Red Deerians will get a taste of the potential for the city’s marquee riverside development this year.
While large-scale development is likely at least a year away for Capstone at Riverlands, the public will see key roads finished, bike trails, sidewalks and lighting added and, if all goes well, the completion of a public gathering spot called Canada 150 Square.
“At this point, (the site) still probably doesn’t look a lot different to most people,” said project manager Cory Edinga. “But by the end of this year, we expect it will start to take shape.”
The city has ambitious plans for Riverlands and its prime location on the river in an area once dominated by the city’s public works yards, which were demolished in 2014.
Capstone will eventually include a mix of condos and town homes, as well as commercial developments, such as hotels, offices and restaurants.
Public gathering spaces, green spaces and cultural facilities, such as a public market and artist studios, are also planned, as is a pedestrian bridge connecting the area to Bower Ponds.
The area has already attracted the eye of one developer, who is interested in building a multi-unit residential project in the area.
“Currently, we’re working with them to negotiate a deal so they can start working on that project,” said Edinga.
“Likely, we wouldn’t see anything happening on site this year. I expect that will probably be something we might see early next year.”
Capstone is slated for medium- to high-density residential units, such as apartments, condominiums or higher-density townhomes.
The city put out a call for a proposal for a riverfront hotel last year, but so far, there have been no takers.
“Right now, what we’re hearing from the hotel business is they want to see more development happening before they decide to invest in a hotel in this area,” he said.
In the meantime, the city has a busy construction season planned. Work began last week on Alexander Way and on 45th Street last year. This year, parking lanes, streetlights, bike paths, planters and seating will be added.
Another change people will notice is upgrading to the trail along the river from Taylor Drive to the West Park escarpment, which will be called Riverwalk.
“We’ll be upgrading that trail with some lighting and different amenities,” said Edinga.