Downtown Edmonton has been riding quite a development wave for the past few years. There has been an influx of announcements regarding major construction projects in the city’s core. Many of these ventures will be new office, residential or government developments. Some experts estimate we could see up to $4.8 billion worth of investment in the city centre by 2020.
This amounts to an unprecedented amount of construction for the City of Edmonton. Having billions of dollars spent on construction within a five-year period is almost unheard of in North America.
Several projects are going ahead for certain: The LRT expansion, the arena district, the Royal Alberta Museum, expansions at MacEwan University and Norquest College, and various other condo and office towers. The new arena district is at the centre of this construction boom.
This of course begs the question, what are the most important Arena District Development Projects? (Source: edmontonjournal.com)
- Rogers Place: The 18,641-seat Rogers Place, on the north side of 104th Avenue at 103rd Street, will be the Oilers’ new home and site of concerts and shows.
- City Office Building: This curving 27-storey structure at 10330 101st St. will have 18 floors leased to the City of Edmonton for its downtown staff.
- Stantec Tower: Edmonton engineering and architectural consulting firm Stantec will have its headquarters here, on the northwest corner of 103rd Avenue and 102nd Street, in a 62-storey complex.
- Hotel/Condo Tower: This upscale hotel, at the southeast corner of 104th Avenue and 102nd Street, is aimed at fans attending hockey games and concerts at the arena. It will have condos on upper floors.
- Residential/Retail tower: The downtown Greyhound bus station on the southwest corner of 103rd Street and 104th Avenue will be gone, (its lease expires in 2016) and in its place will be a retail and residential tower. This block of 103rd Street will be a pedestrian-oriented road similar to Rice Howard Way.
- Retail Buildings: New low-rise buildings on the north side of 103rd Avenue between 102nd and 103rd streets will frame the outdoor plaza that will be across 104th Avenue from the arena, and will feature shopping and restaurants.
- Arena District “Trophy” Tower: The Baccarat Casino will be gone and in its place, arena district developers promise a “trophy” development that might include residential towers.
Looking Further Ahead
The City of Edmonton has written an imaginative description of Edmonton’s future, as we work to make Edmonton the city we want it to become in 2040. The following points will serve as guidelines for what we can expect to see in the coming years. (Source: www.edmonton.ca.)
- Edmonton is an energy city. Energy drawn from the ground and from above; from the sun and wind. But the true power of Edmonton is the democratic spark in its people.
- Edmonton is a city of design — urban design, architectural design, and environmental design. Walk its safe, leafy neighbourhoods, ride its efficient and accessible transportation system. The city has grown up; now we’re building smarter.
- Edmonton links the continent with the north and with Asia. This cooperative regional economy is powerful and diverse, oriented toward the future. Visit the universities and colleges, the humming research parks, the downtown office towers: Edmonton is a destination for advanced technologies, health care, and green energy.
- Edmonton is a recreation city, an arts city. It is a city that embraces all seasons. Run, ride or ski on its trails and fields, cheer in its arenas and stadiums. Enjoy the museums, galleries, clubs, and theatres. Read its novels, watch its films. Spend an hour or a week in the glorious North Saskatchewan River Valley, the world’s largest preserved park.
- Edmonton is a city of many cultures, educational opportunities, and all political and social orientations; yet its citizens are inspired by a shared vision and the certainty that this city on a river is one of the most special places on earth.