In 2003 EDM was retained as prime consultant and project co-ordinator to North American Development Group, the private development arm of CentreCorp, for the land acquisition, planning and development of a $400 million retail development: Dartmouth Crossing. EDM assisted in negotiations with the Province of Nova Scotia for construction of a highway interchange on the property, and assembled a team to produce the design vision, engineering pre-designs and project pro-formas on a fast track schedule. EDM coordinated and managed infrastructure capacity studies, led stakeholder negotiations, coordinated legal, environmental, and public consultation efforts, and the design and approval process and delivered the project on time and on budget.
EDM developed the project master plan, in association with Fahey and Associates in Montreal, and coordinated environmental approvals as well as the significant infrastructure approvals. This included quarry reclamation and closure, landfill closure and clean-up, as well as the federal and provincial approvals for re-establishing water courses and fish passage on the property. The major infrastructure planning included the Wright Avenue highway interchange and the trunk sewer and trunk water extensions through Shubie Park. In each case we coordinated the traffic, environmental, archaeological, biological and geotechnical studies as input to the plan, coordinated the engineering and landscape architectural design team, prepared and negotiated all of the HRM approvals, recommended and coordinated the public sessions, undertook and/or participated with the client in all stakeholder consultation and negotiation, facilitated and participated in the contract negotiations with the Province and the Municipality, and administered the project locally, including contract negotiation and certification of the work other team members.
These significant infrastructure projects were essential to opening up the lands for development. The interchange was ultimately funded by HRM, the Province and the developer jointly, so creating a plan that all parties could agree on was essential. The trunk extensions went through Shubie Park, and the plan incorporated careful placement and native vegetation transplanting; today you would not know the “sewer trails” from the regular trails in the park. The fish passage at Dartmouth Crossing is part of the overall stormwater management plan, and is now well known for its productivity in the Province. EDM prepared the master stormwater management plan as part of the development master plan. This report establishes the scope for detailed design of each land parcel as they are developed, ensuring that the overall plan achieves the stream and fish restoration objectives.
EDM provides all of the data storage and coordination for the project, including establishing an FTP presence that allowed for different levels of access. This included keeping the master CAD file for the entire project and providing it, and all updates, to the team as the project progressed. It included on-going analysis of cut-fill projections to verify contractor quantities, and it included circulating and posting all new materials and studies so the team could work effectively. The work also included providing opinion letters to prospective tenants and financial organizations, and we have represented DCL as their planning experts in legal matters.
The first phase of Dartmouth Crossing encompasses 220 acres and more than 1.5 million square feet of retail and commercial space, mixing major and mid-sized retail with boutique-style shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Anchor tenants include Home Depot, Walmart, Canadian Time, Costco and Cineplex Theatres. The next phases are underway and will include the region’s first Ikea store (2017) and the first residential phase.