Development for First Nations land near Calgary is historic: chief

CALGARY – The leader of a First Nation sitting on the edge of Calgary says three major commercial projects planned for the land will transform the city’s southwest.

Tsuut’ina Chief Roy Whitney says the band has partnered with real-estate developer Canderel to build three business centres along the planned southwest leg of a ring road.

The 200-hectare Tsuut’ina Park is to have space for retail stores, but will focus on entertainment and hospitality to complement the existing Grey Eagle Resort and Casino.

Tsuut’ina Crossing is to cover 145 hectares and include a research campus, as well as retail, office and mixed-use developments with access to trails, parks and open spaces.

A shopping complex called Tsuut’ina Centre is the third part of the plan.

The band says the multibillion-dollar project will have a major, long-term, positive impact on Calgary and the First Nation.

“Tsuut’ina will be home to one of the largest, if not the largest, First Nations developments in Canada,” Whitney said Monday. “In addition to the financial benefits of rents and property taxes that will come from development, so, too, will come opportunity.

“The real motivation is to … allow future generations to work and flourish right here, at home. Generations of Tsuut’ina people will also be able to receive services, to shop, to learn, to invest their money, time and skill, to apply their trades, and to develop a profession – all while being near their families and their extended Nation family.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the developments will also provide value for Calgarians.

“This thing has the potential to be very valuable and very additive for the community,” he said.

Construction, which is to begin in the next two to three years, is to coincide with work on the ring road. It’s expected the developments could take up to 20 years to finish.

The southwest portion of the ring road is scheduled to be done in 2021.

(CTV Calgary, CFFR, CHQR)