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Open house for Mill Woods Town Centre redevelopment to accommodate Valley Line LRT

Click to play video 'How will the new Mill Woods library be impacted by arrival of the LRT?' How will the new Mill Woods library be impacted by arrival of the LRT?
WATCH ABOVE: The area around the Mill Woods Town Centre will see massive change over the next few years with the arrival of the LRT. Vinesh Pratap looks into how redevelopment will impact the area's new library – Mar 16, 2017

The city hopes it has allayed fears that traffic in and around the Valley Line LRT, and the Grey Nuns Hospital will be taken care of when it shows off the updated redevelopment plans Thursday night for the Mill Woods Town Centre.

The proposed rezoning would allow the site to change over time from the low-density shopping mall that’s there now, into a higher density mixed-use centre that developer RioCan intends on being home to more than 3,100 residents with town homes, low-rise and high-rise apartments.

READ MORE: Ambitious proposal sees blocks of residential towers in Edmonton’s Holyrood neighbourhood

It’s still early stages said Michelle Ouellette, a senior planner with the city. Those in attendance won’t see final drawings of what the project will look like, because there are still some details to be worked out.

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“Not specific for this development,” Ouellette said. “RioCan is bringing renderings of similar projects that they’ve done, to illustrate what buildings will look like, for sure. But we haven’t gotten to a level of detail where actual building elevations are going to be required. They may add illustrations and things like that but the zoning doesn’t require an actual building elevation.”

IN PICTURES: Ready to ride? New images reveal more of what Edmontonians can expect from LRT’s Valley Line

This is the second open house for the project. The first saw nearby residents raise plenty of questions.

“The public in Mill Woods has concerns about general parking issues near the hospital. It’s a little bit related, but unrelated,” Ouellette said.

“It’s just that the city is providing resources to address some of the concerns that we’ve heard through our engagement process for this particular project. The city is working on a parking strategy as well as an overall strategy for Park n’Ride.”

The big worry is how visitors to the hospital use side streets to park. With LRT coming through starting in 2020, the concern is people will drive and use a side street for parking before riding the LRT into downtown, just like what happens near the Century Park LRT station.

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WATCH ABOVE: Global News’ ongoing coverage of the Valley Line LRT project.

Ouellette confirmed more details will be worked out, but Thursday’s event will provide a good progress report.

“The idea is that we’ve heard comments the first time. We have information to offer which address a lot of the things that came up in the first open house.”

She’s hoping a final report will go to city council by September. No time line for RioCan is in place for the construction of the project, because that will be based on market conditions Ouellette said.

“We have to sign off on the transportation impact assessment,” she said. “Eventually over the next few months what’s going to be happening is we’ll prepare a report to council for a public hearing to occur later in the year,” Ouellette said.

“If you talk to Rio-Can they would like it to happen sooner rather than later obviously, but we still have from an administrative perspective a few final details to work out with them.”

READ MORE: Mayor Don Iveson wants feds, province to cover 90% of LRT expansion capital costs

The open house is being held 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mill Woods Senior and Multicultural Centre, on the second floor of the Mill Woods Library. Children’s activities will be provided.

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