There could be an influx of new homes in East St. Paul.
At open houses at Abundant Life Lutheran Church on Oct. 16 and 22, the Fahr Group shared its vision for the 500-acre tract of land, of which it hopes to develop 265 acres, toward the north side of the community.
Plans call for approximately 600 homes and another 150 units in multi-family housing to be built, while a village centre with services like restaurants, boutique shops, medical services, a farmers market, and condominium and assisted living facilities is planned for the east end of the development.
The village centre, which Fahr Group vice-president of operations Johnathan Fahr said is designed to recreate classic European town centres, is slotted at the east end of the development along Raleigh Street.
Fahr said plans have been in the works for over six years, and he said now is the right time to proceed.
"East St. Paul has got a demand for multi-family and small-scale commercial development," Fahr said. "That’s why we’re bringing it forward now."
Fahr envisions the development will be a sustainable one, with active transportation paths running from the village centre to Manlius Street, to the north end of the property, while the southern part of the path will link to a roadway. As well, the proposal hopes to extend active transportation paths along Birds Hill Road to the recreational lands just south of Garven Road.
The plan also notes Raleigh Street is proposed as a collector/arterial parkway.
Joyce Petryk, who lives near the proposed village centre, said the plans proposed changed from those she saw presented to East St. Paul council last year.
"I thought it was going to be residential right to Raleigh," she said. "We back onto it, so it’s interesting to see that there’s going to be the commercial. Is it going to affect the value of my property?"
Van Whitehead, a resident of Silver Fox Estates, said he likes the idea of the development, but is concerned about lot sizes. He pointed to the development of Headmaster Row in North Kildonan as a look to avoid.
"All you see is a garage and a driveway," Whitehead said of the development. "East St. Paul is not Winnipeg, and it has a unique character. It shouldn’t end up resembling Transcona.
"(I’d like to see) attention paid to streetscaping, walking trails, and, ideally, a larger lot size."
Allan Akins, who lives east of town, said he’d consider moving into one of the condominium units when he’s looking to downsize.
"It looks pretty good. I like the walking trails," Akins said. "It’s got a lot of the amenities that we’re looking for. How long it’s going to take is probably the biggest question."
For more information, visit http://fahrgroup.ca/fahr-lands-subdivision, where there is a discussion forum for those who wish to provide feedback but were not able to attend the open houses.