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What do you think of this project?


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EdmTrekker

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The truth is ice District can’t afford to be only entertainment right now. It’s not like the downtown and whyte ave markets can’t support nightlife entertainment. It’s just there’s so much of it close by already that it’s not enough to pull in buyers at their price points. Most people buying in legends and and sky rise have money to spend. Most people who are enticed by those things are usually a lot younger. Most young people don’t have money. This is obviously speaking generally… They need to market convenience. Once phase 2 gets built all the fashion stores, dispensaries, liquor stores and rexall stores and banks we totally want in the plaza will probably eventually be relocated once the leases and construction ends and real entertainment options will move into the plaza. Especially considering the added density near by that phase 2 of station lands and ice district will bring.
"leases ... end" is key.
 

thommyjo

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Popular fashion brands don’t want to be downtown. That’s the hard truth. Had nothing to do with ice district or cannabis stores. Cannabis stores would cut off their left arm if it meant they could have uncovered windows, but they can’t. Not because they don’t want to. Also, what’s so entertaining about upscale fashion brands? I agree, we want them downtown. How would they benefit an entertainment district though? And to say they benefit more than a cannabis store? In the context of entertainment? Your argument has legs but no feet. You have to also remember there are so many other cru’s that need to be filled up. I’d understand the outrage somewhat if this was the last one. It’s not though. The ones that are filled with banks should come first in getting removed before a cannabis store if it’s such an “entertainment” district.
When you go to other cities, what do you see on their identity shaping streets? Apple stores, lululemon, Nike, H&M, Canada goose, etc. I’m not even saying high end like Luis, Burberry, Rolex. But just major brands that carry clout with young people and make DT attractive to them.

And you can say it doesn’t feel like entertainment…but apple stores and nike get tons of foot traffic, window shoppers, etc.
 

occidentalcapital

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When you go to other cities, what do you see on their identity shaping streets? Apple stores, lululemon, Nike, H&M, Canada goose, etc. I’m not even saying high end like Luis, Burberry, Rolex. But just major brands that carry clout with young people and make DT attractive to them.

And you can say it doesn’t feel like entertainment…but apple stores and nike get tons of foot traffic, window shoppers, etc.
The reality is that our downtown is built for a city population of 2-3 million people - e.g. we have to fill up all the street-level retail, all the mall and elevated retail, and all the pedway retail, so 3x the amount of retail needed just to look "occupied". We have the infrastructure of a very large city (e.g. fully grade separated downtown subway (we call it "LRT") with separate track level, concourse level spaces. We have a bunch of mega developments with massive retail concourses (e.g. underneath the Telus and ATB buildings), ECC, Manulife Place, Commerce Place. We have not one, not two, but arguably 3 central retail streets that all need to be filled in order for the downtown to be vibrant (Jasper Ave, 104 st, and 124 st) now add to that the plaza and street-facing retail in Ice District.

Oh, and a lot of that 'independent' retail demand is already satisfied by Whyte Ave, which we don't think of as "downtown", but in most other comparable cities that kind of street would be considered downtown.

Essentially, there is a lot of mega-infrastructure in our downtown, a lot of space for retail. Luckily for us, our city population is back growing rapidly and we are well on the way to reaching 2 million. I think it is just a matter of time before the city starts to catch-up to what is built and you will see more retail activity in downtown.
 

archited

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Sometimes, if you examine the data... a general picture emerges.
 

David A

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Popular fashion brands don’t want to be downtown. That’s the hard truth. Had nothing to do with ice district or cannabis stores. Cannabis stores would cut off their left arm if it meant they could have uncovered windows, but they can’t. Not because they don’t want to. Also, what’s so entertaining about upscale fashion brands? I agree, we want them downtown. How would they benefit an entertainment district though? And to say they benefit more than a cannabis store? In the context of entertainment? Your argument has legs but no feet. You have to also remember there are so many other cru’s that need to be filled up. I’d understand the outrage somewhat if this was the last one. It’s not though. The ones that are filled with banks should come first in getting removed before a cannabis store if it’s such an “entertainment” district.
I think sooner or later, the people who live in those nice downtown condo's are going to tire of having to drive everywhere to get most things. Those stores that figure out there is a very unhappy, under served market to serve will do better, those that stick to their rigid suburban only approach (which they seem to apply only to Edmonton) will not do as well.

