Development next to planned arenas starts to grow

·3 min read

A desire to grow their local community and change some of the face of commercial development in Prince Albert led a trio of local builders to create The Yard.

With 88 acres of land – a footprint possibly larger than the Cornerstone area – what is now almost empty land on the south end of the city will soon have more than just the indoor recreation centre and WHL arena the City plans to build.

“We’re well on our way and this is kind of the unleashing of where we’re at,” said Rusty Clunie of Signature Developments, a partnership of three local business people.

We’ve pretty much completed the surface works as far as the ground work and the servicing. We’re at a point now where the construction can start.”

The area has been named The Yard.

Five acres have been purchased by a local developer for a vertical build right next to where the City facilities will be and the owners are also in talks with a hotel.

The City of Prince Albert will build a WHL arena and swimming pool in part of the zone.

“It has certainly got sports, entertainment, everything in an area that you can do all those things and they relate to one another,” Clunie said.

“We’ve completed what we wanted to get to this year, to a state where we can be ready for people to start constructing buildings and so on starting in the spring.”

This has been a long term project for Signature Developments.

“It’s fundamentally three local families that have been here for a long, long time,” explained Clunie. “We’re all gentlemen reaching 60 years old and some time ago we starting purchasing land around Prince Albert with the belief that as time goes on, that sooner or later we would bring our talents back to PA and develop and do what we could to try to generate growth right here in Prince Albert.”

The group has worked on other large scale developments such as Stone Bridge in Saskatoon, the ring road in Regina and has also worked at the Calgary International Airport.

A string of builds such as the new hospital and an OSB mill for 2022 and the subsequent re-opening of the pulp mill are giving developers some incentive.

For Signature, its more than just business, though.

“With forestry sounding like it’s going to revive, a hospital coming to PA, we certainly in this case didn’t necessarily just do it to hopefully be profitable, we did it because we believe in Prince Albert,” Clunie said.

Because we’re local and we have families, it was as much a passion to try and help out Prince Albert as it is to try and make the commercial and economic terms work for us.”

Surface construction on The Yard is expected to begin in spring 2022 and is anticipated to continue over the next couple of years. Lots remain available for mixed-use development, with great opportunities for business, hospitality, retail, private services, restaurants, catering, automotive, and more.

Susan McNeil, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald

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