On the northeast corner of Jasper Avenue and 108th Street, you will see a rather large pit, with lots of yellow-earth moving machines inside. In two and half years, a 36-storey, 360-rental-unit tower will stand in its place.
On Friday, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi joined officials from John Day Developments, Maclab Development Group, Pangman Development Corporation and Probus Project Management to officially break ground on The Parks, even though the project is already well underway.
The first phase of the project is set to have residents by 2024; if the market conditions are right, a joining section and a second tower, facing Jasper Avenue, will be built. If the whole project is complete, more than 1,000 rental units will be added downtown.
“We’ll finish phase one and see how it goes from there,” said John Day. “But we do believe that there is a market for quality downtown apartments. The plan is to do all three phases, but we couldn’t do them all at once.”
Also key to the project is the development of Warehouse Park, a nearly 1.5-hectare block from 106th to 108th Streets, lining 102nd Avenue. With the proximity to the LRT and the park, the development promotes a car-less, urban lifestyle.
“I think all of us understand that a thriving city must have a thriving downtown,” said Sohi. “More people living downtown add to that vibrancy.”
But he stressed that the park is key to the future of downtown, as the core needs more amenities that are often taken for granted in other parts of the city. “We need to create casual opportunities for people just to get out.”
Marc de La Bruyere, Maclab’s managing director, said the project will create 2.1 million hours of direct employment. “It will set a benchmark for environmental sustainability, livability and inclusion.”