Residents weigh-in on proposed development in Oliver

EDMONTON- Dozens of Oliver residents had the opportunity Saturday, to voice their concerns over a proposed development in their neighbourhood.

The development would sit on the old Molson Brewery site, on the northeast corner of 104th Avenue and 121st Street. Right now schematics of the site consist of mostly commercial retail space, with the possibility that residential towers will be built in the future.

“In the stuff that I’ve heard from the community there is concern about sort of, the orientation of this site. And perhaps there isn’t enough creativity in it,” explained Pieter De Vos, who facilitated the community conversation at Christ Church Hall Saturday morning.

Sina Den Otter and her husband Job have lived in Oliver for 10 years. While they like the idea of bringing more business to the neighbourhood, Sina is worried the current proposal is “a big space with no beauty.”

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“We are interested in having a nice, welcoming neighbourhood here with small shops and a sense of community,” she explained. “with trees and shops and cafes… something with a bit more European flavour.”

Another concern she has is over the large number of parking stalls. The proposed development has plans for LRT expansion in the future, and many feel it should be more pedestrian-friendly.

“We don’t want to have another big box store there and a big huge parking lot,” said Sina. “It will take away from the attractiveness of the neighbourhood.”

Sina’s husband Joe loves that many of the amenities in the neighbourhood are within walking distance. He sees potential for the site, but believes it could be even better than proposed.

“If we can get the small businesses to move in, then people are more apt to walk to the small stores,” added Joe. “So then we can leave the car home.”

The Oliver Community League will take the feedback gathered at Saturday’s meeting and compile it into a report, which will be given to the developer, First Capital Realty.

Officials from the company say they’re open to changing the plan as long as there is enough parking for future tenants. In order to break ground the land will have to be rezoned, which includes further consultation.

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A design committee meeting is scheduled for May 21, which will be followed by a public consultation meeting on May 23. From there, the application will go to City Council sometime in July.

The proposed concept is posted below:

With files from Jenna Bridges. 

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