Construction underway on Glenora project in west Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Glenora development moves forward after years of delays' Glenora development moves forward after years of delays
WATCH ABOVE: After years of delays, construction began Wednesday on a new, mixed-use project in Glenora. Sarah Kraus has more on the 500-unit development – May 10, 2017

An official ground breaking took place in west Edmonton on Wednesday at a project site that has been years in the making.

The first phase of a mixed-use development called “West Block” on 142 Street and Stony Plain Road is underway after a series of delays and ownership changes.

“West Block will transform this famous corner of Genora,” Ryan Smith, InHouse by Beaverbrook principal, said.

“The comprehensive project plans for townhomes and three towers that offer residential, retail and office space in synergy with one another.”

READ MORE: Long-delayed Glenora development project gets green light from Edmonton council

The first of three residential towers is a building with 60 units. InHouse said half of the residences have been sold for an average of over $1 million.

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“The strength of being 50 per cent sold shows that the community is embracing a new type of product, and that includes two of the four penthouses,” Salima Kheraj, Inhouse by Beaverbrook principal, said.

The project will also include office space as well as a south-facing Urban Square that will have coffee shops, restaurants and patios.

“There has been division in the neighbourhood over density. InHouse’s approach towards us as a community has been professional and we’ve been treated with neighbourly respect. We’re encouraged that something positive is finally happening,” Andrew Hildebrand, Glenora Community League director-at-large, said.

Edmonton city council approved rezoning of the development in March 2016.

“To have these Edmonton-based investors and builders come forward and really improve the design in my view, and really involve the community in such a meaningful way, sets a great example not only for rescuing a project, but how to do development in a way that’s friendly to community,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

The rezoning decision supported the city’s The Way We Grow plan, diversifying housing opportunities in the area, offering community green space and increasing density next to a planned LRT station.

READ MORE: Glenora Skyline project to restart under new ownership 

In March 2015, Beaverbrook took over ownership of the development after the Glenora Skyline Development Corporation encountered financial and legal issues including mortgages and lien holders.

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A month earlier, the city said it was having conversations with the Glenora Skyline Development Corporation, encouraging them to recommence construction of the planned three-tower development near 142 Street and Stony Plain Road.

Kheraj said the company anticipates the first phase will be complete by late 2018 or early 2019.

With files from Sarah Kraus. 

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