When the development, named Naawi-Oodena, is completed, it could have up to 3,000 new homes and over one million square feet of retail space. The 168 acres of land are divided between Treaty 1 Nation, a group of seven Treaty 1 First Nations who own and develop two-thirds of the site as an urban reserve, and the Federal Lands Company of Canada.
A master plan for the development was revealed earlier this year, but the 3D model gives an idea of the size of Naawi-Oodena, said David Thomas, head of design and planning for the project.
“It’s a very complex project. It’s basically like building a small town, ”he said.
Construction could begin next year, from the south end of the development near Taylor Avenue and Kenaston Boulevard.
Before anything can be built on the site, Thomas says the land needs major infrastructure upgrades for everything from sewage to water retention ponds.
Thomas said the 3D model helps project managers show it to potential business partners who can lease space in the development.
The model will also be presented to the seven First Nations to help explain further what the huge urban reserve will look like and get feedback, he said.
Thomas says this project will provide opportunities for First Nations people he never had growing up in Winnipeg.
“My personal way of thinking about it is reconciliation, but it goes beyond that. It is something of the future, perhaps at a time when reconciliation has gone further, ”he said.
The final master plan for the site was made public in March 2021.
It includes residential and commercial spaces, sports and recreational facilities, community spaces and an administrative center for the One Treaty Nation.
It also includes plans to create a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use village along Grant Avenue that will include retail businesses, restaurants, cultural institutions and personnel services adjacent to the residences.
The community space will use plant species, land forms and public art to strongly integrate First Nations culture, identity and design into development, according to the plan.