SRDC wants a redevelopment plan for the downtown and waterfront

Colin MacLean
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The Summerside Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) and its partners are looking for someone to write a waterfront/downtown redevelopment plan for the city. 

The SRDC issued a request for proposals on Jan. 7 and recently extended the deadline for responses to this Thursday.

Arnold Croken, general manager of the SRDC, said the request could lay the groundwork for future development in the city’s downtown core.

“How do we thread our waterfront together with the downtown and the business community in the city so it’s all blended together and works well together,” he said, regarding the purpose of the plan.

The end-product will focus mainly on things such as what zoning and infrastructure changes might need to be implemented, rather than planning out specifics like where to build parks and green-spaces, said Croken.

“Before you start talking about what you build, you have to have some framework in place for what is desirable, what can and what can’t be done, what should and shouldn’t be done. This (request for proposal) is to form a framework and a guideline that we’re all happy with,” said Croken.

This latest development in the downtown/waterfront revitalization effort is the continuation of a project that was started more than a year ago by the Summerside Port Corporation. That organization commissioned Halifax-based Ekistics Planning & Design to create a broad-stroke vision for the city’s waterfront in 30 years.

Ekistics held two public meetings to gather input and then created a mock-up of what could be done in the downtown and along the water. The final presentation that was presented to the public included a redesign of the Holland College campus, increasing pleasure-boat docking capacity, adding new marinas, creating more residential units, adding a pedestrian shopping area, reclaiming additional land from the bay for more parkland and various other initiatives.

Croken said the presentation was well-received by the various other organization in the downtown so some of them struck up a working group to advance the initiative. That steering group is now made up of the president of the Downtown Business Association, the president of the SRDC, the president of the Summerside Port Corporation and the city’s chief administrative officer. They decided to shift leadership of the project away from the port corporation to the SRDC.

 

Organizations: Summerside Regional Development, Holland College, Summerside Port Ekistics Planning Design Downtown Business Association

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