June 13, 2017 12:20 am

Developer’s vision for Century Park approved by Edmonton city councillors, community

WATCH ABOVE: More than a decade ago, a luxury housing complex was proposed at the former site of Heritage Mall. Now, developers are pitching a new plan at Century Park. Vinesh Pratap reports.

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City councillors approved a large development Monday that they hope will become a template for transit-oriented development in Edmonton.

Council approved a 3,995-unit residential development around south Edmonton’s Century Park LRT Station.

ProCura Real Estate Services’ proposal is nearly twice as ambitious as a stalled development proposal that never came to fruition more than 10 years ago.

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The old proposal was for just 2,085 residential units and was to have been built around a man-made lake. The new proposal will be centred around a “main street.”

Mayor Don Iveson said he was glad the higher-density plan approved by council was also supported by the community around the LRT station, which had opposed the previous proposal.

“The support from the community is a sign of a shift in the discussion about the importance of density to our city, to building a more efficient community, to bringing amenities to neighbourhoods that help support those communities,” Iveson said.

“I think we’re accepting of the fact that Edmonton is changing,” said Monty Nelson of the Ermineskin Community League. “We’re seeing a lot of urban sprawl and becoming more on board with creating better density in our neighbourhoods.”

ProCura CEO George Schluessel said infrastructure work for the development – which will see its tallest towers reach up to 28 storeys high – is already underway.

“We started early in anticipation… we said, ‘Let’s get going with our roads and services’… and we paid all the permits and everything for central tower so we’ll be tendering out central tower right away because we now know that main street is going to be a reality.”

Schluessel said he decided to propose a rental project instead of a condo project because it was easier to obtain financing for rental accommodations and work on the prject could then begin sooner.

The growing use of the Century Park LRT Station’s park and ride parking stalls had caused some to question how a new development in the area would impact demand.

Late last year, the free parking lot was moved in order to accommodate the anticipated development.

On Monday, it was revealed that ProCura’s development plan includes 1,125 parking stalls at a private park and ride in order to mitigate any further congestion at the station’s parking lot.

READ MORE: Free parking stalls at Century Park park and ride in new location

ProCura’s deal with the city includes a sunset clause that will see the number of approved units it can build diminished if it doesn’t meet certain construction targets in five and 10 years.

-with files from Vinesh Pratap

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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