A proposed 80 storey mixed-use tower in downtown Edmonton received generally positive reaction at Monday night’s open house on a proposed rezoning.
That’s according the projects legal counsel and general manager of land development of Alldritt Land Corporation.
David Benjenstorf says they’re very excited about the project.
“We look at folks that look at Edmonton as not a remarkable city when we see projects like the Ice District and we see folks like the Alder family that are interested in making significant and noteworthy investments in the city. It’s exciting to be a part of something that may define our skyline and our city going forward.”
The proposed mixed-used tower would include up to 550 residential units, underground parking and two privately-owned publicly accessible parks and would be built south of Jasper Ave and west of 96 street.
Benjenstorf says the feedback from the meeting was mostly positive.
“Once folks were able to see the schematics and how the site’s laid out and blended into the neighborhood there was a great deal of support and interest in a lot of folks who were suggesting this would be a great place for them to move when they retire or when the product’s built. So all in all the support’s been more positive then we’d hoped.”
He says the project hasn’t been without its challenges, like the coal mine that runs under that area of downtown, but any concerns have already been addressed.
“We know that the tower is constructible and feasible given the location of the mine, the size of the building the piles and so on. So what some people thought might be insurmountable was actually addressable in a pragmatic manner.”
Benjenstorf says the desire for the development isn’t surprising despite the current economic climate.
He says even if it hasn’t changed by the time the project is starting to be built, there is some flexibility in the design.
“Our maximum building is up to 80 storey’s but for us it’s not an all or nothing, it’s not 80 storey’s or zero storey’s. There’s an opportunity for us to scale back to something else whether it’s 65 storey’s or 40 storey’s or whatever the market conditions of the day might be.”
He says they hope to bring a proposal to city council by December and the tower itself wouldn’t be complete for at least another five years, but it’s already generating buzz with the surrounding community.
Thim Choy is an entrepreneur in the area.
He tells iNews880, he’s interested in seeing what the city will do, especially considering how they handled parking at the new arena.
“They changed the concept of parking, sure somebody is going to get hurt. The businesses along 97 street they’re only allowed two hours parking. People going to the arena they don’t want them to park on the street they want them to park right down there in the Katz Development area.”
Overall he’s in favour of the new tower. However, he does think the city needs to be more transparent to developers about what’s going on in the area around these fancy new projects – citing the upscale Hyatt Place hotel which went up at 96 street and Jasper Avenue, in an older part of downtown.