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Edmonton council rejects proposal for 4-storey apartment in West Jasper Place

Edmonton City Council rejected a proposal for a mixed-use building at 153 Street at 95 Avenue.
Edmonton City Council rejected a proposal for a mixed-use building at 153 Street at 95 Avenue. Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal to build a four-storey mixed-use building in the West Jasper Place neighbourhood will not be moving forward after much public outcry.

Developer Beljan Development wanted to build on a piece of land at 153 Street at 95 Avenue, which currently houses three single, detached homes.

The plan called for 37 residential units in the building, along with some retail space. The proposal required the site to be rezoned, which needed to be approved by city council.

More than 20 members of the public showed up at city hall on Monday to speak out against the plan. Dave Hickel feared the area would become overrun with apartments.

“The proposed Jasper Gates development is going to add approximately 1,000 apartments to West Jasper Place. More apartments are economically unnecessary and actually unwanted by the community,” he said.

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“West Jasper Place has an abundance of apartment buildings, with the majority having vacancies right now.”

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Anna Marie Dole worried the four-story building wouldn’t fit in with the current feel of the community.

“Just looking, walking past that area in my community, I can’t see how it would really fit into the adjacent land uses, especially with the school right there and stuff. And just the height of housing around there, it would look a bit odd to me personally.”

Chris Delaba with Beljan Development said with the LRT coming to the area in the next decade, apartments above street-level retail is what the market wants.

“Without a doubt, having the west LRT and, more or less, firm commitment that the west LRT will be constructed was a catalyst.”

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The developer rejected stacked row housing, which was the original plan under the zoning.

“In some of the infill markets, it still seems to be a difficult housing form to develop when it’s a project-style type of development such as what we currently have in our zones… Right now, the perform is very slim to make it worth taking the risk.”

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In the end, council voted 10-3 to reject the project.

With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED.