Posted: Sep 14, 2007, 4:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Condo tower could be first of many
Proposed 41-storey project surrounded by vacant land being eyed by developers
Ron Chalmers, The Edmonton Journal
Published: 2:39 am
EDMONTON - BCM Developments is planning a 41-storey condominium tower at 101st Street and 105A Avenue -- extending the downtown's northward expansion.
The proposed site, a gravel parking lot on the east side of 101st Street, now is surrounded by vacant land, under-used retail space and men's shelters.
But the area could be transformed by the Aurora condo project to the west, where construction will start soon, by the Station Lands mixed-use project to the south, which remains unscheduled, and possibly by a new hockey arena to the south, now being considered by a mayor's committee.
It's a good area close to the downtown, and I think you'll see more towers going up," Max Raimondi, BCM's development manager, said Thursday.
The building, tentatively called The Edmontonian, would have three levels of underground parking and a six-level above-ground parking podium with ground-level commercial space -- topped by a narrower tower with 35 to 38 storeys of condos.
Project architect Terry Hartwig already has met with the Edmonton design committee, which, he said, persuaded him that the parking podium, above ground level, should be "wrapped" with condos on the outer edges "to soften the look of the towers, and put more eyes on the street."
The roof of the six-storey podium would provide outdoor "amenity space for residents," he said.
"On about the 30th floor we would have a sky garden, two or three storeys high, with a great view of the city and the river valley," Hartwig said.
The building would be finished with greenish-blue glass and stucco detailing. It could include geothermal heating and a gas-burning electrical generator that would power the building and supply electricity to the grid.
It will be lower than Manulife Place, only slightly taller than the CN Tower, and would not obstruct City Centre Airport flights, Raimondi said.
Still, the height could be a concern as it relates to density, with about 220 units planned on an 1,800-square-metre site.
"I think density will be the one issue," Hartwig said. He hopes the building will be seen as an asset to the community, with "an elegant, beautiful tower" and ground-level amenities such as a coffee shop to increase pedestrian activity.
BCM has not formally announced its Edmontonian condo plan but some details have appeared on a website, www.connect2edmonton.ca -- an online forum sponsored by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and other agencies.
Connect2Edmonton has reported that The Edmontonian currently is its second most-frequent discussion topic. Recently posted comments questioned the building's proximity to the airport flight path, debated above-ground parking and praised the tower design.
BCM is preparing to present the plan to a community meeting before asking city council for a re-zoning.
Raimondi expects construction to start in about two years, subject to pre-sales.
BCM's other activities include The Zen condominium, with 86 units, under construction at 114th Street and 105th Avenue, The Max, a 93-unit condo development with construction soon to start at 113th Street and 105th Avenue, and the 81-unit Fuzion condo development, proposed for Whyte Avenue and 102nd Street.
© The Edmonton Journal 2007
A related story regarding this project.