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Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre | ?m | ?s | Cedar Waxwing Group

Daveography

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All info and images via @archited (thanks!).

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The Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre is proposed for the “Northlands holdings” north of Alberta Avenue (118th Avenue). The project is proposed as the main component of a multi-phase development that would see Alberta Avenue and the surrounding community become the focus of renewed growth and improvement in infrastructure, commercial and residential architecture and themed build-outs.

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Phase I, II, and III would include all of the following elements:
1. Major Hotel -- a “four-diamond” guest experience that includes a broad selection of room types for both the leisure and the business traveler. Amenities include restaurants, cocktail lounges, meeting rooms, fitness gyms, a swimming pool, and pedway connections to the Edmonton Regional intermodal Transportation Hub (ERiTH) and the amateur sports and recreation facilities.
2. VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) Control Tower -- perched on the roof of the Hotel, the control tower will monitor and sequence air traffic to and from the Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre. Automated state-of-the-art 2 features ensure maximum passenger and area-resident safety as a new era of vertical take-off and landing craft make city-centre transit hubs a mainstay of future, forward-thinking cities.
3. Empyrean Citadel Landing Cradle -- the Empyrean Citadel is a transportable boutique hotel that can move from town to town, taking tourist guests on the most exciting of air-borne holiday ventures. The Edmonton Regional intermodal Transit Hub (ERiTH) contains the first-of-its-kind Landing Cradle for the Empyrean Citadel.
4. 3-storey Multi-functional Building -- with garden terraces, sky-lit atria, and a curvilinear facade, the Multifunctional building wraps itself in and around all of the other built forms adding connectivity to all of the features, providing retail and hospitality space with a true difference. Some of the features embodied in the building include:
a) an underground 4,000-unit automated parking structure that not only parks one’s car but, if it is an electric vehicle, will recharge the car’s battery. Other automated auto services include car-wash and detailing, oil change and general servicing, and response recall with a cell-phone app, enabling patrons to have their vehicle meet them at an exit station at a pre-programmed time.
b) a 12-bay bus depot (future home of rural bus service in Edmonton) complete with waiting lounges, ticketing booths and a cafeteria.
c) a travel museum complete with a themed holographic theatre, holographic feature kiosks, and displays that represent travel modes from earliest times throughout history and on into the future. 3 rotated view looking north-northeast from the ETS bus terminal
d) dining and entertainment venues. Quick-service outlets for those looking for snacks-on-the-go; casual eateries and bars; fine dining establishments and “virtual presence” rooms that bring distant worlds to one’s presence -- all form part of the Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre experience. 3-d rides and 4-d theatres add to the fun possibilities of an Omni-Centre visit.
e) retail with a difference. Shops in the Omni-Centre will employ the latest in technology, enabling on-line sales as well as in-store events. Again, “virtual presence” will be called upon to tele-present fashion shows from New York, London, Paris and Milan in a manner that presupposes actual (virtual) models strutting their stuff in the store at hand. Rare and unusual vendors will be sought out for event space in the building.​

