A new commercial retail development is in the works for South Campbell Business Park as a group of property owners prepares to begin developing the long-vacant land.
With the nearby Anthony Henday Drive due to open this fall, area landowners feel it’s the right time to get moving on developing the 26 hectares (65 acres) that flank Apex Casino on Boudreau Road.
“We see this as a great piece of land to create kind of a new entranceway for St. Albert, something that would be quite spectacular,” said Lyndon Decore, one of the partners in a group that also includes Apex Casino owners Bruce and Perry McPherson.
The new stretch of the ring road will have interchanges at St. Albert Trail and Campbell Road, creating a second major entranceway to the city. The group is working on ideas and concepts for “different commercial stuff” but doesn’t have anything “written in stone,” Decore said.
“There might be a couple propositions for a hotel on this land ... some convenience and some grocery, stuff like that,” he said.
South Campbell’s area structure plan identifies it as an industrial park with land uses split between light and medium industrial. However, the city’s municipal development plan also identifies the area as open to consideration for an urban village centre, a development that combines a range of office, retail, residential and institutional uses.
Landowners aren’t sure that any of those designations are right for the area, Decore said, so they will seek an amendment to the MDP. That process will begin with a public open house Feb. 2.
“We want to get some feedback from the people and get some ideas from them as well as give them a little bit of our ideas,” Decore said.
The land at South Campbell has been idle for years. The last attempt at developing it came in 2001 when Qualico pitched a development that combined high-tech industrial with residential. The idea failed to generate enthusiasm at city hall, partly over concerns about building homes in an industrial park.
“That’s one of the things that we want to present to the public and get some feedback on because I think that there’s some mixed feelings and ideas on that,” Decore said.
Mayor Nolan Crouse said he doesn’t know what the landowners are planning but is pleased that they will be putting something in front of the public to view.
“I hope it’s significant. I hope it creates some excitement,” Crouse said. “I’d be very thrilled if it came forward with a non-residential development in that area so I’m looking forward to seeing what their proposal is.”
The landowners are also very upbeat, Decore said.
“Everybody’s quite excited about doing a commercial retail type project on this land. We think it will create a new entranceway to St. Albert and provide a new face.”
The open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. The location is set for the Vintage Banquet Room at Apex Casino at 24 Boudreau Rd.