“It’s not possible for me to say at this point, definitively, but I don’t believe that’s the expectation,” he said. 

Asked what will be released to the public, Haché said, “I will have to get back to you on that, because I don’t have an answer for you today. It’s just simply that we haven’t had the conversation yet.

“As we get closer to the end of the month, certainly, we will have those conversations, and have very appropriate answers.”

Speaking to members of the Laurentian University Senate last month, Leo Pagnutti, LU’s chief redevelopment officer, said he would be “surprised if there would be a dramatic change” in Laurentian’s greenspace.

Haché echoed these comments in the recent interview with 

“I would be surprised if the greenspace became something other than greenspace,” he said.

“There are zoning issues. The city has a master plan for development and all the rest of it.  None of the space that’s currently surrounding the Conservation Area trails and all of that, none of that is currently zoned in a way that would allow for any kind of development.”

When it comes to the zoning of the area and any proposed changes to that zoning, Haché said those questions aren’t ones the university can answer.

“That then becomes a question for the city, not for the university, in terms of what they might allow, and what their plans would look for,” he said. “Given the sentiments that we’ve been talking about, for those reasons, it would be surprising if there would be any real opportunity or any desire, I think more than opportunity, to develop this space.”