The City of Montreal has named the first developer selected to build at the abandoned Hippodrome site in the Cote-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough.

On Saturday, the city said Espace La Traversée was tapped to build between 200 and 250 apartments at the former racetrack site, which closed in 2009.

A selection committee chose the non-profit, which specializes in housing for vulnerable populations, said borough mayor Gracia Kasoki Katahwa, adding the plan is part of a broader vision for the site.

“We want a dynamic neighbourhood with local commerce,” said Katahwa in an interview.

“We want people to be able to use active transportation. We want public transportation. We want places where people are going to work, not just where people are going to sleep. We want that 15-minute city.”

The development is expected to include 20 hectares of green space, schools, and office space. It will be accessible by the Namur metro station. There won’t be on-street parking.

Last week, the opposition at city hall argued that developers are reluctant to come forward because of the city’s rules for reducing vehicles.

Katahwa says she’s confident more developers will want to get involved now that the ball has started rolling.

The 200 to 250 units announced Saturday compose a fraction of the 6,000 units ultimately planned for the site.

“Planning for the Namur-Hippodrome neighbourhood is ongoing, and a master development plan is being developed,” said the city in a statement. “A significant portion of the housing will be social and community-based, affordable and family-oriented.”

The city is expected to release more details on the project, including a timeline for construction, in the coming weeks.