The Summerside Port Corporation has big plans for the city's waterfront including live-work buildings, green space and more integration with the city.

Rob LeBlanc

Rob LeBlanc of Ekistics Planning & Design was hired to develop a 25-year plan for the Summerside waterfront. (CBC)

The port hired Halifax-based consultant Rob LeBlanc of Ekistics Planning & Design to develop a 25-year plan to completely overhaul the city's waterfront.

"I think people will be really excited to see this," he said.

The plan started with public consultations.

"We heard really loud and clear in the first session that residents here are looking for a plan for residents, not for tourists," said LeBlanc.

The plan includes waterfront buildings with residences upstairs and businesses downstairs, a redesigned Holland College campus, more public boardwalk and green spaces.

It also provides more integration with Summerside's downtown.

Activities on or near water

That's what people want, says Arnold Croken, president of the port corporation.

"The majority of people would say they want to see growth, they want to see activity, they want to see things happening in the downtown core," Croken said.

Arnold Croken

The port is not in a position to grow, says Arnold Croken, president of the Summerside Port Corporation. (CBC)

"In addition to that, the importance of sightlines to the water, green space, recreational opportunities in and around and near the water," Croken said.

The port is doing fine financially, but its main business, shipping potatoes, is not in a position to grow, he says.

"We recognize that we perhaps had come to the limit of being able to grow that business any further," he said.

Croken and LeBlanc say city planners are on board with the new vision.

The port and the city will now decide how the plan will take shape.

LeBlanc says construction could start within the year.

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