NAIT acquires Blatchford land for campus growth and consolidation
February 6, 2019

NAIT’s footprint is growing to meet the current and future needs of Alberta. The polytechnic’s main campus will almost double in size with the purchase of two key parcels of land from the City of Edmonton.

NAIT has acquired 13.27 hectares (32.79 acres) on the Blatchford development site to the west of the main campus at Princess Elizabeth Avenue and 109 Street, along with an option to purchase a further 3.23 hectares (eight acres) to the southwest. NAIT has also purchased the city’s former Westwood Transit Garage to the north, for a total of about 21.5 hectares (53 acres). The purchased land is on the east side of the Blatchford community, near the future Metro Line LRT extension.

“This will be transformational for NAIT, for our students and for our city, serving our land needs well into the future,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT President and CEO. “This will allow us to fulfill our vision and be part of one of the most progressive, vibrant and exciting communities in Canada.”

This is the first land sale announcement for the Blatchford community, which will be home to approximately 30,000 residents at full build. Revenue from this land sale will be invested into the Blatchford development. The first stage of residential housing will be along the west side of the community, Blatchford West, and is currently being sold to builders.

"This is a huge step forward for Blatchford, for NAIT, and for the City of Edmonton,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “With NAIT expanding and anchoring our Innovation Corridor at the east end of the new Blatchford neighbourhood, they can bring their expertise in academics and alternative energy to enhance student and resident experiences there."

The new land will allow the polytechnic to plan for future growth to meet the needs of students and industry partners for decades to come. A student residence is expected to be one of the first developments on NAIT’s Blatchford land. A skills centre is in the early planning stage for the Westwood land.

“Our government is proud to help develop the Blatchford area, which will make Edmonton an even better place to live,” said Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta. “Construction projects and development like this lead to high-paying and good quality jobs for Albertans, while helping our colleges keep pace with growing demand and ensure that bright minds continue to flock to Edmonton for their education. This land deal will transform NAIT’s campus and the surrounding community for generations to come.”

NAIT’s long-term vision includes consolidating all programs at main campus except for those that require large open spaces, such as Crane and Hoisting, which will remain at the Spruce Grove campus.

A long-term plan to consolidate on main campus will significantly enhance students’ experience and allow NAIT to operate more efficiently while being an integral part of a vibrant, sustainable community.
For more information:

About NAIT 
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 40,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to the provincial economy. NAIT also contributes to Alberta’s prosperity by helping business and industry become more competitive with Industry Solutions offered through its Productivity and Innovation Centre, including technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta. NAIT opened in 1963 with nine buildings and currently has 29 buildings across several campuses. The newly acquired Blatchford land includes 13.27 hectares (32.79 acres), stretching west and north from the current main campus. The Westwood Transit Garage land includes 4.8 hectares (11.89 acres) immediately north of main campus.

About Blatchford
The Blatchford community is 536 acres, roughly the size of Edmonton’s current downtown core. At full build, Blatchford will be home to approximately 30,000 Edmontonians. Blatchford’s vision is to be a sustainable community that uses 100 per cent renewable energy, is carbon neutral, significantly reduces its ecological footprint and empowers residents to pursue a range of sustainable lifestyle choices. As a part of this agreement, NAIT will connect to Blatchford’s District Energy Sharing System, which will provide heating, cooling and domestic hot water for all buildings in the community.

Media contact: 
NAIT Media Relations
Communications and Engagement
City of Edmonton
Communications Advisor, Blatchford Development
City of Edmonton