New neighbourhood planned for city's southwest
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 06:00 am
Plans are in the works for a new neighbourhood in southwest St. Albert with about 700 housing units.
Eighty-six acres of land, located across the road from the Enjoy Centre, were sold to South Riel Development in 2012.
Beaverbrook Developers previously owned the land.
Paul Lanni, president of Edmonton based Averton Homes, said he took over the site in the spring of 2012.
He said a group of builders, Averton Homes and MacLachlan & Mitchell Homes, were looking to create a new community there.
“It’s been sitting there for a long time and we saw an opportunity and thought it was a good fit in the area with the change in infrastructure and transportation and all that,” he said.
“It will have a village feel within St. Albert of its own character and type.”
The land is currently zoned as multi-family residential, allowing for 700 units of housing.
But Lanni said they might still tweak that in working with the city.
“Based on what’s been approved right now it’s a lot of mid-density; townhouses, row houses, there’s walk-ups, there’s a mid-rise tower in there,” he said.
“We are taking what is already approved and we will tweak it a bit so it is what we think best suits the area.”
At this point, he could not comment on what those changes may be.
Lanni said higher density construction was traditionally uncommon in St. Albert. But the builders hoped to attract young families who wanted to stay in the community.
The area surrounding the neighbourhood is mainly commercial and industrial with train tracks running in the west.
Lanni said other neighbourhoods in the Greater Edmonton area had a history of successful residential construction, despite concerns about nearby industrial sites.
He added that other parts of St. Albert had train tracks running through them.
“Housing backing onto a train track requires some thought but there are ways to buffer it,” he said.
“We are right next to the Enjoy Centre and with Ray Gibbon Drive and the access to the Henday, we think it will be a real winner as far as location.”
He added that a site next to the Enjoy Centre is zoned for commercial development. He expects that could create new retail opportunities for the neighbourhood.
Beside its commercial attraction, he said the area also encourages an active lifestyle.
“You have Big Lake right there, you have Lois Hole Centennial Park which is going to be a great amenity for people in the area, you have the Red Willow Trail right alongside the rear of our site,” he said.
The neighbourhood is still without a name, but construction is expected to start in the summer of 2014.