The City is looking to see if there is commercial interest in a piece of prime city-owned property.
City staff will begin the planning process for redevelopment of the site where the former Community Services Building stood on 4419-52nd Avenue. Administration previously looked into using the land as a possible location for the new Firehall #1 and other municipal uses, but found it would be better served as a commercial development.
“It’s been looked at the city’s perspective now what does it look like to the free enterprise world,” Mayor Gerald Aalbers says. “What can people envision there from a business perspective. It is adjacent to the Highway 16 corridor so it certainly has highway frontage. It’s a unique piece of property.”
City council directed city staff to move forward with the next steps of redevelopment and sale of the site. The process includes appraising the land and putting out a request for proposal. Aalbers says it could take up to three months for the process to be completed which will give the city a clearer vision on what interest there is for the land.
Councillor Stephanie Munro was initially against the recommendation as she thought the city may be moving too quickly and there could be a use for the site in the far future.
“As a municipality, we need to not move too quickly on this decision because it could have long-term effects. Fifty years from now, we are going to need more municipal services whether or not they are needed directly in the civic square or not. Our administration has evaluated that and there isn’t a direct need right now and I want the municipality and residents to take a breath and see what we can see for the future of that area.”
Munro voted in favour after City Manager Dion Pollard assured council the matter would come back as the redevelopment will have to pass bylaw amendments. At that time, it will give the new city council an opportunity to discuss the sale.
The building was demolished and the site cleared of hazardous materials in August.