City reaches agreement with Tricon to swap properties

LACOMBE – Following an Expressions of Interest process seeking creative solutions from the private sector for underperforming municipal properties, the City of Lacombe reached an agreement with the Tricon Group that will benefit taxpayers and revitalize key downtown properties.

The Tricon Group, a Lacombe-based real estate development company, proposed a land exchange with the city involving multiple properties of approximately equal value. The agreement involves the exchange of the municipally-owned Provincial Building and (former) Police Station/current Fire Hall building for the Tricon Group’s property at 5404 56 Avenue (the former Parkland Regional Library), and a cash payment of $375,000.

The Lacombe Fire Department will continue to operate in their current space as part of a lease-back agreement until relocating to a new fire hall, slated for 2023-24 construction as detailed in the City’s 10-year capital plan.

“This is a positive development for all parties involved,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “At first glance the city may be exchanging two assets for one, but in reality there is much more to this agreement. We are trading closed doors and darkened windows for spaces that will immediately generate tax revenue, and once redeveloped, add to our vibrant downtown.”

“This agreement also releases the city from significant ongoing maintenance obligations for buildings that had no immediate municipal purpose,” said Mayor Creasey.

According to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Matthew Goudy, the land exchange is a win-win for both parties and for the community as a whole, given the Tricon Group’s track record with other local projects, such as the new Lacombe Community Health Centre and the transformation of the former Empress Hotel.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership delivering value to the community, thanks to the differing but complementary needs of the two entities,” said Goudy. “The acquisition of the former Parkland Library site creates a large, continuous municipal land reserve in the heart of our community from City Hall to the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, which gives us flexibility to respond to opportunities in the future.”

The deal is expected to close in March, and will impact the city’s 2020 Operational Budget.  

Photo: The Provincial Building is part of the land exchange agreement between the City and the Tricon Group.