Not that the Bay is a popular fashion store, they are even more clueless. However, as an example since the downtown store has closed I haven't spent a single cent at the Bay, even though I used to and still have their credit card (which I can and have used in many other places since then). I don't know if they have figured out why I use their card often, but never at the Bay. If it is not convenient, it is their loss. Fortunately there are a few places that are more convenient, with as good or better prices.
 

Vijay19

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When you go to other cities, what do you see on their identity shaping streets? Apple stores, lululemon, Nike, H&M, Canada goose, etc. I’m not even saying high end like Luis, Burberry, Rolex. But just major brands that carry clout with young people and make DT attractive to them.

And you can say it doesn’t feel like entertainment…but apple stores and nike get tons of foot traffic, window shoppers, etc.
Ya nothing screams cosmopolitan like a $10.00 t-shirt from H&M and then going to Braven after and ordering fries because that’s all your H&M budget allows. Seriously though it’s better that the stores you mention go into the City Centre Mall renovation and leave the weed, booze, restaurants, bars, cafes and gambling in the Ice District. Can you imagine how busy that weed store would have been during the playoffs when the plaza was packed? I think it’s right where it belongs.
 
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thommyjo

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There's the image of that old wooden spoon again -- I believe you really are ageist -- you just can't help yourself. Re the broader scope of your comment -- you are entirely wrong.
How is it ageist to suggest an entertainment district, which usually cater to young adults ages 18-35, should have clothing stores that are exciting to young people? Would you call all those brands ageist for primarily targeting young adults in their marketing and branding?

We have multiple universities downtown and any thriving DT appeals well to young people. Why do so few 20 year olds in our city care about our DT? Why do so few ever visit it? We haven’t designed it for them.

Not sure why you have a bone to pick with me. I’m not saying anything against older people, simply speaking as a younger adult about what I observe amongst my peers and what might be helpful.
 

thommyjo

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Ya nothing screams cosmopolitan like a $10.00 t-shirt from H&M and then going to Braven after and ordering fries because that’s all your H&M budget allows. Seriously though it’s better that the stores you mention go into the City Centre Mall renovation and leave the weed, booze, restaurants, bars, cafes and gambling in the Ice District. Can you imagine how busy that weed store would have been during the playoffs when the plaza was packed? I think it’s right where it belongs.
I’m just saying what I’ve seen in Toronto, Vancouver and other cities. H&M isn’t my favourite store, but they like to put their stores in prominent districts. As does apple. See those types of stores in our DT I think would show our DTs image is improving. The lack of investment DT from global brands is sad. Like banks, then can often give some more stability alongside local and smaller stores.
 

northlands

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I think sooner or later, the people who live in those nice downtown condo's are going to tire of having to drive everywhere to get most things.
The only problem is when people have that issue mixed with the uptick in crime, general disorder, feelings of being unsafe, endless construction, etc. of downtown current, they choose to move away. I mean, if you're going to have to drive anyway, may as well live somewhere without those aforementioned issues. I love downtown living, but yesterday a gentleman sat on a public bench in the open outside our building, furiously sharpening a shiv for a solid 45 minutes. In broad daylight. Don't see much of that in the burbs.

I know this has been brought up before, but the argument about the lack of corporate headquarters in Edmonton seems to go pretty hand-in-hand with our retail offerings downtown. Per StatsCan, in 2019 we had 120 HQs in Edmonton for 5,500 employees--and how many of those are even in DT? One of the biggest private corporations HQed in Edmonton, PCL, isn't even close to downtown. What notable non-government related HQs do we have in DT? Stantec, CWB, BioWare, ???

For the same year 2019, Quebec City, a place with half our population, had nearly 7,500 people employed at HQs. Winnipeg at 7,300. Calgary in the depths of oil recession hell of 2019 still had a whopping 28,000 folks employed at HQs.

