Quarterly Update on the City Centre Airport Redevelopment

Today the City of Edmonton provided an update on the City Centre Redevelopment. Phil Sande, the project’s executive director, gave a brief overview of the report (PDF) that will go to Council on Friday, and was available to the media for questions. As you can see, the project now has a logo!

Phil talked most about the process for the design competition. Submissions from the five finalists are due on January 21, 2011, and are to contain display material, a five-minute video, and written content. Each finalist must also make a case for why they should be chosen. Here are the updated dates:

  • January 21, 2011: Submissions from finalists due.
  • January 24/25, 2011: Submissions should be available to the public online.
  • January 28 – February 6, 2011: Submissions will be on display at City Hall (and other locations).
  • February 8-10, 2011: Selection Committee will review the submissions and interview each team.
  • March 2011: Recommendation from Selection Committee will go to City Council.
  • April/May 2011: Winning submission selected and contract negotiations begin.

The winning submission will then undergo a 15 month “master plan process” which will include extensive public involvement. After that process is complete, the City will have more reliable numbers for both number of residents and potential tax revenue from the redevelopment. Tenders for construction of the first phase of the project could go out as early as the summer of 2013, with utility work beginning around the same time.

Phil Sande, CCR

There’s an update on the environmental analysis in the report:

The Phase II Environmental Site Assessment on the east portion of Edmonton City Centre Airport site identified three locations where there are contaminants above acceptable criteria. A risk management approach is being applied to these sites, which means no remediation is necessary until such time as the site is redeveloped.

There were lots of questions about the updated revenue estimates for the redevelopment. Here’s what the report says:

Based on current development practices, upon full build out, preliminary estimates suggest that the City Centre Redevelopment will generate annual tax revenues in excess of $20 million per year and generate net sales revenues in excess of $70 million.

Phil stressed that we’ll have better information after the master plan process, and that the estimates are conservative and very approximate. He cited a change in parameters (notably the amount of land set aside for institutional use, and an increase in the amount of residential use and thus a decrease in the more lucrative commercial space) as contributing to any differences from previous estimates.

Here’s what Economic Impact Analysis (PDF) from June 2009 said:

The overall benefit to the City of Edmonton resulting from redevelopment of the ECCA lands is estimated to total $93 million (2009 $ net present value over 35 years using a 10% discount rate).  This benefit is expected to range between $55 and $168 million when the discount rate applied to future costs and revenues is varied by ±3%.

You can find all the other relevant documents here. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers change as we learn more, but right now, they don’t seem that far off from where we were at last year.

Phil said that the redevelopment is still a vitally important project for the City of Edmonton, one that will bring a number of benefits to Edmontonians. His team has not received anything from the finalists in the design competition just yet, but it sounds like they are hard at work. I look forward to seeing what they have come up with in January!

UPDATE: Here’s a PDF document that outlines the range of redevelopment opportunities as they were envisioned in 2009. The net revenues of the options range from $91 million to $486 million.

UPDATE2: Another update from the City, received this evening:

Previous estimates of City revenues ranging from $91M to $486M remain accurate. These are based on the City acting as developer in four possible redevelopment scenarios. The anticipated revenue from the sale of the land as reported in the update is $70M. This number is based on the City selling the land to a developer, rather than acting as the developer itself, as is intended. The option for the City to simply sell the land was not one of the previous four redevelopment scenarios, and should not have been included in the quarterly update report. It is not an option the City is considering.

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