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30-storey tower proposed for Saskatoon Nutana neighbourhood

Click to play video: '30-storey tower proposed for Saskatoon Nutana neighbourhood' 30-storey tower proposed for Saskatoon Nutana neighbourhood
The building would be the tallest in the city and would be located one block away from Broadway Avenue, across from a community garden – Apr 20, 2022

Saskatoon’s skyline and the Nutana neighbourhood could be very different in a few years, should city administration and council approve a proposed 30-storey building.

The plans, put forward by AODBT Architecture on behalf of S.S. Pacific Imports Inc, would create the city’s tallest building at 12th Street East and Eastlake Avenue.

The new skyscraper would be one block from Broadway Avenue and across the street from Chief Darcy Bear Park and some community gardens. It would contain 210 apartments and seven businesses.

Cynthia Block, councillor for the ward comprising Nutana, told Global News she was surprised when she first saw the proposal.

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“I’ve got some concerns about the overall size. I think the height is going to really be … not just out of character, but a lot for our city to handle,” she said.

It would dwarf any other structure in the area, most of which only have a few floors.

City resident James Wood said he opposes the structure, calling it “a monster.”

“It takes away the sort of local neighbourhood feel of this district,” he said.

The building would be the tallest in the city and would be located one block away from Broadway Avenue, across from a community garden. City of Saskatoon and AODBT Architecture + Interior Design
An image of the proposed building that was included in the architecture firm’s submission to the City of Saskatoon. City of Saskatoon and AODBT Architecture + Interior Design

Alex Piche and Breanna Piecowye, also Saskatoon residents, were in favour.

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“I like Broadway, I’d like to live on Broadway in a tower like that if I could,” Piche said.

“Although Broadway might not be the best place to have it, I still think it’s one of the better places to have it,” Piecowye said, stating taller buildings would help limit urban sprawl.

Block said the only feedback she usually hears when similar projects go public is negative, but this time she heard from a few residents who support it, provided it doesn’t affect the slope or obscure people’s views.

The strongest reoccurring criticism against it from residents, she said, is that people don’t like how it looks — which is beyond the scope of the city’s influence.

“One resident told me that I should be spending more time working on getting a new grocery store rather than allowing a development like this,” she said.

The Extra Foods on Broadway, the only grocery store in the area, recently closed.

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Block says the tower could house a new one, since it would have businesses on bottom floors, but city council can’t force a grocery store to open.

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AOBDT Architecture declined to comment.

Block said she doesn’t know if the proposal would even make it to a public hearing, let alone approval from city council.

There are many steps between proposals and construction.

One of the first, a public information session, takes place on May 11th.

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