City of Lacombe calls land exchange a ‘win-win’

Lacombe-based real estate development company proposed land exchange involving multiple properties

The City of Lacombe has reached an agreement with a real estate development company that it says will benefit taxpayers and revitalize key downtown properties.

The deal involves the exchange of the municipally owned Provincial Building, former police station and current fire hall building for the Tricon Group’s property at 5404 56th Ave. (the former Parkland Regional Library) and a cash payment of $375,000.

The Lacombe Fire Department will continue to operate in its current space as part of a lease-back agreement until relocating to a new facility, slated for 2023-24 construction as detailed in the city’s 10-year capital plan.

“This is a positive development for all parties involved,” said Mayor Grant Creasey.

“At first glance, the city may be exchanging two assets for one, but in reality, there is much more to this agreement. We are trading closed doors and darkened windows for spaces that will immediately generate tax revenue, and once redeveloped, add to our vibrant downtown.

“This agreement also releases the city from significant ongoing maintenance obligations for buildings that had no immediate municipal purpose,” said Creasey.

The land exchange is a win-win for both parties and for the community, given Tricon Group’s track record with other local projects, such as the new Lacombe Community Health Centre and the transformation of the former Empress Hotel, said chief administrative officer Matthew Goudy.

“The acquisition of the former Parkland library site creates a large, continuous municipal land reserve in the heart of our community, from City Hall to the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, which gives us flexibility to respond to opportunities in the future.”

The deal is expected to close in March, and will impact the city’s 2020 operational budget.

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