Develop Your Future
Developing Cowessess Land for Future Generations
Cowessess Urban Developments Ltd. (CUDL) was established in January 2012 to develop the land owned by Cowessess First Nation to generate new business opportunities and sources of revenue. Since its establishment, CUDL has been working to develop three main projects:
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1246 Albert Street, Regina, SK
Cowessess TLE Holdings Inc. purchased the strip mall located at 1246 Albert Street in 2011. This was a strategic land holding purchase because Cowessess First Nation owns the 1236 Albert Street lot directly north of the strip mall, in addition to the parking lot across the back alley on Angus Street. All three parcels of land were purchased with the purpose of re-development by Cowessess. The condition of the strip mall building was poor and each year required increasing maintenance. The strip mall was at the end of its useful life and the anchor tenant decided to relocate in early 2018. This presented the opportunity for Cowessess to demolish the building and initiate the process of reserve creation on bare land.
The strip mall was demolished in summer 2018 and obtained a clear Phase II Environmental Assessment in September 2018. Following this an internal land sale was concluded between Cowessess TLE Holdings Inc. and Cowessess Flood Claim Holdings Ltd. Under the new ownership of Cowessess Flood Claim Holdings Ltd. 1246 Albert Street was able to initiate a specific claim under the Addition to Reserve Process.
On April 29, 2019 Cowessess First Nation and the City of Regina entered into a Municipal Serving Agreement to provide the property with City services (fire, water, sanitary, etc) given its pending reserve status.
On March 19, 2020 1246 Albert Street was officially designated by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations as Reserve Status.
Current Project Development
While the reserve creation process was taking place, CUDL began negotiations with a national franchise to become the anchor tenant for the premise. Negotiations, developing and building design and engineering took place over an 18 month period and as of December 2020, negotiations are being finalize and summer 2021 construction of the facility is pending. The current plan is for the franchise to open by December 2021.
1236 Albert Street, Regina, SK
Cowessess TLE Holdings Inc. purchased the former Buffet Village property located at 1236 Albert Street and the adjacent Angus Street property in 2006. This was a strategic land holding for Cowessess First Nation as it was the first urban land selection acquired by the Nation. The condition of the Buffet Village building was in poor repair and was demolished soon after purchase. Once the demolition was completed in 2008, the process to initiate reserve creation on bare land commence.
Cowessess negotiated a Municipal Servicing Agreement with the City of Regina which was executed on April 2, 2008 and the land was officially designated by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations on August 20, 2010. This land was part of the Designation Vote that was approved by Ministerial Order on January 24, 2014 allowing for future development of the lands.
Cowessess conducted feasibility studies on a number of business opportunities at this location in 2008 and 2009 and settled on an office building concept plan. A business plan and architectural concept plan was developed in 2010 for a 39,000 square foot Class B office building. The intent was for the building to become a mixed-use office space which would be rented out to various First Nation businesses and organizations, including Cowessess’ own Urban Department. In 2011, Stantec was hired to complete the full 99% construction drawings for the building. In 2012, Cowessess Urban Development Ltd. bid into a call for space issued by Public Works and Government Services Canada to relocate the Indigenous Services Canada operations from the First Nation University of Canada building. Unfortunately, PWGS did not select the Cowessess building and instead ended up relocating their operations to 1827 Albert Street. The project sat idle from 2013 to 2017.
Current Project Development
In 2017, under new leadership the office building file was rejuvenated with a vision to turn the building into an Urban Indigenous Health Centre. Cowessess has been working closely with Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan Health Authority and various health practioners since 2017 to fully flush out the concept and plan forward to realize what will become Saskatchewan’s first fully integrate Urban Health Centre to address some of the greatest health issues facing our community today. For more information please review the Concept Summary attached.
130 Lawrence Street, Yorkton, SK
Cowessess TLE Holdings Ltd. purchase the 19 acres parcel located at 130 Lawrence Street in Yorkton in 2010. A preliminary engineering study was completed by Stantec in 2011. The land holding sat idle as fee simple land from the time of purchase until 2017, when the City of Yorkton encourage development of the property. In 2018, Cowessess hired V3 Group of Companies to complete a land development plan for the 19 acre parcel. In 2018, it was determined that an internal land sale Cowessess TLE Holdings Inc. to Cowessess Flood Claim Holdings Ltd. would allow for a quicker and more cost effective transition to reserve status land. After the sale to Cowessess Flood Claim Holding a specific claim process was file to initiate reserve creation.
A Municipal Servicing Agreement with the City of Yorkton was concluded on July 5, 2019. At this time the City of Yorkton also approved the Site
Only four of the total 19 acres were converted to reserve status through the initial process and that was to allow some of the fee simple land to be reattained for potential resale for Cowessess to generate investment funds if the land value increased in the future. In July 2020, the first four acres of the 130 Lawrence Avenue, Yorkton achieve reserve status.
Current Development Work
On June 16, 2020 the City of Yorkton approved the Phase 1 Development Plan.
In summer 2020, Cowessess hired MNP to complete a business plan for a new gas station, carwash and quick service restaurant to become the anchor tenant on the property. CTM Design was also hired to provide an architectural and civil site concept plan. The results of this work are currently under review and a future investment decision is pending.
Cowessess Urban Developments intends to develop the Nations urban land holdings to support new businesses with the objective of generating higher economic return than the land’s current use.