The Forks will lead a planning process for a contentious city-owned surface parking lot.
This morning, a city committee approved a plan which will see the Forks Renewal Corporation lead a year-long engagement process for the city-owned Parcel Four and Forks land adjacent to the CN main line. The city-owned land is a gravel surface parking lot located next to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and was previously slated to become a 50,000-square-foot water park, hotel and parkade by an Alberta hotel chain.
Last year, the city's plan to offer a $7-million grant to a private developer willing to build a water park on the site fell through in May after councillors were bombarded with negative feedback from constituents who worried The Forks wasn't the place for a water park. Council asked the company for detailed site plans, prompting hotelier Canalta to walk away from the proposal.
In November, city council's downtown development committee voted to start consultations to come up with a vision of what could be developed on Parcel Four. This morning, the committee unanimously approved a plan to work in collaboration with the Forks Renewal Corporation on an engagement strategy.
The city and the Forks will each provide $75,000 toward the initiative which will include public input and urban design and development study.
"I think right now we're moving in the right direction," downtown development chairman Coun. Mike Pagtakhan said.