Cypress Gardens & Highlander Ridge & Westbow
Developing North of 11th Street West
A prairie field – Fred Mendel, founder of Intercontinental Packers on 11th Street West, owned the 29 acre (11.7 hectares) field north of the 3100, 3200 and 3300 blocks of 11th Street West. A lifelong supporter of the Arts, Mendel left the land to the Saskatchewan Arts Board upon his death in 1976.
North Ridge purchase – In 2005 the Arts Board sold the land to North Ridge Development Corporation. The City later zoned the land for multi-unit development. Late in 2011, North Ridge sold land in the 3100 block.
Development plans – In February 2012, MPCA volunteers delivered flyers to MP homes outlining the proposed future of the 11th Street field. City engagement with the Montgomery Place community regarding the development of the 11th Street field began at a public meeting on March 12, 2012. There was a record turn-out of 300 MP residents. North Ridge representatives attended the meeting, indicating they were going to build condos. Montgomery Place residents who attended this meeting spoke in favour of single-family home development.
After that meeting, the MPCA president held several meetings with Wally Mah, owner of North Ridge Developments, and the Manager of City Planning. It was agreed to include MP residents in decision-making by conducting a survey to see what kind of multi-unit development to build on the property (as the City would not change the zoning). In the spring of 2012 North Ridge put together the survey; the City distributed the survey to all MP households; the MPCA collected and tabulated the surveys. Barb Biddle summarized the surveys for North Ridge and City Planning. At this point Montgomery Place residents accepted that the development would be multi-unit, but indicated that they would prefer bungalow-style townhouses with garages, so that MP residents wishing to downsize could do so while staying in Montgomery Place.
Westbow Construction and Highlander Ridge — North Ridge eventually sold the west portion of the property in the 3200 block of 11th Street to another developer – Westbow Construction of Chilliwack BC. Westbow proceeded to build 2-story townhouses. Construction is still underway in 2021.
North Ridge developed bungalow-style townhouses; they maintained the communication with the MP Community Association. They honoured our veterans’ community by naming their new development with a name connected to the Second World War. They had a contest for Montgomery Place residents to submit suggestions for this name and offered a cash prize. They erected a sign similar to the existing Montgomery Place heritage signs for Highlander Ridge in the first townhouse row. Construction of the third lane, Highlander III, is still ongoing in 2021.
Commercial development – Included in the 2012 survey was a question seeking feedback on the idea of commercial development on the east end of the 3200 block property (on the west side of Lancaster Boulevard). MP residents were generally in favour. This did not come to pass.
Seymour Pacific purchase – North Ridge sold the section of land east of Lancaster Boulevard, across from the 3100 block 11th Street, to Seymour Pacific Developments of Campbell River, British Columbia. The sale was approved by City Council at its meeting on January 16, 2012. At the time Seymour was building apartments in Saskatoon and Regina, taking advantage of City rebates of “$5,000/apartment door.” Montgomery Place residents had lobbied for two 3-story buildings, but the construction of three 4–storey apartment buildings went ahead, with materials and workers from British Columbia. They named the development Cypress Gardens.