The Yukon government and the City of Whitehorse have moved one step closer to deciding what to do with a large piece of land at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street.
A planning contract was awarded to Stantec Architecture Limited, according to an announcement Monday.
The Whitehorse company will come up with planning and engineering design options for the 2.5-acre empty parcel of land downtown.
After the report is done, the decision of what to build there will be up to a steering committee including the Yukon Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Yukon Housing Corporation and the City of Whitehorse.
Both governments have said they hope the land will be used for a mix of affordable housing and commercial development opportunities.
The lot is zoned for mixed-use commercial buildings.
City officials have previous said the land, part of Whitehorse’s Downtown South Master Plan, has been identified for the city’s tallest buildings. Buildings in the area can be as high as 25 metres, or approximately six storeys.
Up to $250,000 from the Northern Housing Trust will fund the project. The planning process is expected to be completed by June 2016. There’s no word when construction would actually begin.
The site was originally an industrial area used by the White Pass and Yukon Rote.
“A massive slope failure of the escarpment impacted the site in the early 1950s and essentially halted development activities on the site,” say government documents. But future mud slides are no longer considered a threat.
“Further assessment of this area indicate the escarpment is stable and appropriate for development potential with mitigation measures to be accounted for escarpment control as development proceeds.”