The developer that brought Saskatoon its second Costco is now hoping to bring a grocery store to the downtown core.
Arbutus Properties is proposing to buy the old city yards near the police station off 25th Street, with hopes to convert the 22 acres of land into a community of apartments, condos, retail and a full-sized grocery store.
The development would also make use of existing “character buildings” on the land.
“It’s definitely a challenge but we think we’ve got the right plan,” President Jeff Drexel told 650 CKOM.
The Vancouver-based company will make their pitch to city councillors at Monday’s planning, development and community services committee meeting.
Early renderings detailing a vision for the area include a large pedestrian courtyard surrounded by businesses and condos, with a grocery store playing a prominent role.
“In order to create your own community in the downtown, we think the size is very important,” Drexel said. “We thought this was one of the few properties with a large enough mass.”
He noted a residential and retail development would align with the city’s infill development initiatives, while making use of a “brownspace” and adding to the tax base.
Drexel said they want to undertake a six-month feasibility study to ensure their vision can be executed. If successful, the company would pay “full market value” for the land. Arbutus Properties is the same developer that built The Meadows community off Boychuk Drive, and facilitated the land transfer leading to the opening of Costco on Highway 16.
The city has been phasing out the use of the downtown yards over the past year as it moves assets to the civic operations centre off Valley Road.
The city yards are bordered by Idylwyld Drive, 25th Street and Manitoba Avenue.
Monday’s committee meeting begins at 9 a.m.