OLDS — Plans to further develop the former Olds High School track and field land behind A & W and Grouchy Daddy's remain in limbo, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a developer says.
So far, one condo building has been constructed on the land, officially known as Chinook Estates.
An extension of 51st Avenue ending in a cul-de-sac adjacent to the condo building was also constructed just north of Highway 27.
The condo building was officially opened in 2018.
At that time, Josh Remai, an owner of the Saskatoon-based Span West Building Corporation, said Chinook Estates had been divided up into five lots.
Ideas for development there included a kind of strip mall behind Grouchy Daddy's to provide space for doctors, dentists, etc.
Others included development of another condo or townhouse project, apartments for rent, and possibly a hotel. A small park on the east end of the site was also envisioned.
Three of the lots were zoned R3 for medium density residential, while two were zoned for highway commercial.
Last fall, the Municipal Planning Commission approved a development permit for the second condo. However, Remai said he’s in no hurry to construct that second building because a few condos in the first building still remain unsold.
Thus, that building and other plans for the area remain on hold.
During an interview, Remai laid blame for the holdup in development squarely on the pandemic.
"In the grand scheme of things, the pandemic has slowed everything down on the subdivision,” he said.
“We had at one point somebody interested in putting a gas station at one of those highway commercial properties, but that fizzled with the pandemic.
“And then we had planned for an apartment building in that area and that has also fizzled; all basically just due to the market uncertainty.
“So nothing too much has changed since we originally got going, other than the world went bananas.”