The university is moving forward with the fourth phase of development at Preston Crossing, with an application to re-zone 9.15 acres as retail land expected to go before Saskatoon city council this fall.
Judy Yungwirth, director of Corporate Administration, said the expansion will take place north of the existing Wal-Mart store and will involve a large hunting, fishing and camping outfitting store as the anchor tenant plus a smaller retail space, likely a restaurant.
In preparation for the application to the city, two studies have been carried out, she said. The city has the results of a traffic impact study which Yungwirth said indicate that the addition of more retail space at Preston Crossing will require improved access points to the development. A retail impact study has also been completed and will be submitted to the city as part of the rezoning process.
The timeline for development of phase four has yet to be finalized although Yungwirth said the current target date for the opening of the major tenant is the spring of 2012.
Looking back at the first three phases of Preston Crossing, Yungwirth said the development has been very successful in generating scholarship funds for the university. From 2005 to the end of the current fiscal year, Preston Crossing will have generated $5.75 million in graduate and undergraduate scholarships. Phase three, which includes the new Rona store, is nearing completion and is expected to generate as much as $425,000 annually starting in 2012 while phase four could add as much as $440,000 to the university’s cash flow as early as 2013.
“Preston Crossing has turned out to be as profitable as we expected,” she said. “We had a realistic scenario to start and the results so far are living up to that. The land is still ours, it’s unencumbered and we are providing valuable scholarship funds. It’s a good news story.”
Plans have yet to take shape for the final parcels of land at Preston Crossing – 2.5 acres east of the Sobey’s store and 7.5 acres west of Old Navy.