Strathearn Heights developers ask for Edmonton's help to build pedestrian road

The City of Edmonton is considering helping to fund a pedestrian street through a proposed high-density, transit-oriented development near the future Valley LRT line.

The city has agreed to enter talks with developers Rockwell Group and Nearctic Property Group on the Strathearn Heights redevelopment that was zoned in 2008, and has sat dormant since.

The plan is to build a mix of towers and townhomes, with 88 Street being a pedestrian-oriented main street through the centre of the complex leading towards the future LRT. The park-like road would have a tree-filled boulevard in the centre, flanked by wide sidewalks and bike lanes.

But the developers say the road has proven to be too expensive for them, and want the city to reimburse the $13-million cost.

A rendering of the Strathearn Heights redevelopment project.

A rendering of the Strathearn Heights redevelopment project.

Credit: Nearctic

“There is some urgency to this, because the idea was to get a lot of this timed to go with LRT construction and the neighborhood reconstruction that’s happening there,” Coun. Ben Henderson told the Urban Planning Committee before they voted to approve the negotiation.

READ MORE: Council LRT decision also puts housing project on hold in Strathearn

Henderson said the idea is to eventually recover the money the city outs in through increased property taxes the redevelopment would generate.

“That solution included something that would look somewhat similar to what we might have done with Brownfield grants, where we could put the money forward and take it back out of new taxes as it went forward.”

The Valley Line is to run “on 95 Avenue through Strathearn. Since 2008, economic conditions and high infrastructure costs associated with the project have prevented the development from proceeding,” the report said.

— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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