EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally said the hotel announcement was made by the Oilers Entertainment Group. It has since been corrected to say the announcement was made by Ice District Joint Venture.
Several floors of the new Stantec Tower in downtown Edmonton originally slated for condo units will instead be converted into hotel suites.
Ice District Joint Venture announced Thursday it is in negotiations with several premium hotels.
“We’re in negotiations with a prominent hotel brand, something that will be in line with the other assets in Ice District,” said Tim Shipton of Ice District Joint Venture.
“Everything in Ice District to date has been world-class.”
The lower 12 floors — about one-third of the planned SKY Residences — will be converted into hotel suites. In total, it’s 130 units. People who’ve already purchased a residential unit in the SKY Residences will be moved to a higher floor at no extra cost.
Shipton was asked if this move is a response to the condo real estate market.
“We’ve been very pleased with condo sales. I would say summer was all about getting the JW Marriot opened up. Now we’re focused on SKY Residences, we’re focused on the opening of the plaza, and the successful completion of our other assets.
“We’re over 50 per cent of the existing available inventory for this building and just beginning to make the hard push,” Shipton added.
Residents will be able to move into the Sky Residences at the Ice District by the end of the year.
Ice District Joint Venture said it was always considering a second hotel for the Ice District.
“It certainly will be complimentary to the JW Marriot. We know the excitement since the JW has opened up has been palpable in the city, it’s brought people into Ice District. We’re starting construction on the old Greyhound bus site, so lots of momentum building.
“We’re bullish on long-term prospects of residential in downtown.”
“We’ve also begun the demolition permit on the Baccarat Casino and looking at our overall Phase 2 plans from a permitting perspective. So, we’re bullish, it’s just a little bit long-term.”
When the tower was completed roughly one year ago, it earned the title of tallest tower in western Canada. At 251 metres, the Stantec Tower became the tallest tower outside of Toronto.
The original plan was to have it accommodate 1,500 Edmonton-based Stantec employees, 29 storeys of commercial work space, 483 condo suites and over 20,000 square feet of amenity space.
“When you have a project of this scale and scope, when you have as big a vision certainly as Daryl Katz has brought to this city, you have to be flexible to market demands, you have to be flexible to what your customers and what your market is saying,” Shipton said.