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5. Repurposed and retrofitted Coliseum -- the playing surface will remain as will the lower tier of seating (upgraded to a new level of comfort). The upper-tier seating will be removed in favor of an encircling group of bars and restaurants. The focus for the new Coliseum -- in conjunction with the three multifunctional dome structures -- will be amateur and semi-professional sports and alternative spectator events -- concerts with an attendance focus on 6,500 and fewer, specialty shows, and consumer trade-show events. Possible examples include:
a) First People’s Institute, promoting cultural and sporting events that engage First Nations’ populations with the general public at large. Some of their endeavours will include sponsoring Alberta Native Hockey Championships and National and International tournaments, providing a home for an indigenous AJHL 4 view from the west showing three multifunctional dome structures team, providing a venue for the World Professional Indigenous Rodeo, and sponsoring an Indigenous Olympic Program.
b) International Curling Bonspiels with the final playoffs graduating to the new Rogers Place arena downtown.
c) Alternative entertainment sports -- e.g. donkey polo played with two teams of sexily-clad women: laughs, entertainment and excitement in one package.
d) Volleyball championships and international meets; basketball championships and, likewise, international meets -- culmination playoffs potentially played at Rogers Place.
e) Indoor football and indoor soccer league play (Western Canadian leagues)
f) Illusion acts and grand performances -- e.g. touring Cirque du Soleil acts; magic acts such as ‘the Illusionists’; touring Broadway performances; and musical performances that draw crowds in the “understadium” sized gates.
g) Hockey from Peewee through Midget to Minor Junior -- ice for all City sponsored leagues; also nonprofessional men’s and women’s leagues. Sponsorship of International competitions with ultimate playoffs held at Rogers Place.​
6. VTOL Landing Domes -- patent-protected design and mechanical formats prevent a world-first VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) dome from duplication in other venues. The roof peals back similar to the shutter lens on a camera to enable a landing/take-off platform to rise to exceed the height of surrounding elements. 5 alternate view of the three multifunctional domes viewed from the northwest Helicopters and a new spate of vertical take-off and landing air-borne vehicles will enrich mid-city life with all manner of flight functions -- City and Eco tourism, commercial connections to other city and town airports, pilot training, and filming and advertising potentials.
7. Canadian National Railway Station -- connected to all other forms of transportation, the CN station will feature a major stop for the VIA rail, glass-domed rail car experience, running from Vancouver through the Rocky Mountains to Toronto with a major stopping point in Edmonton. The station will feature ticketing, a customer lounge and a baggage control centre.
8. LRT Transit Station -- the existing station will be upgraded to include boarding facilities for the CN Via Rail experience and to provide a sheltered venue for transit connecting Edmonton’s Northeast with the downtown centre of the City and the newly developed ICE District.
9. ETS Bus Station -- again, the existing station will be upgraded to provide indoor comfort and to connect the bus facility to all other components in the Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre. Bus passengers will be able to connect with all other modes of transportation, whether local, regional, Provincial, national or international. Too, riders will be able to attend sporting events and a panoply of other forms of entertainment. 10.Multi-functional Dome Structures -- of which there are three, will provide 3 playing surfaces each (9 in total; 10 including the Coliseum). The dome structures provide possibilities for the following:
a) 9 sheets of regulation-size ice surfaces, answering Edmonton’s dearth of amateur and recreational hockey and skating facilities. In one location, Edmonton will be able to sponsor world-class events and invitational meets for all age-levels of hockey. Semi-final and final games will be able to be held in both the repurposed Coliseum and in the New Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton. 6 view featuring domes centre and centre-right with portal for CN rail to the left and Omni Hotel in the distant left
b) convertible space for other sport activities, including lacrosse, volleyball and basketball. Edmonton will be able to build a “use-pyramid” that showcases elementary, junior-high and high-school playoff platforms in all manner of indoor “field sports”. On the spectator side, parents and fellow class-mates will be able to attend games in a professional-like atmosphere, a facility unmatched in the entire world.
c) gymnasiums and fitness clubs -- the domes feature a great deal of vertical space which can be demised to provide all manner of additional facilities related to sports and entertainment. Some Upper Level dome uses include:
i) the Wellness Dome -- spa facilities, traditional and alternative wellness memes, sports rehabilitation, meditation rooms including First Nations’ sweat lodges, and yoga and fitness gym spaces.
ii)the Education Dome -- educational classroom space for classes in traditional art and sculpture, dance, music and culinary expression. Patron-attended show space would enable audiences of all capacities to attend performances and exhibits.
iii)the Business/Meeting Dome -- meeting rooms and conference space would be provided that complements internal events and events held at the nearby Expo Centre. Office space would be demised for Aboriginal Economic Development, Alberta Tourism, Edmonton Tourism, specialized Tour Companies, and Sports operations.
iv)the Culture Dome -- display areas celebrating Edmonton’s cultural diversity -- art galleries (in association with the Art Gallery of Alberta), cultural museum space and historical artifact space. Holographic film space can provide virtual exhibits honouring the roots of Alberta’s diverse ethnicity.​

