PEI

Summerside aims to bring more people downtown

Residents of Summerside are excited by the town’s new vision to revitalize the waterfront area, says one of the people behind the plan.

Development plan includes condos, greenspace, expanded marina, and an 'urban' Holland College

Sumerside's development plan is expected to be approved by the city this fall, with development starting next year. (CBC)

Residents of Summerside are excited by the town's new vision to revitalize the waterfront area, says one of the people behind the plan.

The city recently held its third public meeting to get input from residents.

The goal is to make the downtown a people friendly place that caters to pedestrian traffic, said Arnold Croken, general manager of the Summerside Regional Development Corporation.

I think we're about ready to see the light to turn on.- Arnold Croken

"People are saying we need to have more people downtown so residential development is a big part of the plan... public spaces and access to the water," he said.

The SRDC, along with the city, the Downtown Business Association, and the Port Corporation, have come together to hire a consultant who has created a blueprint for the Summerside waterfront and downtown that will carry it into the next 25 years.

The plan is expected to be approved by the city this fall, with development starting next year.

"People are anxious to see the substantial number of buildings in the downtown area that are under-utilized or vacant brought back to use," Croken said.

Increase yachters, cruise chips

Along with more residential and commercial development, the plan would include an expanded marina to allow for more activity in and around the water.

"This will complement our efforts to increase mega-yachts and yachters to Summerside, as well as cruise ships," Croken said.

The plan would also turn Holland College into a more "urban campus."

"Instead of one large building, it would be more of a pedestrian-style campus," Croken said.

Encouraging proposals

The city is encouraging developers to submit proposals to help make the plan a reality.

"I think we're about ready to see the light to turn on," Croken said. "I think Summerside is well-positioned for new developments to occur."

With files from Lindsay Carroll

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