The piece of land known as Parcel 4 at The Forks, has been a divided parking lot for decades, but drivers could be looking for a new place to park later this year.
The City of Winnipeg is in the process of selling the parcel of land to The Forks to develop a new market place that will bring shops, green spaces and residential housing to the 12 acre area.
Members of the Executive Policy Committee heard a presentation from The Forks North Portage and city staff Tuesday outlining the steps that have taken place leading up to now.
WATCH: City moving forward with sale of surface parking lots at The Forks
Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks said the journey to completing the development has been decades long, with many hurdles.
Parcel 4 is a “very encumbered property” he said, including the continued traffic on the rail line, provincial legislation regarding archaeological permits, environmental damage from years of use as a rail yard, and, perhaps the greatest of all, public opinion.
“Everything we do is heavily, heavily public scrutinized. What we’re talking about now is the last 12 acres on our Forks site.”
WATCH: Final piece of The Forks development plan falling into place
“The idea to have these two parcels together and actually look at both of them as one piece … to plan for them in such a way is something we’ve been working on for almost seven years,” said Clare MacKay, VP of Corporate & Community Initiatives at The Forks North Portage.
The Forks is hoping to have shovels in the ground and the project underway by this summer, but the loss of parking has some Winipeggers concerned.
“”I think parking is hard enough around here so closing down more parking is going to be a pain in the butt for everyone and it’s just going to discourage everybody to come out here, especially on days like this. Like I have my daughter and if we were further away we would probably have had to turn around and go home.”
Others, however, can see the possibilities.
“What can you do, right? Parking lots aren’t doing a lot for anybody except for cars. I think living space that makes more density downtown is probably going to help infrastructure of the city and not hurt it.”