July 13, 2018 3:22 pm

After 4 years, hole in Quarters is finally filled

Development on Edmonton's "Five Corners" project continues on July 13, 2018.

Scott Johnston, 630 CHED

What was a hole in the ground on 95 Street at Jasper Avenue is now the foundation for a 24-storey rental apartment tower that’s due to open in 2020.

A project in The Quarters that didn’t look like it was going to get anywhere, ever since the original developer abandoned it in 2015, had its ground-floor concrete pour ceremony on Friday.

Calgary-based Cidex Group worked with the City of Edmonton and dove into that 10-metre-deep mega-hole.

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“Geology is finicky, right?” said business development manager Sarah Itani. “Shoring is only meant to sit on a temporary basis, not for four years exposed to the elements the way it was. So we just didn’t know what the shoring would do, if it would cause us delays in having to redo parts of the project or not. So thankfully it held, the engineers were there, everything was cured really well and we came out of the ground right on time.”

When it is done you’ll see 199 rental apartments, as well as retail space. It’s an endorsement, Itani said, of the market conditions in Edmonton.

“We’re a built-for-purpose rental market developer. It makes sense right now to be building rental. There’s a need for it and the price is right for us to move ahead on this project.”

READ MORE: Development planned for Edmonton’s “Five Corners”

She said Cidex will do more downtown, as well in Old Strathcona. A project is pending on 105 Street.

“We like to make sure our trades keep working, keep moving. So you’ll see us pop up across sites here in the downtown core as we try to keep everyone moving.

“It’s not just us. It’s condo developers, it’s retail, it’s hotel. There’s a lot of really great sites, set at the right price. The market is right to be building in. Everyone can build cost effectively. There’s also that demand and that vibrancy. If you watch everything that’s been done in the Ice District that’s trickling to The Quarters district as well, there’s a lot of public-private partnership in the city.”

“It’s the time to be building now. We can can build more cost efficiently now than we could when it was booming.”

READ MORE: Highrise rental tower set for East Village

The Hat at Five Corners will have include three-bedroom units, not only because that’s what city council is requesting, but because the market conditions indicate, it’s the right thing to do.

“We’ve seen the Calgary market be receptive,” Itani said. “We’ve seen the suburban market in Edmonton be very receptive. All of our market research shows that should be no different in the urban market there. Families are liking to come, not necessarily downsize on physical space, but to upsize on amenities and lifestyle.”

Much of the financial details for the project were handled by the city in private, including approval by city council in a closed door vote. The original listing when the city took over the file from BCM Developments when it walked away from the 0.4-hectare project was $4.4 million.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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