Sale of Crossings Land for Core Service Area for West Lethbridge - Jul 08, 2013
Lethbridge, Alberta - A milestone decision by City Council today will be pivotal for the fulfillment of the long-term vision for West Lethbridge.
Development of a core service area for West Lethbridge, first envisioned more than 45 years ago, will go ahead as a result of Council's approval of the sale of 66.5-acres of land in Crossings to a major commercial development firm. Calgary-based Royop (Crossings) Development Ltd. has agreed to purchase the land from the City of Lethbridge for $33.85 million and will now lead development of a core service area featuring retail, office commercial and multi-family residential properties.
"This is a landmark announcement for our city. In the same way that the railyard relocation fundamentally reshaped downtown Lethbridge in the 1980s, today's decision adds the essential private-sector element needed to establish a core service area in West Lethbridge. By comparison, the Park Place Mall site is 50 acres," said Mayor Rajko Dodic. "Royop's proposal was the most attractive for our city and offered the best overall value, based on a number of factors including expertise, conceptual design and price."
The sale includes four parcels of land adjacent to the existing high schools and public library and will be completed in stages over the next six to nine years.
Royop was the highest-evaluated proponent after a pre-qualification process and a subsequent request-for-proposal process earlier this year. Royop specializes in developments that combine retail and commercial office properties with multi-family residential properties. The firm has committed to submitting a comprehensive development plan to the City by the end of March 2014.
"Today's announcement is the culmination of decades of planning dating back to 1967, when city planners first considered the potential for Lethbridge to expand to the west side of the Oldman River," said City Manager Garth Sherwin. "During the recession that hit in 2008, our land department demonstrated foresight and worked diligently to lay the groundwork in Crossings so it would be ready to market to developers when the economy recovered."
The West Lethbridge Urbanization Plan, drafted in 1969 before any development occurred on the west side, envisioned a future community core at what is now Crossings which would include civic recreation facilities as well as retail and commercial services as the area was built out to a future population of 80,000.
Since 2004, the City has invested in a library branch and collaborated with the Holy Spirit School Board and Lethbridge School District No. 51 to build new high schools at the Crossings. In addition, the City has invested in a 45-acre sports field and will be building a twin-ice arena, curling rink and aquatics centre at the Crossings in the next two-to-four years.
Gerald Gauthier, Communications Advisor Jeromy Thal
Office of the Mayor Royop (Crossings) Development Ltd.
403-320-3080 (403) 698-8504
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