One of the first Capstone re-developments — a one-storey strip mall — got the go-ahead from Municipal Planning Commission on Wednesday in hopes it would soon spark larger projects.
Mayor Ken Johnston called the strip mall project at 5441-45th Street “catalytic” to the redevelopment of riverside properties in this neighbourhood just off of the downtown.
“The community has aspirations for Capstone,” said Johnston, who sits on MPC. He feels this is understandable because taxpayers, through the city, have invested “capital” into land servicing and promotion.
With this commercial project and a few other developments, the mayor added he’s quite encouraged “exciting times are coming for Capstone.”
Members of MPC gave unanimous support to the strip mall, which is expected to be completed by mid-2024.
Small variances were granted for slightly less landscaping and a smaller building footprint than permitted uses would have allowed. Part of the reason for this is a sloped escarpment, which makes part of the property unusable for construction or parking.
Although construction hasn’t yet started, there has been serious interest from professional support services businesses, said Tanya Kure, director of property development for East Lincoln Properties.
She believes medical services would also be a great fit for the yet-unoccupied bays, since the commercial centre will proximate to the Red Deer hospital.
Red Deer city Coun. Lawrence Lee hinted to project developer East Lincoln Properties that land in the “middle” of Capstone is still available for development. “I would love if you guys could help us with that,” he said.
When the development company was asked if its seniors housing project, recently denied in Waskasoo, could be moved to Capstone, Kure said the company would like to pursue other configurations for it on the Waskasoo land, next to Red Deer Christian School.
But she added East Lincoln Properties could propose other future projects for Capstone.
This L-shaped strip mall would be faced in glass and metal panels. Several MPC members commented that it was attractively designed. “I can see it blending in nicely,” said Richard McDonell, a citizen representative on the board.
Red Deer city council previously approved a site exception that allowed for this development, which didn’t initially fit with the original vision of the neighbourhood. A height requirement for the site was reduced from two storeys to one storey and front parking was allowed for more than 40 per cent of the frontage of the property.