Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut February 19, 2014 - 9:59 am

QIA development promises to expand downtown Iqaluit

QIA, QC to hold public consultations Feb. 19 at parish hall

PETER VARGA
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is working on plans to develop 16.2 hectares of undeveloped land along Federal Road in Iqaluit, highlighted on this map. The current Iqaluit airport is on the lower left of this image, and the Plateau subdivision to the right. (IMAGE FROM QIKIQTAALUK CORP.)
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is working on plans to develop 16.2 hectares of undeveloped land along Federal Road in Iqaluit, highlighted on this map. The current Iqaluit airport is on the lower left of this image, and the Plateau subdivision to the right. (IMAGE FROM QIKIQTAALUK CORP.)
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is working on plans to develop Inuit-owned lands off Federal Road in Iqaluit, centre-left in this photo. (IMAGE FROM QIKIQTAALUK CORP.)
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is working on plans to develop Inuit-owned lands off Federal Road in Iqaluit, centre-left in this photo. (IMAGE FROM QIKIQTAALUK CORP.)

Iqaluit’s newest development area promises to expand the city’s core, with little cost to the City of Iqaluit.

The Qikiqtaaluk Corp. is lining up to develop 16.2 hectares of Inuit-owned land, managed by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, in what they describe as the first large-scale private land development in the city’s history.

Iqaluit council’s planning and development committee of the whole got a first look at the corporation’s plans Feb. 18.

“This kind of moves away from the traditional way that development has happened here in the city,” Bernie MacIsaac, director of lands and resources for QIA, commented after the meeting.

Typically, the city “would take an area, service it, divide up the lots and sell those or lease them,” he said.

“This is the first time they’ve had a private entity that’s come in and done all that.”

Qikiqtaaluk Corp., QIA’s business development arm, plans to build an entire neighbourhood of residential, commercial, industrial and recreational buildings and spaces in the large parcel, located along a one-kilometre stretch of Federal Road.

Included among the proposed buildings are a hotel and conference centre, an Inuit heritage museum and performing arts centre, and an emergency services building for the city of Iqaluit, and affordable Inuit housing.

Located just north of the city centre, the development area presents a chance to expand the city core towards the site of Iqaluit’s new airport terminal, which starts going up this year.

“It’s a very exciting possibility,” MacIsaac said. “Because all of the people coming out of that airport — that’s going to be the first thing that they see.”

The corporation has a lot of work to do before completing any plans.

Project manager Sheldon Nimchuk, with urban planner Michelle Drylie of the firm Planning Alliance, told the committee about the corporation’s next steps.

The first involve public consultations with city residents, Nimchuk said.

These begin with two community consultation sessions scheduled Feb. 19 at the parish hall.

Qikiqtaaluk Corp. will build all infrastructure required for the development, including roads, water and sewer lines.

This could affect city-owned lands near the Inuit-owned parcel, which means the city must include the development into its general plan.

“We know that the impact of infrastructure relates to all those areas as it extends out to Federal Road,” Nimchuk said.

These include businesses, industrial buildings and some residential areas along Federal Rd. that lie close the development area.

Once done, Nimchuk said the value of all buildings and infrastructure in the development are expected to range between $300 million and $400 million.

Qikiqtaaluk Corp. has touted the project as a chance to showcase Inuit culture and heritage.

Asked how they will do that, the presenters told councillors that this will be decided partly in public consultations.

That process will also help assess what types of buildings and housing city residents would prefer to see in the area, Drylie said.

Residential development will follow the city’s general plan, which requires a minimum of 30 housing units per hectare.

“We’re doing it all with multi-unit residential so far. That’s what we’re anticipating,” Drylie said, adding that residents will have a say in deciding this.

For more information on the proposed development project, go to QIA and Qikiqtaaluk Corp.’s two public information sessions on Feb. 19 at the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit.

The first one runs from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the second from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. English-Inuktitut interpreters will be available and refreshments include a country food platter.

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