Plans unveiled for Sports City
Public open house showcased sports-focused development in northwest St. Albert
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 13, 2012 06:00 am
Nearly three-dozen residents and interested parties got a peek into a sport-infused development in St. Albert’s northwest corner that is promising a balance of residential, commercial and industrial uses.
SAS Sports and Entertainment Group, the company behind St. Albert Sports City, unveiled the Elysian Fields area structure plan Thursday at a public open house at the St. Albert Inn and Suites.
“It’s a development that offers a better way of life for people,” said Patrick Cassidy, president and CEO. “We’ve got a nice blend of sport mixed with entertainment components. I think what it’s doing is tapping into the lifestyles of a lot of people in the community.”
St. Albert Sports City is proposed to occupy land west of the future third leg of Ray Gibbon Drive, stretching from Giroux Road north to Villeneuve Road.
The city requires developers to hold a public open house in order to receive approval for an area structure plan. Cassidy said he expects the area structure plan to be completed by February 2013, adding reports need to be finalized by engineers and planners.
“I thought the layout and vision is bold and interesting and I look forward to seeing what comes forward,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse.
He said he has a number of concerns, namely that the golf academy land, located in the northeast corner, was also designated as municipal reserve land.
“That, for me, is not something that I’m going to be supporting,” he said.
Olga Lovatt, principal with Lovatt Planning Consultants Inc., said the golf academy land is not considered municipal reserve land. There is roughly 9.6 hectares of municipal reserve land scattered throughout the development.
Cassidy said St. Albert Public Schools supports the proposal to build a Grade 7 to 12 school in the development.
The city requires developers to designate 10 per cent of the total developable land to municipal reserve for things like parks and schools.
Cassidy said the development can accommodate about 2,500 people in the roughly 1,000 residential units in the development, including both low- and medium-density housing.
More than 13 hectares of the nearly 100-hectare development are set aside for a sports centre, set to house a baseball stadium, several ice rinks and a multi-sport field house. Nearly nine additional hectares are designated for the golf academy.
These facilities will be used to train 700 and 800 athletes annually, but will also be open to the public.
“If you put the right package together for these athletes, they’ll come from all over the world to come and train in these centres,” said Cassidy, who also owns the Edmonton Prospects baseball team.
Two former landfills exist in the development — one is located where the golf academy is situated while the other is replaced with a storm water management facility
“(Development is) driven by the clean-up of the pits,” Crouse said. “They’re already almost a year behind what they had committed … I’d like it to happen quicker rather than later.”
More than 10 per cent of the development, at roughly 10.5 hectares, is set aside for industrial use.
Cassidy does not yet own the land, and said he intends to purchase it upon receiving approval of the area structure plan.