I don't know if there's any real correlation between downtown amenities and corporate HQs, but it's clearly been an on-going trend of Edmonton having crap corporate presence and the majority of our DT is government and small satellite offices (largely consisting of law/accounting/consulting/CRE services) and our downtown having, as Ian put it, pitiful retail offerings. Seems to me like it's hard to build great retail offerings when there's the lack of big HQ money earners. I previously worked for a medium sized Calgary based corporation with HQs in their downtown. Just the money expensed for business lunches/client entertainment at the local downtown restaurants/retailers was incredible. You certainly don't see much of that here in downtown Edmonton.

Obviously not the sole problem or anything but it's a pretty big missing piece.
 
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archited

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How is it ageist to suggest an entertainment district, which usually cater to young adults ages 18-35, should have clothing stores that are exciting to young people? Would you call all those brands ageist for primarily targeting young adults in their marketing and branding?

We have multiple universities downtown and any thriving DT appeals well to young people. Why do so few 20 year olds in our city care about our DT? Why do so few ever visit it? We haven’t designed it for them.

Not sure why you have a bone to pick with me. I’m not saying anything against older people, simply speaking as a younger adult about what I observe amongst my peers and what might be helpful.
First and foremost "Entertainment Districts do not "usually" cater to young adults 18-35, nor does the retail associated with said districts. The target market for RETAIL generally is for people with substantial disposable income which certainly excludes a lot of people on the marginal income spectrum, especially those tied to high rents and/or lofty mortgages. There are some brands that target youth; equally there are brands that target other age groups. Your arguments are all anecdotal -- you and your friends/peers, as you constantly quote. It is for that reason that I included the post on Canada's top 100 retailers (I trust you read it). "any thriving DT appeals well to young people" -- like young people are the only group that matters to downtown -- tell that to any major City in Florida, largely catering to retirees from northern states.
I don't have a bone to pick with you -- I don't even know you. I do like to call out biases and prejudices when I see them however. Now you are working on substantiating two of them -- ageism and educational elitism.

As far as National Brands are concerned -- they are almost an anathema to sustained and sustainable retail districts. In Santa Monica a one-time very successful retail area known as the "3rd Street Promenade" grew from a local retail base. As its popularity increased and as the rents and demand for space increased, soon only the conglomerate retail entities could afford the rental rates. As the more colloquial stores were displaced with your favorite shopping brands the Promenade fell out of favor -- one could find all of these stores at any mall anywhere in North America. People began to quit the 3rd Street Promenade experience and instead went to two new areas nearby -- Main Street Santa Monica and Abbot Kinney Blvd. -- both of which made a concerted effort to discourage National Chain Stores. Same in San Francisco -- Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square were both ruined by the presence of National Chains. In Ojai, California, and Santa Barbara both Cities have undertaken bylaw forms to restrict the influx of National chains. In Edmonton -- Old Strathcona was revived by local merchants with street-presence ideas -- Hopefully the chains do not destroy this area. If Edmonton wants downtown to prosper and grow it should adopt strategies to encourage local entrepreneurship. It certainly doesn't help when the ICE District leases out major retail space to Banks. And it should not blindly look at catering to one age group!

One of the favorite games that Designers and Architects play at Retail Symposiums is showing slides of the interior of Malls in major cities across North America. From the interior mall pictures the players are to guess which City the particular Mall is located in. It is a very difficult guessing game.

And 'O your nihilistic comments re Edmonton are not at all helpful -- grow up!
 

_urbanite

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Sunday afternoon on a warm day and... nothing. Taste of Edmonton is certainly the main draw right now, but unfortunately this district is pretty much like this 98% of the time. Also, there was a man about to shoot up some drugs about 5 feet to the right of me when taking the last picture. Right out in the open, without a care in the world. Just another day in downtown Edmonton. And we dream of having big brand retail stores here... lol

Edit*
When things are opened maybe it will be different, but I have my doubts. Loblaws will only do so much. I worry about Canadian Icehouse's and The Banquet's chances for success. They will be very dependent on the game night crowds for sure
 
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