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Proposed Valley View project could make ‘big splash’ in area, developer says

Developer Carpere Canada wants feedback from residents about the proposed site concept plan to redevelop the former Valley View Centre property.

Sixteen months after purchasing the Valley View Centre property from the provincial government, Richmond, B.C.-based Carpere Canada is looking for public feedback on the proposed site concept plan.

Terry Tian, director of business development for Carpere, and Alan Wallace, with consulting firm Wallace Insights, appeared before city council during its Jan. 24 executive committee meeting to discuss the project. 

The site consists of about 160 acres and 320,000 square feet of existing buildings, with roughly 120 acres developable. According to a council report, the preliminary concept plan contains a mixture of land uses, including single-detached large-lot residential, multi-family residential, commercial, and institutional. 

The plan proposes housing 2,887 people, while the development would occur in five phases. 

The concept plan’s final report — to be presented in late March or early April — will include the project’s next steps and data acquired from studies and analyses. 

Besides residents, Wallace Insights also wants feedback from Wakamow Valley Authority, the Ministry of Highways, both school divisions, and 15 Wing Air Base. 

This process will run from Jan. 25 until about early February. 

Visit www.wallaceinsights.com/valleyview to provide feedback about the proposed concept plan.

Presentation

Wallace Insights has worked on this project for over a year and is excited to make public the plans, said Wallace by video. 

“This will require a large investment by Carpere to be successful. But it is also one of the most beautiful sites in Moose Jaw, adjacent to Wakamow Valley and Moose Jaw River,” he stated. “We’ve dubbed this project a once-in-a-generation city-building opportunity … .”

Carpere’s vision is to make this area a destination draw for not only residents but others from across southern Saskatchewan looking to live, shop or work, Wallace continued. 

There will be different mixed land uses within the development, such as large estates, student housing, multi-family dwellings, seniors’ residences and a commercial square for farmers’ markets. 

Meanwhile, Carpere wants to retain as much greenspace and mature trees as possible while returning some land to its natural prairie habitat, he said. Carpere also wants this project to be sustainable and usable all four seasons, which includes ensuring walkways are connected to area pathways.

The company also wants to respect the site’s heritage since Valley View existed for roughly 65 years. This means some buildings could be repurposed. 

Construction would start in the north and west, with other sections added based on market demand, Wallace stated. Carpere hopes the project will reach “critical mass” in five to 10 years and generate more demand, with completion in about 25 years.

Construction could commence this fall.

The project will require a new zoning district to accommodate its special features, he said. There would also be other requests — water and electricity connections perhaps — but nothing “unreasonable in our view.”

“I have been very bullish on Saskatchewan’s growth. It is set to grow,” added Wallace. “… I think Moose Jaw is nicely positioned to take advantage of a lot of that. … This is going to make a big splash.”

Council reaction

“This is a really impressive project. It’s really exciting to see that this is being developed on Valley View property,” said Coun. Crystal Froese. “It’s going to be even more exciting when we see more details and see what’s coming.”

Coun. Heather Eby appreciated hearing that many mature trees would be kept since they are valuable. She noted that the area’s draw is its natural beauty.

The debate in 2020 and 2021 about refurbishing the Seventh Avenue Southwest bridge was contentious, especially since Carpere didn’t want to help pay, she pointed out. However, she thought this project allowed council to start fresh with Carpere.  

“It’s unlikely I’ll be around in 30 years from now (when the project is finished),” Eby added, “but what a great legacy to leave for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

The next executive committee meeting is Monday, Feb. 14.