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On course for new community

University unveils plans for former Southwood golf lands

Comments regarding transportation are left on sticky notes.

Comments regarding transportation are left on sticky notes.

The University of Manitoba's former golf-course lands will have housing, enough to justify a grocery store.

But exactly how many people will live there, or how high the buildings will be, is not yet known.

"We're trying to create a fairly dense neighbourhood. We're envisioning mixed-use development along Southwood Drive," Andrew Konowalchuk, association vice-president of administration and an architect, said Wednesday.

Draft plans for the 50-hectare former Southwood golf-course lands were on display at open houses on campus this week and will be shown again Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pembina Public Library.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/10/2014 (1071 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The University of Manitoba's former golf-course lands will have housing, enough to justify a grocery store.

But exactly how many people will live there, or how high the buildings will be, is not yet known.

An entrance into the future community.

An entrance into the future community.

Colleen Speight writes a comment about traffic on University Crescent during the open house Wednesday.

Colleen Speight writes a comment about traffic on University Crescent during the open house Wednesday.

"We're trying to create a fairly dense neighbourhood. We're envisioning mixed-use development along Southwood Drive," Andrew Konowalchuk, association vice-president of administration and an architect, said Wednesday.

Draft plans for the 50-hectare former Southwood golf-course lands were on display at open houses on campus this week and will be shown again Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pembina Public Library.

But details are still vague, though Konowalchuk said much clearer plans will be unveiled in January and February, leading to a final decision by the board of governors late in 2015.

The north end of the Southwood lands will be green space, which Konowalchuk said will likely be left in a natural state with some pedestrian and cycling paths.

There will be some form of retail cluster on Pembina Highway at the northwest tip of the lands, but the focal point will be what's being called a new Southwood community smack in the middle of the lands.

It would centre around Markham Drive and a parallel new Southwood Drive, both of which would be used for rapid-transit routes.

"We expect a mix of housing types... possibly up to six storeys," Konowalchuk said, though apartment buildings could conceivably go even higher.

"Development in Southwood has the opportunity to address all sorts of housing," including student residences, housing for students with families, seniors housing and housing units of various sizes for families.

"We'd be very sensitive to the neighbours," he said, pointing out the green space would buffer homes north of the campus.

There would be commercial and retail mixed into the new Southwood community, he said. Konowalchuk said there would "absolutely" be a grocery store.

Throughout the entire Fort Garry campus, the plans would emphasize active transportation for walking and cycling, with extensive riverbank access. There are plans for a pedestrian footbridge at the far east end of campus across the Red River to St. Vital.

Colleen Speight lives along University Crescent, and the U of M employee was anxious at Wednesday's open house to know why the street is being labelled a green corridor.

"Traffic is sometimes backed up two blocks," she said. "The traffic is getting worse every year — university enrolment is going up, and the stadium is there now."

Konowalchuk said University Crescent would be widened and "softened" — some landscaping, separated sidewalks and cycle paths.

A cyclist who lives just north of the golf lands called the stadium the elephant in the room; an elephant starved for parking spots.

Having green space at the top end of the golf-course lands delighted the man, who wouldn't give his name. "We weren't looking forward to a 20-storey apartment building" adjacent to older homes, he said.

Konowalchuk said planners are not expecting the final design will allow for any stadium parking on the Southwood land.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Nick Martin.

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History

Updated on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 6:49 AM CDT: adds links

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