An inside look at Prince Albert’s newest subdivision

Construction is well underway on one of two rinks that belong to the City of Prince Albert’s future Aquatics and Arenas Recreation Centre in The Yard District. The recreation centre is expected to be open to the public in 2024. (Bailey Sutherland/Daily Herald).

With an estimated 75 per cent of The Yard already sold and the remaining lots in high-demand, Signature Developments’ Rusty Clunie and Cherise Arnesen took the Herald on a tour of what Prince Albert’s future entertainment district looks like so far.

Arnesen believes creating a brand for Prince Albert as Canada’s greenest, most park-filled city is an integral part of ensuring it is known as a thriving community where families want to stay.

“You can play in the lakes, you can play in the north, and soon you’ll be able to come play in The Yard,” said Arnesen.

Big things are coming to Prince Albert, said Clunie.

The expansion of the Victoria Hospital and the forestry industry being reintroduced to the area are major economic opportunities, but creating a pathway for the City’s youth to things like sports and entry-level jobs is just as big of a need for the community.

“[That’s] the way we keep crime under control, the way we give future to lots of kids around town… They need opportunity,” said Clunie.

For a community to grow, it must attract people to move, work, and be part of the industries that call the area home – and that’s where The Yard District comes in.

“This is such a fresh start for opportunity. Rather than moving too far away from your homes in the north, this now means you can be closer to home in your comfort space, have opportunity and grow and do things with your life,” said Clunie. “We’re on a generational change for Prince Albert and it’s so inspiring for everyone; that’s the reality.”

While planning Prince Albert’s newest subdivision, Signature Developments made sure to include an extensive walkable paved pathway system throughout the area, so that all of The Yard’s future amenities will be that much more accessible.

The walking path will also connect to the Rotary Trail, expanding it by an entire two kilometers.

Signature Developments has plans for a park on the southern edge of the district, as well as an urban campground with space for 42 RVs surrounding a small lake nearby.

Clunie likened the development to the Gordon Howe Campground in Saskatoon and while there is still a ways to go before the lake is finished, the grounds should begin to take more shape towards the fall.

A gas station, grocery store, various eateries and restaurants, a coffee shop, car dealership, office buildings, strip malls, and hotels are just a few businesses that will be calling The Yard District home in the near future.

There are a few parcels of land that have not yet been officially claimed, but negotiations are well underway and Clunie predicts they will be sold out within the next several months.

Looking forward to the years to come, the grassy field to the far east of The Yard may be developed into a new residential neighborhood. One of Clunie’s priorities is bringing in nice, but affordable housing in the $300,000 to $400,000 range to accommodate younger families.

“The boom that we’re talking about with all these jobs coming, we’re going to be able to entertain people and we’re going to be able to house people,” he noted.

According to Clunie, the City of Prince Albert’s facilities in The Yard District are expected to be operational by the end of 2024, along with around 70 per cent of the other developments planned so far.