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Opportunity, right in the centre of Jasper Place

Update – The purchase has been approved by Council!


Second only in impact to the approval of a statutory Area Redevelopment Plan next year, in a single-effort tomorrow, City Council could be in the position of granting a substantial opportunity to the west-end and in particular, the communities of the Jasper Place area in Ward 1.

The orange building at the corner of 100th avenue and 156th street, the site of a former school in the Town of Jasper Place, has long-been a distinctive mark. It’s also centered between four communities undergoing a dedicated revitalization, across the street from the Jasper Place transit terminal, and adjacent to a future LRT stop, within an active business revitalization zone, and within an area of Stony Plain Road envisioned to be a walkable pedestrian coordinator and vibrant urban market.

A decision by MacEwan University’s board of governors in 2009, to consolidate operations around it’s downtown campus means an open opportunity for the future of the building and site.

Slated to begin construction in 2013, with a opening targeted for 2015;

The new facility will house operations for the Centre for the Arts & Communications (CFAC), which will relocate from the west end campus.

Students will remain in the west end until the new facility is complete.

Yesterday evening several interested community league’s gathered to learn more about MacEwan’s plans and possible future options and processes for repurposing the site. Officials see a likely future for the facility in serving the public in some way, and any sale will need the approval of the provincial government through an order in council.

City staff have been discussing a possible purchase of the facility for some time now. With a possible future use an “arts incubator”.

With the surrounding communities looking for an investment in local amenities, and an adjacent business revitalization zone looking to create an attractive urban market, there is opportunity here. And with a decision today, Council can move the purchase forward. An arts incubator perhaps, space for community meetings, activities and programs, or more – right next to a future LRT transit station.

The loss of an educational facility in the community need not be a loss at all, just a new direction for an accessible, centrally located facility, at the four corners of neighbourhoods with a combined population of over 15,000. Officially sponsored revitalization efforts will have ended by the time MacEwan University has moved downtown, a decision to purchase this orange icon tomorrow, could be the best way for the city to end those efforts and send the communities of West Jasper Place, Glenwood, Canora, Britannia-Youngstown as well Sherwood, Jasper Park and more, off into their future.




Planning JP

The process to develop a long awaited Jasper Place area redevelopment plan is finally set to begin. An ARP was identified as a key priority for residents of the Glenwood, Canora, West Jasper Place and Britannia-Youngstown communities during the development of the JP Revitalization Strategy, approved by Council in 2009. After a lobbying effort by community members, and with the budget time support of Councillor Sloan, funding was finally allocated to begin.

Revitalization of Residential Areas
The study area includes areas of older housing, in need of rehabilitation. Many property owners have been reluctant to
undertake home improvements, because of the uncertain future of the area. The Jasper Place neighbourhood is undergoing
renewal, since Council reaffirmed its future in 1980, as a single family area. East Glenwood, however, has not experienced
revitalization, despite its designation as a Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program area in 1983.

Changes in Land Use
The 100 Avenue Corridor was an area in transition when the zoning freeze was imposed. Single family housing was being
replaced with low-rise apartments, and commercial development along Stony Plain Road was spreading south into adjacent
residential areas. The freeze suspended this process, and left a mix of incompatible land uses in some parts of the corridor.
There is a need to establish a clear direction for future land use changes in the area, once the zoning freeze is lifted. The
upgrading of 100 Avenue to an arterial roadway, and its connection from 163 Street to 170 Street and Highway 16, will
increase commercial development pressures in the area.

The above quotes from the 100th Avenue Planning Study, approved by Council in 1986, show the issues affecting the area and the need land-use planning and revitalization in the area are not new.
Jasper Place 2012 Edmonton Census Results
As of the 2012 municipal census, with over 7,500 dwelling units, the JP area is now home to over 16,000 residents, with the largest of the four neighbourhoods, Glenwood, being home to over 5,000.

The growth of the Jasper Place population is also going to be affected by, and will to an extent, eventually reside with Transit Oriented Developments.

The Transit Oriented Development guidelines, approved by Council in February of this year, designated the three future stops along 156st & Stony Plain Road, as “neighbourhood” stations and are currently being used by Council and Administration to evaluate zoning application within 400 metres of each.

200m, 400m, and 800m distances from the proposed LRT stops along 156 Street. The guidelines currently apply within 400m of the station areas.

City of Edmonton – Transit Oriented Development Guidelines

The Stony Plain Road Business Revitalization Zone is active along the commercial strip between communities. Community Leagues exist in all four neighbourhoods, and the Jasper Place Revitalization and the Friends of Jasper Place Society are active across neighbourhood boundaries working towards goals of revitalization and building community pride and involvement in the area.

The process, as outlined by City Administration is aimed towards a completion date in winter of 2013. Planners are currently looking for area residents, interested in joining the project’s “Evidence Team”
Jasper Place ARP Evidence Team TOR
This is a long awaited, long desired step in planning for change & revitalization in a growing area. An area with the potential to be a hub for the west-end and rich in amenities and housing options for a current and growing population. It was great to see residents from the four communties, turn out en masse this past Tuesday to learn more about the project. That level of interest will need to be maintained to ensure the best possible outcome. The four communities are connected, yet unique, and as such, it’s so important that individual contributions from each, be represented from beginning to end.

Anyway, this was just a quick rundown on what’s happened to date. I’ll have further information and commentary on the subject in a week or two after posing some questions to the planners involved. Four more info, you can visit Edmonton.ca/JasperPlaceARP