New suburbs to see more apartments, townhouses

A three-year plan for developing new neighbourhoods calls for more apartments, condominiums and townhouses, as the City of Saskatoon tries to deal with a growing population, while avoiding urban sprawl. The plan also calls for the bulk of industrial growth to take place around Marquis Drive.

City officials trying to keep housing affordable, avoid sprawl

They won't look like your parents' suburbs.

Saskatoon's three-year growth plan calls for new areas that are more dense, with more apartments, condos and townhouses.

The new plans also show more streets laid out in a grid pattern, similar to core areas built before the Second World War.

"The neighbourhoods are bigger than they were in the 70s and 80s and they're more dense," said city councillor Randy Donauer. "We're seeing lots that are closer together and we're seeing more multi-family parcels. So you're going to see more apartments and condos in the neighbourhoods that are coming up."

Donauer said over the past few years, roughly 15,000 people have moved to Saskatoon annually. New neighbourhoods are filling in at more than twice the pace observed over the past few decades.

The plan calls for developers in Saskatoon to service enough residential land to build 16,694 homes by the end of 2016. 

"We're trying to avoid what happened in 2008 with a shortage of lots and a shortage of development land available," said Donauer. "It causes prices to skyrocket and you get into bidding wars and you get into vacancy problems."

The plan also calls for the city to develop more commercial and industrial lots. 

"From Circle Drive North out toward Sask Place, out toward Martensville and Warman, that's sort of where the big parts of our industrial development will be," said Donauer. "When we put new industrial development on the market, it sells out immediately."

The plan calls for the equivalent of 243 new football fields to open, for industrial lots. The bulk of those lots will be located in the northwest corner of the city. 


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