Details are expected to be presented to city council next week on a proposal to convert an old hangar in Blatchford into housing for NAIT students.
Hangar 11 was built in 1942 for the Second World War and has been boarded up since 2013. Restoring the building would cost upwards of $30 million, according to the Edmonton Aviation Museum.
“Redevelopment is going to happen and Blatchford is going to be an important part of the city’s redevelopment,” said Tony Caterina, Ward 7 councillor.
Edmonton company Architure Inc. wants to turn the hangar into 225 units of housing for students at NAIT. The design presented to the city’s executive committee also showed room for retail space and food sales.
“We need redevelopment on the site, we need things to progress and having student housing, retail, commercial (developments), that sort of thing, it makes sense,” said Caterina.
NAIT has asked for some time to discuss the possible redevelopment plans, according to Caterina.
The executive committee is submitting the proposal to council for approval, details will be presented to next week.
The problem council will face is a policy preventing the city from buying or selling land under market value.
“Those sorts of technicalities or legalities have to be figured out,” said Caterina. “We’ll see with council discussions if there are other opinions or more information has been gleaned over the week… that will clarify some questions that we have.”
Blatchford was formerly the City Centre Airport, city council decided to close it in phases in 2009.