Nait eyes Blatch­ford ex­pan­sion

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - Ju­ris GraNEy

The City of Edmonton, the prov­ince and Canada’s largest poly­tech­nic are clos­ing in on a sig­nif­i­cant land deal linked to the Blatch­ford pro­ject.

Mayor Don Ive­son cryp­ti­cally spoke about “pro­tracted ne­go­ti­a­tions” be­tween the city, North­ern Al­berta In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and the prov­ince at Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing re­gard­ing “the op­por­tu­nity for NAIT to con­sol­i­date many of its dif­fer­ent cam­puses to a cen­tral lo­ca­tion con­tigu­ous to their main cam­pus.”

Blatch­ford, a 217-hectare eco-friendly de­vel­op­ment on the site of the for­mer City Cen­tre Air­port which, once com­plete, will be home to up 30,000 res­i­dents, bor­ders NAIT to the north and the west.

Cit­ing pro­vin­cial free­dom of in­for­ma­tion leg­is­la­tion that pre­vents dis­clo­sure of in­for­ma­tion harm­ful to the busi­ness in­ter­est of a third party and dis­clo­sure harm­ful to the eco­nomic in­ter­est of a pub­lic body, Ive­son told coun­cil he is un­able to dis­cuss the mat­ter fur­ther in pub­lic.

“Once the trans­ac­tions are com­plete, of course, we’ll be happy to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion pub­licly, but for now, ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tinue,” Ive­son said.

Ive­son de­scribed the deal as a “mar­ket trans­ac­tion” that is “a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone” for both NAIT and the city and the Blatch­ford pro­ject.

He said he be­lieves the terms of the deal “are fair and favourable to the city and fair and favourable to NAIT and the prov­ince that will al­low us to work to­gether to help NAIT con­sol­i­date over time on cam­pus.”

In an emailed state­ment, NAIT president and CEO Glenn Feltham said the city and the poly­tech­nic had es­tolte@post­media.com “achieved an im­por­tant mile­stone,” but could not dis­cuss it fur­ther.

“There is a ten­ta­tive agree­ment on the broad terms that would see NAIT ex­pand its foot­print onto the Blatch­ford lands,” he said.

“This land would se­cure NAIT’s long-term fu­ture, al­low­ing it to cre­ate a sin­gle, con­sol­i­dated cam­pus which sup­ports growth. This is im­por­tant for NAIT, our city and our prov­ince.”

No an­nounce­ment date has been re­leased.

DaviD Bloom

NAIT President and CEO Dr. Glenn Feltham says the school is look­ing at Blatch­ford ex­pan­sion.

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