Along with Fredericton Exhibition members, group will oversee the future development of the site.
Fredericton City Council has appointed City members to the Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. / City of Fredericton Joint-Decision Making Authority. They include Mayor Kate Rogers, Coun. Ruth Breen, Steven Hart, Chief Administrative Officer, Ken Forrest, Planning and Development Director, and Ryan Seymour, Real Estate Manager.
The Fredericton Exhibition Limited Board of Directors previously appointed its members to serve on the committee. They include Rob Kitchen, FREX President, Jeff McCarthy, FREX Executive Director, as well as FREX board members Kevin Price, Duncan Gallant, and Crystal Kreton.
The group will be responsible for implementing development on the Exhibition Grounds and is expected to focus their first efforts on developing the vacant land at the corner of Smythe and Saunders streets.
The formation of the Joint-Decision Making Authority is an outcome of the NBEX Secondary Municipal Plan, which was developed following the creation of the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Site Development Plan. Both the site development plan and secondary plans were developed jointly by the Fredericton Exhibition Limited and City of Fredericton.
“The public continues to watch this site with interest, especially considering the growing development pressures on the downtown plat and broader community,” said Mayor Kate Rogers. “I am excited to see the continuation of the Fredericton Exhibition and other special events on this site, while getting started on efforts that will help shape future housing and commercial uses for this highly valuable piece of property in the heart of our city.”
“The Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. is pleased to see this development initiative proceed and looks forward to the work that the Joint Decision-Making Authority will undertake,” said Jeff McCarthy, Executive Director of the Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. “The Exhibition grounds are a prime location for increased community engagement and activity honouring our two-hundred-year history and the very reasons this land was donated and dedicated to the people of New Brunswick. If done correctly, development on our site could be recognized nationally for its contributions to the community and the agricultural sector in our province.”
The New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Site Development Plan followed extensive public engagement and best practice research beginning in August 2020 and concluding in April 2021. The Plan reimagined the 12.1-hectare (30-acre) exhibition grounds into a space that is future-focused, attainable, and respectful of the site’s almost 200-year agricultural legacy and location.
There are nine key components in the Plan, including the Fredericton Exhibition Facilities, NBEX Grounds / Outdoor Flex Spaces, Open / Public Spaces, Mobility Network, Housing, Mixed Use, Commercial, Potential School Site, and Shared Event / Community Facilities. The site plan envisions “bringing people together.” Three adaptive scenarios were imagined for the site. This included Comprehensive Development, Negotiated Development and Light Development.
The NBEX Secondary Municipal Plan, approved in April 2022, supports the City’s broader Municipal Plan – Imagine Fredericton, as well as the City’s Growth Strategy. It is focussed specifically on the Exhibition Grounds. In addition to the vision for the site, the plan provides the overall framework and policies needed to guide development.
The secondary plan outlines a mutual partnership for “moving forward together,” where the goals of the Fredericton Exhibition Limited and City of Fredericton are achieved. This includes ensuring that the Fredericton Exhibition Limited achieves vitality through conveyance proceeds, stronger local community connections are built, more activity and diversity are fostered on the site, and space is provided for urban development.
For more about the site development plan and secondary plan, visit the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Site Development Plan on the City of Fredericton website here.