Fredericton Seeks Consultant To Help Develop Plan For 31-Acre Exhibition Site

Image: Google Street View.

FREDERICTON – The City of Fredericton and Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. (NBEX) have issued a request for proposals (RFP) in search for a professional planning firm to help create a site development plan for the 31-acre land on Smythe St.

The RFP is being distributed by the Joint Land Development Committee, a panel that was appointed by the city and NBEX to oversee the creation and execution of a plan for the site.

“The Exhibition Grounds holds much potential for development, both for the future of the NBEX, as well as the needs of a growing community,” said Mike Vokey, NBEX CEO and interim co-chair of the Joint Land Development Committee, in a release. “The goal is to have the plan finalized and ready for approval by both the City and NBEX sometime later in 2020.”

The committee began its work in July, a few months after NBEX and the City signed a letter of intent, committing to work as equal partners on the future development of the site.

That commitment ended years of tension between the city, which owns the land and wanted to develop it for housing, and long-time tenant NBEX, which has been hosting the Fredericton Exhibition there for decades. The site is also used for other events.

NBEX site map. Image: City of Fredericton website.

The committee is made up of 10 volunteers, including two representatives from the City Council, two members of NBEX’s Board of Directors, two senior staff members from NBEX and the city, and four community representatives.

“The Land Development Committee has met regularly since last fall to develop the RFP,” said Jeff Trail, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer and interim co-chair of the join committee. “The Committee remains optimistic that a plan will be developed that not only reflects the aspirations of both the City and NBEX, but the community as a whole.”

The site plan development planning process will require public engagement. The plan should also:

  • Contribute to the sustainability and evolution of the NBEX at the current location;
  • Maximize the value of the site to the city and further define development uses compatible with adjacent land uses as identified in the municipal plan;
  • Reflect community development values from a diversity of perspectives and promote universal design to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities;
  • Support other city and NBEX plans, initiatives or priorities like transit services, parking, city centre planning and others; and
  • Be environmentally friendly and not increase the potential for climate derived problems in the city, such as localized flooding.

The deadline for the proposals is January 31.