Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/3/2009 (4576 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Curious spectators got a glimpse of architectural drawings of the proposed new Tuxedo Yards Redevelopment that includes an IKEA store, at an open house tonight.
"All I can say is it’s good for the economy," said Helen Sklavenitis. "If we didn’t have this, we’d have to go to Edmonton or Toronto (for IKEA furniture). So this saves us a lot of money."
But many people in attendance were concerned what it would mean for their neighbourhoods. One woman on Kenaston Boulevard said her joy at hearing IKEA is coming to Winnipeg, was dashed when she learned it would be on her street.
Debbie Hurrell predicts horrendous traffic congestion along Route 90.
Larger than Polo Park mall. More expensive than Portage Place. More ambitious than The Forks.
These are some of the phrases city staff use to describe the $400-million, 1.5-million-square-foot commercial project officially known as the Tuxedo Yards Redevelopment, but more widely known as the IKEA project.
On March 18, city council's executive policy committee will consider a series of planning and zoning amendments that could pave the way for a commercial development that will unfold over the next nine years at the corner of Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard.
Proponents of the plan praise the project as a sign of Winnipeg's economic health and look forward to almost $6 million in new property and education taxes every year after the development is completed in 2018.
Detractors deride the development as little more than urban sprawl and point to $22 million in city and provincial infrastructure spending as a poorly justified subsidy.
While developer Fairweather Properties has a conceptual plan for the entire site, the only firm facet involves the anchor tenant, a 350,000-square-foot IKEA furniture store planned for the southwest corner of Sterling Lyon and Kenaston.
"Everything else you see on the site (plans) is for purposes of massing and getting a sense of the site," said Paul McNeill, the MMM Group's regional vice-president.
If city council approves the project, Fairweather Properties will formally search for other big-box retailers to set up shop north of Sterling Lyon Parkway.
To make the project happen, Fairweather will spend $26.5 million to widen Kenaston, Sterling Lyon and Shaftesbury Boulevard and install three new sets of traffic lights. The city and province will eventually pay all but $4.5 million of these costs back.
If the plan is approved, all the infrastructure improvements will be made at the beginning of the project, so as not to interrupt retail operations later on, said Barry Thorgrimson, the city's economic development manager.
To prepare for the project, the developer has commissioned a traffic study and the city has determined how 1.5 million square feet of commercial space will affect Winnipeg's future economic needs.
Even with the IKEA-led development, Winnipeg will still need to create an average of 450,000 square feet of commercial space every year for the next two decades, said city planner John Wintrup.
He calls the project a super-regional development, in that it will attract shoppers from across southern Manitoba and parts of neighbouring provinces and U.S. states.
But not all Winnipeggers are lining up to praise the project, as sprawl opponents dislike the location in fast-growing southwest Winnipeg and environmentalists rue the eventual creation of no less than 7,517 automobile parking stalls across the entire development.
"What's being proposed is huge, vaster than Polo Park," said St. James resident Doreen Pruden, who contacted the Free Press to register her disapproval. Polo Park mall is 1.2 million square feet.
Pruden feels the public has not had enough time to digest details about the project, as only 13 days separate last week's publication of a city planner's report about the development and next week's public hearing.
The formal public hearing into the development is March 18 at city hall, beginning at 9 a.m.
All roads lead to shopping
Proposed roadway changes if the IKEA-led development is approved:
- Kenaston Boulevard will be widened to six lanes from Taylor Avenue to just south of Lowson Crescent.
- Sterling Lyon Parkway will become a four-lane divided roadway between Kenaston Boulevard and the Shaftesbury Boulevard/McCreary Road intersection.
- Shaftesbury Boulevard north of Wilkes Avenue will be widened by adding two southbound left-turn storage lanes.
- There will be a new set of traffic lights at Lowson Crescent and Kenaston Boulevard.
- There will be two new sets of traffic lights along Sterling Lyon Parkway to handle traffic at two new intersections. The second set of lights, at the western end of the development, will be installed but not activated until increased traffic warrants the new set of signals.
- Kenaston Boulevard northbound will have three left-turning lanes at Sterling Lyon Drive. This will result in nine lanes on Kenaston just south of the Sterling Lyon intersection.
- Sterling Lyon Parkway eastbound will have three left-turning lanes at Kenaston Boulevard in addition to its two eastbound through-lanes. There will also be a third westbound through-lane on Sterling Lyon from Kenaston to the second new traffic signal and a third eastbound through-lane on Sterling Lyon from this signal to Kenaston. As a result, there will be a total of nine lanes on Sterling Lyon Parkway, just west of Kenaston.
-- Source: John Wintrup,
principal planner, City of Winnipeg
It starts with
The tentative concept plan for the $400-million, 1.5-million-square-foot commercial project known as Tuxedo Yards Redevelopment, pending approval by Mayor Sam Katz's cabinet on March 18 and then city council as a whole:
A 350,000-square-foot IKEA store and several other retail stores at the southwest corner of Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard, as well as $26.5 million worth of roadway improvements and new signals to serve all three phases of the project. The city and province will pay back $22 million to developer Fairweather Properties.
More commercial development at the northwest corner of Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard. Developments may include a 200,000-square-foot retailer, two retailers with 140,000 to 200,000 square feet of space and several other retailers. This is subject to change.
Lands to the west of Phase One. Development may include a 16-screen movie theatre, a 100-room hotel, a 500-unit condo project and 150,000 square feet of retail space. This too is subject to change.
Parking: A minimum of 7,517 parking stalls for the entire development. Landscaping will interrupt every 20 to 30 rows of parking stalls.
Bus service: Winnipeg Transit has a basic plan to extend its Crosstown West route, which provides service between Polo Park and the University of Manitoba.
Active transportation: A 3.5-metre-wide asphalt path will run alongside Kenaston Boulevard and connect to the city's existing trail network. The IKEA store alone will have 50 bike parking spots.