Edmonton city council has delayed for 60 days a land deal that could pave the way for what might become the tallest building in Alberta’s capital city.
The 280-metre high, 80-storey mixed-use tower, proposed by Alldritt Land Corp. and architect Brad Kennedy, is tentatively being called The Quarters Hotel and Residences. The thin skyscraper would be located on the south side of Jasper Avenue, east of the Shaw Conference Centre and west of 96 Street.
Alldritt Group wants to buy a piece of river valley land for part of the tower project. The proposed development would require council to make several zoning bylaw amendments to accommodate its ambitious height and the fact it would partially intrude on publicly owned land.
Council spent most of Tuesday afternoon meeting in private, specifically trying to figure out whether the city could easily buy back the land if the development falls through.
This was supposed to be a couple of weeks away based on last week’s executive committee report. However a council agenda item was added last minute. The report the councillors were working from wasn’t even available until after the noon break on Tuesday.
Mayor Don Iveson said the deal is made even more complicated by the fact there’s a third party land owner involved.
“There’s some complexity around those lands and the legal structure between Alldritt and the third party that just might be in competition for some of the city’s interests over time,” Iveson told 630 CHED.
“That would need to be settled to council’s satisfaction, in order to be able to move ahead with the principles of the deal that we had originally understood we could settle.”
Council voted to send the deal back to Alldritt and to give the developer 60 days to come back with a revised proposal.
A public hearing scheduled for Wednesday — that was meant to look into changing bylaws to allow the development to take place and address density, height and building form —will now be postponed.
“So we’ve said 60 days and hopefully it can be done faster than that, might take longer than that but the work needs to get done in order to satisfy council’s conditions and protect the public’s interest,” said Iveson.
A public hearing was supposed to happen two weeks ago, but it was posponed after the city received two letters from residents concerned about the consultation process and the community impact.
The tower would be surrounded by a private park open to the public. Because it would be perched on the edge of the North Saskatchewan River valley, it would require shoring and foundations that go down 75 metres to bedrock.
Currently, the Epcor Tower is Edmonton’s tallest building at nearly 150 metres.
— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News