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Work set to begin on former gas station on Whyte Avenue

The lot on the corner of Whyte Avenue and 104th street has has sat empty for more than ten years.

An Esso gas station used to occupy the space. It opened in the 1920s, and was a fixture in the area until it was decommissioned and closed in 1998, and the facilities removed.

The site has since been undergoing a remediation process as a result of soil contamination from the underground gas tanks.

In 2002, a large amount of the contaminated soil was removed from the lot, but there has been little activity since that time.

The final phase of the remediation process is now set to get underway.

“Our objective has always been to remediate the property consistent with the protocols established by alberta environment and then to market the property for sale.” says Jon Harding of Imperial Oil.

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The latest remediation work is expected to take several months to complete.

According to Harding the changes may not be visible right away.

The Old Strathcona Business Association is pleased that there will soon be a resolution to this story.

“It’s prime space.” says spokesperson Shirley Lowe, “This is a third of this block and it’s one of the most important blocks in this city.”

Lowe says the company has given them a rough timeline of how the work will proceed.

“For the month of September, they’re going to be pile driving a retaining wall onto the west side here and scooping up the top five metres,” Lowe says. “Through October and November they’re going to take the bottom soil out and replace it.”

Once the remediation work is complete, the property will go up for sale.

While at this point there is no word of a buyer, the trendy location of the property has both Imperial Oil and the Old Strathcona Business Association predicting that it won’t be on the market for long.

There are more than 50 lots in Edmonton that used to house gas stations, but now sit empty.

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