On the first day of March, the City of Edmonton will be returning control of land at the Century Park park-and-ride lot back to the developer and transferring 454 park-and-ride stalls in the process.
It means, after the change, the only paid reserved parking stalls at the park and ride will be operated by the developer, Procura Real Estate Services. It also means 454 drivers are left scrambling to find out if they can keep their spots and for how long.
“I know people are very attached to the opportunity to park there and so this will represent an adjustment for people,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “Council has been as flexible as we could in allowing the landlord running parking.”
People currently using stalls owned by the city will either have to make arrangements with the developer or use the free city-operated parking.
Procura did provide some positive news for those who use the park and ride lot: they can reserve a spot through the developer right away.
“They can immediately contact our office and immediately have availability to a parking stall,” Procura CEO and president George Schluessel said.
Drivers are currently paying $50 per month for a stall, while Procura said it will charge $60 per month.
Schluessel said he is unsure how long the stalls will be available for park and rider drivers — that will depend on development — but he estimates most drivers will likely be able to stay for “a while.”
WATCH BELOW: Bad news for motorists who use the Century Park park and ride — changes are coming March 1. Kent Morrison reports.
There are no other park-and-ride spots on the south side and drivers feel the city has repeatedly failed to address the issue.
“I don’t blame impark, I don’t blame the developer — this is their land, this is squarely on the city for not planning far enough ahead,” Brian Saunders, driver, said.
“If they are promoting public transportation, they need to have some kind of arrangement where we can park our car and it’s an easy commute for everyone,” Keyur Shah, another driver, said.
The changes are coming as part of the overall development zoning plan to transition the Century Park land into what the city calls a “high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented urban village.”
Procura said the long-term plan is to develop a parkade at Century Park, with some of the stalls being made available for park and ride commuters.
“We do have zoning in place as part of the master plan for a 1,000 stall, above-ground parkade, which is one of the projects that we do want to plan and build as well — so there will always be parking there for park-and-ride customers,” Schluessel said
The city is developing the Heritage Valley Park and Ride near Ellerslie Road and 127 Street, that will eventually allow drivers to park then bus to and from Century Park.
“That will be a much larger regional amenity that Edmontonians will also be able to use for the long term,” Iveson said. “The long term solution was always Ellerslie park and ride and the stalls at Century Park were always a stop-gap. This is just the clock ticking down on the expiration of the lease agreement, which was only ever temporary.”
The Heritage Valley park-and-ride is slated to open late this year or early 2020.
This is the second time land has been returned to the developer, resulting in fewer spots at the park-and-ride. At the beginning of June 2018, the number of stalls dropped from 1,080 to 864.
“The current transition is frustrating, I get it. It’s constantly changing, having to re-communicate changes,” Ward 10 Councillor Michael Walters said. “I just can’t wait until 2020 when it’s all operated by the developer and there’s no more of these switch overs.”
The city’s waiting list for a Century Park stall is no longer in effect.