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Work finally underway at Edmonton’s ‘hole in the ground’

Development planned for Edmonton’s “Five Corners”
WATCH ABOVE: A Calgary developer is hoping to fill a void and is taking a chance on a piece of Edmonton. Vinesh Pratap has more on the plans to redevelop an area east of downtown.

It’s been an eye-sore near downtown for too long, but now something is being a done about it.

Construction is underway at the lot at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue that has featured nothing more than a massive hole in the ground for several years.

READ MORE: Want to own a big hole in downtown Edmonton? It’s yours for $4.3M

The hole was dug on the site where BCM Developments was planning to build a 28-storey condo, but has sat empty since the developer backed out of the deal in 2015.

The land was put up for sale again, but things remained stagnant for several years.

READ MORE: Artists Quarters in downtown Edmonton given green light by council

However, a Calgary developer recently purchased the site and has moved quickly to develop the lot. A 24-storey residential building is under construction, with main floor retail, as part of The Quarters district.

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“We’ve been interested in the area for quite some time, and just the promise that it has with its fantastic location and the vision plan that the city has for growth in this area,” Sarah Itani said. Itani is the business development manager for Cidex Group of Companies, the company behind the recent acquisition.

“We’ve seen it done many times successfully when a city believes in an area that needs that burst in development, the work that public-private partnership can do.”

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A 24-storey residential tower is being developed on a site at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue.
A 24-storey residential tower is being developed on a site at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue. Cidex Group, Credit
A 24-storey residential tower is being developed on a site at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue.
A 24-storey residential tower is being developed on a site at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue. Cidex Group, Credit
A 24-storey residential tower is being developed on a site at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue.
A 24-storey residential tower is being developed on a site at 95 Street and Jasper Avenue. Cidex Group, Credit

Members of the surrounding community are pleased that the construction has recently restarted.

Katherine Sayaphet is the owner of Syphay, a restaurant across the street from the lot. Sayaphet said the development could lead to “more business, more traffic, (and) more money towards this side of the city.”

“We’re happy to see some activity at the site after so many years of inactivity,” added Joelle Reiniger, a spokesperson for the Boyle Street Community League.

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Development begins on a site near downtown Edmonton that has been a massive hole for several years, Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
Development begins on a site near downtown Edmonton that has been a massive hole for several years, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Tim Rauf, Global News
Development begins on a site near downtown Edmonton that has been a massive hole for several years, Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
Development begins on a site near downtown Edmonton that has been a massive hole for several years, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Tim Rauf, Global News

The latest development in The Quarters is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020.

Itani said the building will have 199 units, offering one-, two- and three-bedroom spaces.

READ MORE: Hyatt Place Hotel opens in Edmonton’s the Quarters district

The $60-million, 13-storey Hyatt Place Hotel opened in January 2017 at Jasper Avenue and 96 Street.

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The Armature opened the same month. It is a “green street” that runs along The Quarters on 96 Street from Jasper Avenue to 103 A Avenue.