'The Crossing' proposed development plan for east Saint John unveiled

The company planning a massive mixed-use development planned for northeast Saint John held its first of two information sessions to show the public what it will look like.

If approved by the city, 72-hectare project will include retail, residential and hospitality services

'The Crossing' is a new proposed development for east Saint John. (CBC)

The company planning a massive mixed-use development for northeast Saint John unveiled its project on Tuesday.

The development project, which is being called The Crossingwill be a mix of speciality retail, residential and hospitality services on more than 72 hectares between Highway 1 and Ashburn Road.  

Horizon Management Ltd. needs city approval to rezone the land needed for the development.

John Wheatley, the spokesperson for the company, said the 50 to 60 people he's spoken with so far are "coming here to see what we're doing and to ask us to push forward and make it happen."

An aerial image of the proposed development 'The Crossing,' between Highway 1 and Ashburn Road. (CBC )
Horizon Management Ltd., the same developer behind the East Point Shopping Centre, hopes the development will encourage even more shoppers to visit the region.

Alan Von Weiler, a north-end resident who attended the public open house for the project, said he was impressed.

"I think it's going to attract a lot of new housing, more jobs, I think it's going to be great for the economy," he said.

However, Von Weiler said the confusing jumble of roads around the area will need to be fixed.

"If they're going to spend that kind of money then they have to develop it," he said.

Traffic isn't the only aspect concerning some with the plans. The area is prone to flooding and some fear paving over the wetlands will exacerbate an existing problem.

Gordon Dalzell, a Saint John environmentalist, said he voiced his concerns to Horizon Management Ltd. and was assured the issue will be addressed.

"The Crossing" will be a mixed-use development, with shops, restaurants and residential areas. (CBC)
Dalzell said the challenge will be to make sure those plans are effective and he wants a public review.

"This cannot just be something that the developers and zoning planners develop themselves. The public need to have an input," he says.

Wheatley said WSP Engineering has already indicated the development wouldn't have any negative impact on flooding in the city.

Horizon will present a report to the city's planning advisory committee on March 15.

If the committee green lights the development, final approval will be determined by city council. If successful, Wheatley said it will take another 18 to 36 months of preparations before any work begins.

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