$1B Polo Park project in hands of city council; councillors need to ‘inform’ themselves, says Lukes

The fate of what developers call a “shovel-ready” project that could bring up to $1 billion to the city lies in the hands of Winnipeg city councillors this week.

A proposed development at Polo Park will be voted on by the full council, after going through three committees.

Mall owners Cadillac Fairview and developer Shindico want to build nearly a dozen low and medium-rise buildings on Polo Park’s property.

The mixed-use project would take up about a third of the mall’s current parking lot.

A passenger and vehicle path would connect the west side of Polo Park to St. James Street at Ness Avenue.

The property would include ground-floor retail and Shindico says additional parking would be considered — with an extension of the current north or east-side parkades a possibility.

The developer previously told Global News it wants to re-imagine the 80-acre land around Polo Park, including vacant land on the site of the old Winnipeg Arena.

So far, it has councillors divided. It went to last week’s Executive Policy Committee meeting without a recommendation after a 2-2 tie in voting by the property and development committee earlier in April.

At that EPC meeting, it faced a damaging blow — with the committee voting 4-3 to send it to council with a recommendation to reject the proposal.

But some councillors, including Tuxedo-Westwood-Charleswood’s Kevin Klein, say it’s going to get a fair shake come Wednesday.

The battle over the development concerns the nearby James Richardson International Airport.

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