As Ice District begins to take shape in downtown Edmonton, an official with the team behind the development says the vision for a forthcoming tower hasn’t changed, even if some of the previously planned amenities may be subject to change.
“The vision really hasn’t changed from its inception,” Tim Shipton, senior vice-president for Katz Group/Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), said one day after OEG provided a city committee with an update on the project.
“What has changed is those incremental shifts of those things that will drive people to the downtown core.”
Originally, the vision for the skyscraper — which will come on the heels of the erection of the JW Marriott and the Stantec towers — included plans for a movie theatre to be inside and for green space on its second level.
“We shifted away from a conceptual design on a second-level park and really we pivoted towards the public plaza and Ice District knowing that that’s going to be the epicentre of energy for the project,” Shipton said on Wednesday, adding no final decision has been made on any of the amenities at this point.
Shipton acknowledged it’s not certain the tower will still include a movie theatre.
“We have brought forward iterative design elements looking at what Ice District would look like with a cinema and without a cinema, and at the end of the day, the decision will be made on what we feel will create the most energy,” he said.
“The design process is fluid and the mix of tenants and activations is shifting based on input from partners and what customers want.”
Shipton said whatever the third tower’s amenities end up being, he believes Edmontonians have something to be excited about when it comes to the Katz Group’s development.
Watch below: On March 1, 2018, Jack Haskins filed this report after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered praise for Edmonton and Ice District.
“If you take a step back, this project is really going to transform a significant part of downtown Edmonton,” he said. “We’re four months away from Stantec Tower welcoming Stantec employees. We’re eight months away from the JW Marriott opening its doors to customers and we’re a scant year-and-a-half away from the full vision Ice District coming to fruition — people skating in the winter, celebrating New Year’s Eve in the public plaza.
“Ice District will be a welcoming space for people in our city and it’s going to be the postcard shot for tourists and for people around the world. That vision has not changed and that vision is rock-solid.”
Watch below: On May 8, 2018, Vinesh Pratap got a look inside the J.W. Marriott tower.
The Ice District development is centred around the Edmonton Oilers’ arena, Rogers Place, which opened in 2016. Ice District’s developers plan for it to feature condos, a public plaza, 300,000 square feet of retail space and 1.3 million square feet of office space.