Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Roadway needed for new housing council's call

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THE construction of a roadway in west Transcona, key to developing 200 hectares of new residential housing in the area, will be going to city council for approval.

The deal with developer Genstar to build a 1.7-kilometre extension of Kildare Avenue West was approved by executive policy committee this week -- after it had been stalled at council a month ago over concerns with the project's costs.

St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel, chairman of the public works committee, said the $21.6-million administration estimate was too steep and wanted time to review it.

Genstar came back this week and agreed the administration's estimate was high, adding they could do the job for considerably less: $16.1 million.

Swandel said his issues were addressed with the lower price tag and more flexiblity in the city's repayment plan.

"The numbers have been clarified and adjusted down," Swandel said as he explained his reason to now support the agreement.

The road-building deal is billed as the culmination of a lengthy and complicated proposal where the city would do a joint venture with Genstar for a new housing development in west Transcona, north of Club Regent on Regent Avenue, to be known as Devonshire Village.

The extension would be built through the decommissioned former east public works yard -- which the city hopes to sell to a developer -- to the proposed Devonshire Village development.

The city expects to earn $6 million in the joint venture, and the road extension would facilitate the sale of the old public works yard, which will also eventually be developed for area housing.

The Kildare deal involved Genstar constructing the road, with the city repaying the firm within five years.

Genstar said the construction of the roadway would not only trigger construction of the Devonshire project, but also kick-start three other developments and the city's own sale of the former public works yard -- a total of 200 hectares of residential housing in the area.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2014 B2

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