A piece of land in south Edmonton once slated to be part of an ambitious NAIT expansion is now being sold by the province.
The property is south of Ellerslie Road, between 91 Street SW and 101 Street SW, near The Orchards and Summerside neighbourhoods.
The 153-acre (62-hectare) piece of land at 1704 – 91 St. SW in the Ellerslie Industrial area is listed at $49.9 million. A posting online says the land is zoned for redevelopment (DC1, AP) and is ideally situated for warehousing.
The land, owned by the province for the past 12 years, was at one point set to be home to large expansion of Edmonton’s NAIT polytechnic named after late premier Ralph Klein.
In 2006, the institute announced the south campus would feature five facilities offering a wide variety of programming including: mobile crane operator, rig technician, industrial heavy equipment technology, roofer and forest technology.
It was also supposed to have a 865-bed student residence, two parkades and parking to accommodate about 3,400 vehicles. The campus would have accommodated about 12,600 students by 2016 – as part a 10-year vision NAIT had for the site.
A large unveiling of the plan was held in November 2006, attended by Klein himself, but the plan never came to fruition.
Diane Carter, press secretary for Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda, said the province has owned the property since 2007 when it was acquired in a land exchange with private developer Brookfield Residential.
The land title listed the property as being worth $14 million at the time of the swap.
“The property had been earmarked for NAIT to build a new campus but became surplus when the school was able to buy Blatchford land next to their main campus,” she said.
Back in February, the City of Edmonton and NAIT confirmed the school’s 53-acre expansion to the Blatchford development on the old municipal airport lands, located directly west of the campus.
“With the closure of the City Centre Airport in 2013, NAIT began negotiations to instead consolidate its programs on a parcel of the Blatchford land adjacent to main campus,” NAIT communications spokesperson Marta Gold confirmed.
Carter said the public sale listing was approved this summer.
“Our government has to make smart choices to get Alberta’s finances back in order and this sale makes sense because the land is no longer needed,” Carter said, adding the previous NDP government also sold surplus land.
She said 11 surplus properties were sold by the government in 2018-19 (for $22.1 million), 12 in 20127-18 (for $20.7 million) and 20 in 2016-17 (for $11.1 million). The properties sold last year included sections of the Transportation Utility Corridor in Edmonton and Calgary. Carter said land was also sold to the City of Edmonton for the Heritage Valley Park and Ride for $6.8 million.
A news release announcing the land sale said realtor Dylan Kelley is “advertising the listing to potential international developers.” Details on what that entails are not known.
“This land sale will help us generate additional revenue for the province without burdening the taxpayer,” Panda said in a statement, adding it was an example of the province managing its properties in a way that provides the most value for Albertans.
According to the City of Edmonton, the non-residential land is currently assessed at $17.963 million.
Global News reached out to NAIT, but as of publishing had not received a reply.