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Daveography

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Phasing beyond The Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre:
The Omni Centre is meant to engage and meld with the surrounding community. We envision changing the specific venue of some of Edmonton’s long-standing fairs and add others to aid in that community infiltration. K-Days, nee Klondike Days, nee the Edmonton Exhibition -- we view as being potentially community enhancing by removing the midway from Northlands as it is presently structured and running it instead along Alberta Avenue (some eight blocks) from the proposed Omni Centre to 86th Street, making it a true street fair. Infrastructure could be enhanced to provide power and water services along the street that various rides and events could tap into. Other fairs and events that we envision being added to the Alberta Avenue mix include:
1. Mostosonahk (western Cree meaning “in the Buffalo Country”) -- a potential 10-day affair that includes input from First Nations tribes from across North America, sponsored by and prominently featuring the 9 indigenous cultures of Alberta. We envision the event being held from the last Friday in August through the Labour-day long weekend. Potlatch ceremonies, Pow-Wows, drum circles, native dance -- the historical connected to the new potential for First Nations’ peoples -- rodeo, art and culture exhibits, food experiences -- in all a colorful and glorious exposé of First Nations’ culture and potential.
2. Ethnotica -- a ten day event aligning all of Edmonton’s and Alberta’s cultural diversity in a street fair that, again, features art, dance, food and history in a blocks-long display featuring peoples from South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.), South-east Asia (Korea, Japan, Thailand, etc.), China, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Europe, Oceania, and Australia and New Zealand. We propose holding this event beginning on the last Friday in June.
3. Edmonton Winter Carnival -- a ten day event that begins on the last Friday in January. A way to break up the winter blahs with ice sculpture competitions and displays, skating competitions, invitational hockey tournaments, curling bonspiels, winter X-games, dog-sled races, etc. -- a true winter carnival befitting a prominent northern city.​

The re-engagement of Alberta Avenue would prompt the following upgrades in sequential phases:
1. Development of a bridge-like structure over the underpass along Alberta Avenue -- we can call this ‘Buffalo Hill’ -- that connects the pedestrian ways of Alberta Avenue to the east of the Omni-Centre with the pedestrian ways to the west of the Omni-Centre. This could be a multi-level, multifunctional outdoor park that provides space for winter X-games and summer X-games alike, thereby fitting into the mold of the previously mentioned street fairs. The crowning apex of the park could be an oversized statue of a Plains Bison overlooking the whole of Alberta Avenue, a befitting icon of Alberta Nature, First Nations’ historical viability, and the focal point of the new Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre.
2. Realignment of street traffic on Alberta Avenue to separate vehicular traffic from pedestrian traffic. From the emergent underpass on the west side of 118th Avenue a new vehicle way would “Y” to create westbound traffic running along 119th Avenue and eastbound traffic coursing along 117th Avenue. 118th Avenue would thereby be freed up to provide a permanent pedestrian way. In order to achieve this, the City would have to expropriate a number of parcels. The cost of expropriation and infrastructure upgrades could be ameliorated (and then some) by rezoning the land bound by 117th Avenue and 119th Avenue to accommodate a higher density mixed-use development format and by selling street adjacent properties in the expropriation back to new owners looking to develop in the higher density format. Also, many of the cross streets terminating at the new pedestrian-oriented 118th Avenue could have their terminal ends sold to developers to provide unique specific-use developments that would feature covered mini “grandstands” facing Alberta Avenue
3. In the “Y” created by the realignment of Alberta Avenue, an iconic structure could be developed that would spawn a world-wide architectural competition among architectural icons. We propose limiting the competition to 5 international firms, each specially invited to submit proposals. We feel that the structure should represent Edmonton’s “north-ness” and should be a prominent high-rise element viewable from great distances. The subterranean base of the structure could house an Arctic Ocean-themed aquarium with elements above grade including such venues as a vast “toyland” and a Santa’s workshop.​

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As the various phases for Alberta Avenue unfold, additional developmental aspects become obvious. Alberta Avenue would gain a prominence similar to Old Strathcona and, as such, would become a self-generating engine for renewal and community advancement. Enhanced connectivity to downtown Edmonton by LRT, busses and auto would also help in supporting growth in the centre of the City.

