Watch above: New mixed-use development could set a trend in Saskatoon
SASKATOON – Local dignitaries and Chinese developers are looking forward to the start of construction on a new mixed-use development in Saskatoon’s Willowgrove neighbourhood.
Phase one of “The Myraid” is set to begin this week and will feature a three-story unit with 25 residential and commercial units, as well as a food court.
The project has close ties with Chinese investors, who were on hand for an event Monday morning in Willowgrove Square.
“It will be the destination for the Willowgrove community and perhaps filter out into the rest of Saskatoon,” said Janann Blackburn, chief financial officer with MA Land Development, who developed the plans for the project.
Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison attended the event, calling the project “a significant investment” in Saskatoon.
“I think that’s the way of the future,” said Atchison of the development.
“I am big on us being able to have businesses and residential, mixed use together.”
Over 70 per cent of phase one’s spaces have been purchased by Saskatoon residents and Chinese immigrants. Michael Ma, the project’s developer, said he hoped construction to be finished by next spring.
Ma said a second phase should be completed by the end of 2016; it will be similar to the first phase but three times in size. Once the entire project is finished, it should feature 6,000 square feet of commercial space.
While mixed-use projects are relatively new to the Saskatoon area, “The Myraid” is not the first of its kind. A similar project in Riversdale called “The Banks” currently has units for sale. Kent Smith-Windsor, executive director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said these investments are a result of Saskatoon’s economy.
“Money begets money,” said Smith-Windsor.
“If other people are making investments, other people see opportunity.”