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Edmonton reaches ‘milestone’ as city seeks builders for Blatchford

Edmonton ready to formally talk to builders about developing Blatchford
WATCH ABOVE: City officials say Edmonton is almost ready to start formally talking to builders about who wants to develop Blatchford. Fletcher Kent has more.

In what city officials describe as a “significant milestone,” the search has officially begun for the right builders to buy in to the Blatchford redevelopment project.

Crews have been working all summer to build roads and install utilities on the land at the the old City Centre Airport. The city now says it is ready for phase one of the builder selection process.

“This is now getting the builders on board, so it’s very exciting,” Adam Laughlin, Edmonton’s deputy city manager, said on Monday.

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Twelve parcels of land in the Blatchford West area will be available for builders to express interest in developing. The land will include townhouses with potential garage suites, condo townhouses, stacked townhouses and mixed-use buildings.

Builders will be asked to tell the city why they think they should be allowed to buy the land to develop.

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“What we would ask them to do is to provide information on their ability to deliver on the architectural guidelines, meet the environmental requirements, show that they have some design innovation,” Laughlin said.

City council approved redeveloping the 536 acres of land. It didn’t want to see a traditional collection of houses and condos. It called for one of the wold’s largest sustainable communities.

READ MORE: Edmonton unveils plans for first residential phase of Blatchford redevelopment

About 30,000 people are to eventually live in the carbon-neutral neighbourhood that uses 100 per cent renewable energy.

Interested builders have until Dec. 8 to tell the city they’re interested in the Blatchford project. While this step marks the beginning of the formal discussions with builders, city officials have been speaking informally with them for quite some time.

“I think there’s certainly a different kind of builder that we’re looking for and what we’re hearing is excitment about the project,” Laughlin said.

Next year, the city expects to choose which builders can purchase the parcels of land to develop.

The first home construction could begin in late 2018. The first Blatchford residents would move in about a year later.

READ MORE: Details on Blatchford lands development sparks concerns

Those first move-in dates are a  little more than a year behind the timelines outlined in Blatchford’s initial projections. Council’s debate over what kind of energy system the development used pushed back some of these dates.

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The entire 536 acres of vacant land is expected to be developed within 20 years.