City seeks public feedback on proposed 80-storey downtown skyscraper
A public open house on Monday focused on the proposal for an 80-storey skyscraper in downtown Edmonton that would become the tallest point of the city skyline if developed.
The Quarters Hotel and Residences would be a mixed-use tower including restaurants, hotel rooms, residences and a retail space.
“We’ve designed the podium of the tower to be actually transparent,” said architect Brad Kennedy. The design feature is in response to concerns that the tower would block the view of the river valley, he said.
The developer, Alldritt Land Corp., has submitted a rezoning application to the city that must be approved before development can move ahead.
80-storey tower proposed for downtown Edmonton
Plans for an 80-storey condo tower proposed for the Quarters in downtown Edmonton were presented to the public Monday evening.
The Quarters Hotel and Residences would tower over Jasper Avenue and Grierson Hill Road, bordered on the west by the Shaw Conference Centre and on the east by 96th Street.
The building would be the tallest in Edmonton. The Stantec Tower stretches 66 storeys and is expected to open in 2018.
But the architect behind the new project, Brad Kennedy, says despite the height, the river valley will still be in sight for people below.
"We designed the podium of the tower to be transparent, so the only piece of the tower that blocks six-and-a-half per cent of the view is the core for the elevators and the stairwells," said Kennedy.
"Everything else is completely clear, so you can walk along Jasper avenue and you can see down through the tower to the whole river valley."
The project would include a hotel, condominiums, restaurants, fitness facilities, shops and two publicly accessible parks, stretching over 100,000 square feet.
Missing middle: Edmonton residents, researcher weigh in on 80-storey tower
Joelle Reiniger moved to Boyle Street three years ago for its proximity to the river valley. But she doesn’t want a 280 metre tower along the top bank to set the tone of future growth.
“It does stick out like a sore thumb,” Reiniger said, referring to the proposed, 80-storey Quarters Hotel and Residences.
“The river valley is Edmonton’s greatest asset.”
The mixed-use development, located on Jasper Avenue and Grierson Hill Road in the Quarters, “will turn underused and damaged land into a link,” according to Aldritt Land Corporation.
But Kurt Borth, a University of Alberta researcher who specializes in housing location, said the Quarters could instead benefit from "missing middle" housing.
Missing middle housing is a range of multi-unit or clustered housing in scale with single-family homes to meet urban living demands. Think Paris. Think parts of Toronto. Think New York.
Don’t get too excited about supertall building proposals in Edmonton
There’s nothing quite like a skyline-defining tower to get people excited. Earlier this week a proposal for an 80-storey tower in The Quarters known as the The Quarters Hotel and Residences caught the eye of many. Developers Alldritt Land Corporation LLP still need to get approval for the tower from City Council, something they’ll seek within the next year. But is this proposal really something we should get excited about?
After decades without any new towers being built downtown, I completely understand the appeal of these proposals. Especially with recent examples to point to like Enbridge Centre and the new City of Edmonton Tower, both of which are very attractive buildings. Not to mention the Stantec Tower, which will finally get Edmonton into the skyscraper club. Closing the City Centre Airport and removing the height restrictions over downtown made these buildings possible.
But those are office towers, not residential towers, and they’re located in the heart of our commercial core. When we look at residential towers elsewhere in our downtown and the surrounding neighbourhoods, density is what should be important to us, not necessarily height. We want to increase the population of our core neighbourhoods, but we don’t need record-setting heights in order to achieve that. And in fact, such heights might actually be detrimental.
I personally have no big issues with building supertall, but the article has a good point on huge projects having a higher risk of being stalled or cancelled. i also agree that it doesn't hurt to spread out density in downtown core by building multiple mid-rises vs. a single supertall...specially in Edmonton where land is not so scarce that developers have to squeeze into a single plot and go as high as possible - but then again, maybe there're profitability divers behind that.