November 3, 2012 1:50 pm
Updated: March 21, 2013 11:40 pm

Old Alberta Cycle building coming down in hopes of revitalizing Alberta Avenue

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In an effort to revitalize the area, a 50-year-old building on Alberta Avenue is being torn down.

The old Alberta Cycle building, located on 91st Street and 118th Avenue, is being torn down to create a temporary green space for the neighbourhood.

The city owns the building, and had planned to transform it into an arts centre however, a number of major, unexpected conditions were found during renovation of the building. The cost of repairing the building would have cost the same as constructing a new building. Therefore, the city has decided to create the temporary green space until a long-term plan for the site is developed and approved.

Members of a local arts society are really excited with the possibility of what’s to come for the area.

“We’ve talked about, during our festivals, being able to use the space to have arts structures, design competitions, that type of thing,” said Christy Morin, Executive Director, Arts on the Ave Edmonton Society.

While there is no plan yet, as to what will be done with the land, Morin is hopeful some sort of arts facility will be built. She says the community is very rich with artists from all disciplines and believes the arts are a predominant leader in community revitalization.

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“I’d love it to become a four storey arts facility, community facility. People could have weddings, you could do theatre, you could do pottery, really do a mixed-use arts community space,” Morin said adding, “Whether it’s theatre, music, dance, film, pottery, visual arts, it just really reflects the character of who lives in the neighbourhood.”

Mayor Stephen Mandel says the city will meet with community members to get their suggestions. He believes an arts facility would be extremely beneficial for the neighbourhood.

“I’d like to see another arts hap go up there,” Mandel said adding, “Arts add a tremendous amount of presence to communities and make people feel comfortable and increase their respect for the area.”

The demolition of the former Alberta Cycle building was scheduled to begin Saturday afternoon.

With files from Slav Kornik.

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