A group of architects, engineers and developers has submitted a plan to turn the Coliseum into a housing development, in an effort to revitalize the Edmonton exhibition lands.
The Coliseum was expected to be demolished but now the group wants to save the building for redevelopment under a plan it calls Agora Borealis.
“It seems a shame to knock down a building that can put 500,000 square feet of living space within it,” said Michael Koski, financial consultant with Agora Borealis.
“So how do we re-purpose, make it better for this community and utilize the existing structure in order to maximize the benefits for the community?”
The proposal includes student and seniors housing, apartment-style homes and a hotel.
The basement of the Coliseum would be a community space, for activities such as basketball. The plan also includes space for 350 parking stalls.
“This building has been a catalyst for Edmonton. There’s been so many good things that have happened for the history of our city,” Koski said.
“Why not convert the existing structure and allow people to live here?”
The team building the project said once it gets underway, it would take 18 months to build.
The city was asking for requests for proposal (RFP) to revitalize the exhibition lands. In a news release, the city said it received several ideas.
“The city received ideas from many sources, including feedback from conversations, submissions through the exhibition lands web portal, and a formal Request for Expressions of Interest,” read the news release.
Mayor Don Iveson said the RFP was a preliminary step in the process.
“This process was to help see what the market thinks would be possible on these lands and then for that to actually get built would require the formal mechanism of an area redevelopment plan, which would come before council and ultimately lead to zoning and things like that,” Iveson said.