Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, November 15, 2010
Centennial Park Condominiums
It was inevitable that the Oak Point Subdivision CN Line that travelled through River Heights would be developed. Once the rail tracks were pulled out, the surrounding streets had some control over what went in but resisted any and all plans.
People wanted to leave it as green space. However, that would have entailed an expensive purchase from CN and then a permanent maintenance program by the city thereafter. I expect that the neighbourhood would have resisted even elements of that if it included putting posts along the lanes to prevent people on Centennial Street and Lockwood Street from parking their cars on the property.
Anyone who travels through River Heights knows that the land is now used to park extra vehicles for those who live on the streets backing out onto the land.
It was probably thought that stubborn resistance to doing anything had won out. Parcels of land on the commercial strips were sold off on Academy Road and Grant Avenue so that any plans for a bike route or other transit corridor were effectively blocked.
If the surrounding streets had pushed for a bike path strongly, it is likely that they would have got it and saved a major aspect of the green space behind their homes. Instead, resistance to that and other ideas pervaded. It is hard not to link the resistance to keeping the parking when it is so prevalent.
Eventually, the opposition to doing anything was overuled by a majority of council. John Orlikow opposed developing anything on the land but didn't propose anything either. The rest of council decided that it was a case of not in my backyard and approved a few projects for condominiums.
The first was between Corydon and Grant Avenue. I will talk about this one later on. The second was between Kingsway and Corydon.
Tentatively called Centennial Park, it will consist of bungalow-like condos as seen in the picture above. The developers have said there will be 62 units with 38 going up in the spring of 2011.
A bike/walking path is planned for the land as well with 600 trees and shrubs.
The price on average will be about $250,000 per unit.
The sign for the variance change on Kingsway was vandalized this past spring. It is likely the neighbourhood still hasn't embraced this project but for people looking to live in the area, it could be an inviting opportunity.