Avenir opens doors at open house
Smart technology not guaranteed but could happen in new development
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 06:00 am
Sitting at work and wondering if you left the stove on? If you are living in the proposed development of Avenir to St. Albert’s northwest, all you’d have to do is log on to your house to double-check.
That’s the kind of technology that might end up in homes, a small group of approximately 10 people heard at an open house Thursday night at the St. Albert Inn.
Once it’s complete, the mixed-use development will house approximately 3,400 people, according to Olga Lovatt, the project planner for the Avenir area structure plan (ASP), with a range of housing options and commercial areas. The company is also looking at enhancing the Carrot Creek area, which would add to the city’s Red Willow Trail system.
But the biggest draw is the proposed data utility, which Avenir is negotiating with Cisco Systems. According to project director David Bromley, all of the homes will have access to high-speed, high-volume data utility that will allow for everything from lights to appliances to in-home services to be controlled through a wireless network.
“It’s the ability to do things remotely from anywhere,” Bromley said. “Anything you want to do to control your living environment, you can do. You won’t find wiring in the wall anymore; it will all be done on a wireless basis.”
The Avenir development was controversial when council passed the necessary municipal development plan amendment to allow it to proceed in 2011. The city had been eyeing the land for industrial uses, and the decision to redesignate the land for Avenir met with criticism from the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce.
Council attached a few strings to the subdivision at the time, setting a deadline for the draft ASP, which the company met, and saying it would not look at the ASP until a former gravel pit on a piece of adjoining property was cleaned up.
Pat Cassidy, who wants to build his SAS Sports City on the property next to Avenir, attended the open house. He said the pit has been cleared and is waiting for soil samples to be taken and tested before applying to Alberta Environment for a remediation certificate.
“From what I understand of (Alberta Environment’s) process, this thing is fairly straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a month or so. We hope.”
Cassidy’s development would feature a 2,500-seat baseball stadium, a five-sheet ice arena, Canada’s largest fieldhouse, as well as a scattering of residential, commercial and industrial development.
Cassidy said his timeline was only a few weeks behind that of Avenir, saying he hopes to hold his own open house within three weeks.
According to Bromley, Avenir is finalizing its engineering reports to include in the final ASP that will go before council. If it receives endorsements from both council and the Capital Region Board, he anticipates starting servicing work next spring with lots becoming available in 2014. Cassidy says that also matches his timetable.
“It’s a unique development,” Cassidy said. “We’ve been promoting the heck out of it over the last couple of years and I think people we talk to are really excited about the concept of there being a sport concept built into it as the catalyst for development for the community.”