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This article was published 8/3/2012 (3000 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mayor Sam Katz said he's "disappointed" a non-profit group wants to turn part of Upper Fort Garry into a temporary surface parking lot.
The non-profit Friends of Upper Fort Garry want to ask the city's permission to operate a temporary surface parking lot at the southwest corner of the property to generate operating revenue for less than two years.
The move comes as the non-profit is in the midst of converting most of the downtown city block bounded by Main Street, Broadway, Assiniboine Avenue and Fort Street into a $19-million heritage park. In 2008, the group convinced the city to walk away from a plan to allow an apartment tower to rise on the southwest corner of the block, just outside the former fort's original footprint.
The Friends have amassed approximately $12 million in private and public cash or future funding commitments to complete the heritage park, which would eventually see a heritage wall and an interpretive centre rise alongside Upper Fort Garry's final remaining wall.
Katz said the city has been working hard to get rid of downtown surface parking lots. He said the city had the opportunity to develop a high-rise apartment block on the same site, and reluctantly decided to move ahead with the Friends' plans.
Katz said the apartment block would likely be complete by now. He said he has not met with the group, but hopes to do so in the near future.
"That's going the exact opposite direction the city is moving towards," Katz said of the surface parking lot this morning.