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In 2006, the vacant school building site at 11341-12 Avenue in Twin brooks was approved by City Council for development into townhomes under the City's First Place Program.

The new townhomes will only be developed on the 0.8 ha of land that was previously set aside for a Catholic elementary school building. The remaining 6.57 ha of open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

What's Being Built

Many Edmontonians dream of owning their own home but don’t have the financial resources to make it happen. Young professionals, single parents and residents in middle income brackets can find it particularly tough to break into Edmonton’s housing market, which is one of the most expensive in Canada.

The City’s First Place Program teams with banks and builders to develop vacant surplus school building sites into attractive townhomes.  The homes are market priced, with a five-year deferral on the land portion of the mortgage, making them more accessible to first time buyers.

A public design engagement process involving selected community volunteers helps to shape development in each neighbourhood. This forms the basis for the development permit approval process that follows. 

Design Engagement

While the decision to build townhomes has already been approved by Council, seven community members were selected through an open application process held in December 2016 to work with the builder to help design the new homes and ensure they are a good fit with the surrounding neighbourhood. This includes providing input on design elements, such as building orientation, number of homes, massing and rooflines, site access, vistas, and exterior home design details and landscaping.

The design engagement process began in March 2017 and is targeted to be complete in June 2017. Updates, including meeting minutes and design options under consideration, will be posted following each design engagement meeting.

Design Engagement Meeting #4 - July 27, 2017

Design Engagement Meeting # 3 - May 25, 2017

Design Engagement Meeting # 2 - April 20, 2017

Design Engagement Meeting # 1 (Introductory Meeting) - March 21, 2017

The City will also be preparing a “What We Heard and What We Did” report at the end of the design engagement process. This report will outline which concerns raised by the community through the online survey and open house held in December 2016 have been able to be addressed through the design engagement process.

This design engagement process was developed for the Greenview and Canon Ridge pilots sites in 2007/8 and has been successfully used for every First Place Program community to date. Construction on the Twin Brooks site will not commence until the completion of the design engagement process.​

What We've Heard

December 2016: Open House and Online Feedback
Thank you to everyone who attended the open house on December 3, 2016 at the George P Nicholson School.  The open house provided an opportunity for residents to learn more about the council-approved First Place Townhomes planned in Twin Brooks, and apply to be considered for the design engagement committee.

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Transcribed Comments
What We Heard

All public input received at the open house and online is reflected in the Twin Brooks What We Heard summary and Q&A. This ‘What We Heard’ document will be used to help inform the engagement process used to design the new homes.

Email Updates

Stay informed about the project by signing up to receive regular email updates. Contact the City at firstplace@edmonton.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

The City has compiled a summary of responses to inquiries received by the Twin Brooks community in the summer of 2015. On June 2, 2015, the City shared this summary of responses in a letter to the community league executive, along with additional details about the timelines and process.

Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) & Soil Testing

As part of the implementation program, soil tests are conducted on all First Place sites to ensure suitability for development. The Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and soil testing on the Twin Brooks site was completed in 2015 and confirms the approved building site is suitable for the development of townhomes.

Open Space

The new townhomes will only be developed on the 0.8 ha of land that was previously set aside for the Catholic elementary school building. The remaining 6.57 ha of open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Sports Field Changes

Following an extensive review of the entire school park site in 2008-2011, which included input from both the Community League ​and School Board, adjustments were made to the original proposed location for the First Place townhomes. The final, approved First Place building site accommodates the Community League’s request to relocate the league facility adjacent to the existing school, and reconfigure the sports’ fields to meet the current community need for more rectangular soccer fields for small children.

Drainage

When the school park site was first created, sewer capacity along 12th Avenue was provided to meet the needs of two future schools. Only one school was constructed, leaving unused drainage capacity available for the First Place townhome development. City drainage experts have also advised that, currently, there are no dry ponds proposed for any of the First Place building sites, including Twin Brooks, as part of the approved Flood Mitigation Capital program.

Property Values

Some residents have expressed concerns about the impact new housing may have on the property values of adjacent homes.

To address these concerns, City Assessment staff created specific study areas for each First Place building sites in 2013. Assessment staff monitor these sites each year to determine if the market value of properties located directly next to First Place sites respond differently than properties located next to undeveloped surplus school sites in other neighbourhoods.

To date, assessment staff have found no distinguishable assessment change between properties located next to First Place building sites and those located next to undeveloped surplus school sites in other neighbourhoods. The City will continue to monitor these areas annually.

Please visit the First Place FAQ for more information regarding property values.

For More Information

First Place Homes

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email firstplace@edmonton.ca

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