“Waiting for the green light” – Winnipeg Free Press

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The Kapyong Barracks redevelopment may not be the biggest mixed-use development undertaken in the city, but it is one of the most anticipated.

A year after the release of the master plan for the 160-acre development – ​​the project has been named Naawi-Oodena, which means “centre of heart and community” in the Anishinaabe language – soil remediation is still underway on what was once the property of the Department of National Defence.

For this reason, neither Treaty One Development Corp. (T1DC) nor the Canada Lands Company (CLC) – the land co-developers of the project – were even able to walk on the site. (T1DC is responsible for approximately 100 acres and CLC for 60 acres.)

“It’s still a hot site,” said Whelan Sutherland, CEO of T1DC. “We are still waiting for the green light.”

While no one is happy with the site’s development delays, the fact is that the bureaucratic undertaking necessary for the Treaty 1 nation to administer the territory is also still ongoing.

But Sutherland said: “There have been no surprises as to what we are about to build and what will appear on this site.”

When fully developed, which could take 10 to 15 years, the site could accommodate between 2,300 and 3,000 residences (including multi-family buildings) and up to 1.2 million square feet of commercial space. .

According to the detailed 100-page master plan (available online at wfp.to/kapyongplan), the site is divided into five distinct blocks. The two developers will share the development of three of them with T1DC, which was only created in 2018 just before the signing of the comprehensive settlement agreement with Canada in 2019, only responsible for two others.

Sutherland and Chris Elkey, CLC’s vice-president responsible for Western Canada, said the two groups continue to work closely together.

“We meet regularly,” Elkey said, “Our meetings are always productive and positive. We don’t expect that to change as we both continue to advance our individual interests… also our collective interests in creating a great community.

Jolene Mercer, director of governance for T1DC, said they are finalizing a Municipal Development Services Agreement (MDSA) which includes sewer and water as well as fire and emergency services for the lands that will be the largest urban reserve in the province and effectively outside of city jurisdiction.

And so, once this agreement is in place, it will be Treaty One that will issue the building permits, the occupancy permits and establish the regulations.

A City of Winnipeg official said: ‘The City and Treaty One Development Corporation have been working together on the framework of an agreement for over a year and the details of the agreement are in the final stages of preparation for review. by both parties. . We expect to be able to share these details in the near future. »


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T1DC is also awaiting survey documents that were previously the responsibility of the Department of National Defence. These documents are now the final piece required before referendums can be held in four of the seven First Nations that are part of Treaty One Nation, which owns the land.

Referendums are required by the First Nations Land Management Act to allow the addition of reserve lands — the urban reserve — to be jointly governed and administered on behalf of the seven Treaty One First Nations by T1DC. (Three of the reservations had completed the land code referendum previously tied to other projects.)

Elkey said, “This add-to-reserve process is very complex and time-consuming.”

Tim Daniels, Director of Development at T1DC, said: “Assuming all goes well this summer, the referendum with our citizens to vote on this unified land code, the signing of the MDSA, and then the Government of Canada has to designate it. as a reserve… there are still a lot of steps but we are getting closer to the end.

When that happens, T1DC will be able to quickly begin development on so-called Block A, an 8.8-acre parcel of land located on the northeast corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Taylor Avenue.

A business plan for this site is in place for the construction of five buildings: a five-storey, 70,000 square foot office building; a 40,000 square foot, four-storey mixed-use retail and professional services building; a 144-unit building; a gas station and a car service building.

T1DC may act as the actual developers of the site. Sutherland said all sorts of partnerships and development deals are being considered. He said that while the intention is to maximize the financial benefits that will accrue to the seven member communities of Treaty One Nation, non-Indigenous developers and tenants will obviously be welcome.

Sutherland said they are working on infrastructure planning and raising capital to be able to start construction work on Block A when the regulatory elements are in place.

Elkey said the SIC should have its secondary plan available for mayor’s approval later this year and can start doing its infrastructure work and building roads later next year. He said talks have started with interested developers.

And while rising interest rates and inflationary pressures are driving up the cost of construction dramatically, industry experts all seem to agree, Naawi-Oodena developers have nothing to worry about when it comes to request.

“This site is center ice from a Winnipeg perspective,” said Trevor Clay, Head of Commercial Real Estate Services at Capital. “It’s close to downtown, lots of retail, plenty of quality housing, and great schools. He has a lot of things to do. Obviously, there will be a lot of interest in this site.

The fact that it takes a while for anything to materialize comes as no surprise to the development community.

Martin McGarry, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Stevenson, said property developers have many hurdles to jump through, and this is a very important development, but he thinks any perceived delay is just about additional bureaucratic procedures. due to its status as an urban reserve.

“As a development community, we’re dying to see this thing come to fruition,” he said. “This is such an important project for a number of reasons.”

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Journalist

Martin Cash has written a column and business news for the Free Press since 1989. During those years he wrote through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) of the fortunes of many local businesses .

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