Financing the Alberta Avenue Omni-Centre:
The Cedar Waxwing Group proposes a P-4 approach to development -- a private-public-personality partnership. The Cedar Waxwing Group would provide the ‘private’ fundraising aspects in conjunction with the ‘personality’ group. Considering the scale of the proposed build-out, we would look to garner the assistance of 10 personalities, all who have or have had an Edmonton focus in their careers -- sports notables, entertainment icons, political figureheads, and culinary mavens. The ‘public’ partnership could include both the City and the Province with Federal funding garnered in the name of Canada’s sesquicentennial events (we could begin with a 2017 celebration involving a repurposed, reconditioned Coliseum building -- the interior renovation could enable a July 2017 opening if the City and province can respond quickly).

Income Streams:
Not all of the many income streams are evident at this stage in the development. We propose a tiered income stream approach whereby some services are provided at no cost to the community, where other elements and prospective tenants are leased space at competitive market rates and where still others enter into a ticket revenue sharing stream with the management of the facility. It does not require intense examination to understand the great financial potential of the venture, nor does it take much thought to see the manifold community benefits.

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Conclusion:
We at the Cedar Waxwing Group feel that the foregoing proposal better aligns with the needs of the City of Edmonton in a much broader sense than anything that has been presented to date. We also feel that our proposal better melds with the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood and engenders a strong growth and renewal mode for a community that has long suffered as the out-lands of Northlands expansion ventures. We want to embrace the 118th Avenue potential and celebrate its revival. We call on City Fathers to enter into discussions with us to see a strong vision realised.

Cedar Waxwing Members:
Founders:​

General Members:​
    • Glenn Johnston - Concrete Dome specialist, Entrepreneur, Business Consultant
    • Robb Campre - First Nations’ Emissary, various Foundations member, Entrepreneur
    • Roy Powell - Construction Safety Inspector, Music Business Producer, Humorist
    • Kate Harris - Principal at Virtual Presence, Hologram Expert, Entrepreneur http://www.virtualpresence.co
    • Petr Svoboda - Sports Agent, Oil Field Entrepreneur, European Liaison
    • Matt Wecker - Helicopter/Aircraft Company owner, Helicopter pilot, pilot trainer -- http://www.e-zair.com
    • Diana Broussard - Fashion Designer, Boutique owner, entrepreneur -- http://www.dianabroussard.com
    • Georgina Lightning -- Actor, Screenwriter, Film Producer
    • Ken Thomas - First Nations’ Emissary, First Nations’ Activist, Cree Speaker
    • Deborah Barnes - Business Development Officer, Ca-Tech Systems
    • Laura Powell - Graphic and Web Designer, Landscape and Interior Designer http://dezign2the9z.com
    • Dr. Nina Powell - Educator, researcher, Professor at National Singapore University
    • Jeremy Fitton - Inventor, Owner of SkyLifter enterprise -- http://www.skylifter.eu
    • Martin Davidson - Graphic Illustrator and Animation Artist
    • Michael Cechnicki - Sirius Radio personality, humorist, entrepreneur
    • Katrina Smith - botanist, plant identification expert
    • Patrick Blanc - botanist, plantscape designer, inventor of the vertical plant wall
 

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Daveography

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Futuristic alternative to Northlands plan would cost the city nothing, says developer
As council prepares to decide the future of Northlands and the Edmonton Coliseum, a developer has pitched a new plan he says wouldn't cost the city any money.

The plan proposes an alternative to Northlands' request for $212 million to redevelop the area but councillors familiar with the proposal say it is not likely to be picked up by council.

The idea, put forward by the Cedar Waxwing Group, would cost $6 billion but does not call for any public money.

Cedar Waxwing proposes a $600 million renovation to the Coliseum with adjacent multi-use domes that can be used for amateur and recreational sports.

The first few phases also involve building an automated underground parking garage and converting Alberta Avenue into a pedestrian street.

Full Story (CBC Edmonton)
 

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