Crews break ground on next phase of Edmonton’s Station Lands development

Click to play video: 'Central Edmonton Station Lands development ground-breaking ceremony'
Central Edmonton Station Lands development ground-breaking ceremony
Developer Qualico broke ground on the Station Lands project on the north edge of downtown Edmonton, which will add more housing and works spaces near the Epcor Tower, Rogers Place and Edmonton's Chinatown neighbourhood. Nicole Stillger has the details. – Jun 16, 2022

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in downtown Edmonton on Thursday morning for the next phase of the Station Lands development.

The mixed-use development is located just north of the CN Tower and Royal Alberta Museum, south of 105 Avenue.

The project started years ago with Epcor Tower. The next phase of the project will see over 600 residential units built, as well as commercial and public spaces.

“I think people don’t appreciate the time it takes,” said Mike Saunders, senior vice president of Qualico Properties.

“We’ve been working at this before 2011, which culminated Epcor Tower to come out of the ground. But there’s been continuous work with several councils, city administration as well, and it takes years and years and years with the momentum building. So we’re just really excited to be here today.”

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Once fully built, developer Qualico Properties said the Station Lands development will invest $1.2 billion into the downtown core and provide housing, business opportunities and community amenities.

Once complete, it will include six residential towers, adding 5,000 new residents and workers to the district, according to the developer.

“I firmly believe that in order to fully revitalize our downtown, we need more people living here,” Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said. “This land has been vacant for a number of decades.

I think projects like this ¯ this groundbreaking ceremony — helps shake off the pessimism of COVID that we have lived through over the past two and a half years.”

Click to play video: 'Mayor  Amarjeet Sohi addresses safety issues in Edmonton'
Mayor Amarjeet Sohi addresses safety issues in Edmonton

With walkable, cyclist-friendly and transit-accessible links to other key parts of the downtown core like Ice District, The Quarters and Chinatown, Qualico Properties said the project has been “thoughtfully designed” to be a transformational space in the heart of Edmonton.

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“The civic precinct and the arts and culture district are our neighbours to the south, and our historical Chinatown is our neighbour to the north,” Saunders said. “We are committed to ensuring this project enhances, enlivens, and buoys the success of our neighbours by bringing new residents, new businesses and renewed vibrancy to our downtown.

“As we work together with our neighbours, community partners, and civic leaders to bring the best out of downtown Edmonton, we are certain that Station Lands is exactly the kind of investment our city needs right now.”

The Chinatown Business Association calls this development positive for its community, which has been struggling lately.

“The Station Lands project is just what the doctor ordered for our Chinatown and our downtown,” said Holly Mah with the Chinatown Business Association.

“It’s no secret. These have been tough times for Chinatown and for downtown. Similar tough times are being experienced across Chinatowns and downtowns across North America.

“What we control here at home are our own actions. We control what we do here in our own backyard. And when Edmontonians make positive and significant investments, like the one Mike and his team are making in our community, we can celebrate and feel hopeful about our future.

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“Chinatown wants to be a feature of Edmonton’s downtown and a centre of business and culture. The investments being made here at Station Lands by Qualico and their partners is such an important signal of their belief in the future of this historically and culturally rich part of Edmonton.

The first tower in the next phase of development is expected to be complete in 2024.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in downtown Edmonton Thursday, June 16, 2022 on the next stage of the Station Lands development. Global News

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