Representatives from Fort McKay First Nation, St. Albert. Alberta, city council and local developer Landrex have ceremoniously broken ground on a long-planned multi-use development in Erin Ridge.
The development, which Landrex estimates to be worth more than $170 million once complete, will bring three new apartment buildings with 183 individual units and about 100,000 square feet of commercial space to St. Albert's north end within five years.
The project is called the East Village.
For Fort McKay First Nation and newly elected Chief Raymond Powder, the development project and partnership with Landrex is a continuation of the Nation's efforts to diversify its investments and methods of generating revenue.
“This is an added opportunity for us to continue growing,” Powder said during a speech at the June 22 ground-breaking ceremony. “One of the greatest things about this is we want to have more diversification within our Nation, and this is an opportunity where we want to run off with that.”
Fort McKay First Nation is located nearly 500 kilometres north of St. Albert, an affluent suburban community near Edmonton.
Landrex president Sophie Baron said construction will begin soon, with the first phase of work limited to one complete apartment building. Phase 1 is expected to take 18 months.
“We have worked so hard to get here,” Baron said. “It's the beginning of a journey together to create something that I hope everyone can embrace and enjoy.”
Another aspect of the Erin Ridge development is a park space, which Baron said will be open to the public as well as tenants.
“Some of the key highlights of the development are residential apartments, commercial (space to host) offices, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery, retail, a central park, rooftop patios — I could sell this site for days,” Baron said.