Final Kapyong Barracks plan to include mix of residences, commercial and cultural space
Master plan for redevelopment released to public includes 3K residences, 1.2 million in commercial space
The final master plan for the former Kapyong Barracks site in Winnipeg has been released to the public, and shows the site could have up to three thousand new residences and 1.2 million square feet of commercial space.
In additional to residential and commercial space, the 168-acre site will also have space for sports and recreation facilities, community spaces and an administration centre for Treaty 1 First Nations.
It also includes plans to create a pedestrian-friendly mixed use village along Grant Avenue that has retail, restaurants, cultural institutions and personnel services alongside residences.
The community space will use plant species, land forms and public art to strongly embed First Nations culture, identity and design into the development, the plan says.
Of the 168 acres, 68 per cent will be an urban reserve, also known as First Nations economic zone, said Tim Daniels, Chief Operating Officer for Treaty One Development Corporation, the corporation that was formed to redevelop the portion of the site designated as an urban reserve.
The remaining land is being developed by the Canada Lands Company.
Directors of the corporation are the chiefs of the seven First Nations signatory to Treaty One, including Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, Sagkeeng First Nation, Sandy Bay First Nation, Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation and Swan Lake First Nation.
Once it is complete, the development could bring "endless opportunities" for the First Nations as well as Winnipeg and the province, Daniels said.
"It is a transformative project."
Typically, reserves are located far from urban areas and lack the infrastructure to have commercial development take place, Daniels explained. The concept of an urban reserve allows First Nations to use land within a city to develop for commercial purposes and generate revenue for their community, he said.
"So a lot of the profits that are generated on the site will go back to the seven Treaty 1 nations to prosper economically and socially," he said.
Kapyong was mostly abandoned in 2004, when the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry moved from the military barracks to the Canadian Forces Base in Shilo, Man., located about 180 kilometres west of Winnipeg.
Mayor keen to see real estate redeveloped
Mayor Brian Bowman said he's been briefed on the plans and thinks it's an exciting opportunity for the city.
"This is a significant piece of real estate; it hasn't been doing too much for the city for well over a decade and I'd like to have some development on those lands," he said.
"We've seen Indigenous economic development zones pay dividends for everyone."
Before the development can take shape, there is demolition work that needs to be completed, Daniels said. That will likely continue into the summer.
The goal is for construction on the site to start this fall, Daniels said.
Richard Milgrom, head of department of city planning at the University of Manitoba, says he likes what he sees from the plan.
"It's a good effort to fill a gap and mend a part of the city that has been a hollow and needs more than just patching."
He said he likes that it is creating new urban space that is more recognizably Indigenous, which Winnipeg needs more of.
"In a city that has the highest Indigenous population in the country, that should be more visible in some way and this is one of the first planning attempts to really do that and I think that's a really positive thing."
With files from Austin Grabish