What could become of STC depots?
Saskatoon depot could tie into major arena, says urban planner
Saskatchewan Transportation Company buses are no longer rolling and the depots sit empty.
But one city planning expert says the vacated depot in downtown Saskatoon could play a major role if the city ever decides to build an NHL-sized arena in the downtown core.
Alan Wallace, Saskatoon's former chief planner, says the Midtown Plaza parking lot is an ideal place for a new downtown arena — and the soon-to-be abandoned depot is just across the street.
"It's very, very early days when we talk about the downtown arena, but it's great to see the talk is of downtown, not elsewhere," he said. "I think as a city gets larger, a downtown arena makes a lot of sense."
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STC has until March of next year to sell off its assets. That includes all of its buses and, of course, its large bus depots.
Wallace said it's unfortunate to see a tenant like STC leave the downtown.
But he said whoever is tasked with selling the building should be mindful of the city's future plans. Those plans include a revamped transit system that would bring high frequency buses down 22nd Street, right in front of his proposed arena site.
He said someone will likely have to re-purpose the building before the arena plans for the adjacent parking lot take flight. But, he said, any buyers should be mindful that a downtown arena is possible.
Regina depot also in prime location
Regina's downtown STC depot is also in a prime location, according to a planning expert.
Jason Carlston with Dream Developments said the depot brought foot traffic to a busy downtown intersection in the city.
Since the Regina depot was only built in 2008, preferably another bus company would make use of it, he said.
If that doesn't happen, another business that encourages traffic would be ideal, he said: "Hair salons, spas, restaurants — things that are going to draw people. It's very conveniently located because it's on Sask. Drive and Broad — both high traffic streets."