The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is moving ahead with plans to build a multi-purpose commercial structure in Prince Albert.

The approximately 100,000 square foot building will be located on 14 acres of urban reserve land at the intersection of 10th Avenue West and 28th Street West, near the Alfred Jenkins Field House and not far from Victoria Hospital.

Plans include a walk-in medical clinic, pharmacy and other speciality medical services.

Chief Peter Beatty said the building is part of a larger project for the First Nation of taking greater control over the provision of health care services which has been taking place over the past three decades.

“Back in the mid-90’s, when we took over our medical portion of providing health services to our Cree Nation communities, that was a huge transfer,” he said. “One of the biggest medical health transfers in Canada.”

Beatty credits former Prince Albert Grand Council Chief Ron Michel for then having the vision to move the First Nation’s greater control of health services into today’s commercial building project.

He said while medical services will be the initial focus of the new building, there will certainly be other commercial tenants down the road.

“Could be for anything. There will be a wide array of potential projects that we haven’t decided on other than this one. So, we’re working with the grand council and PBCN group of companies.”

At Monday’s meeting, Prince Albert city council unanimously approved rezoning the area for mixed commercial use.

The building will be managed by the Prince Albert Grand Council and Beatty said they hope to start construction sometime in 2021.