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Old Strathcona & The Garneau Real Estate

Home-security entrepreneur buys Union Bank Inn and three other notable buildings

Feb. 28, 2022 · The Pulse
By Emily Rendell-Watson
Comments

The Union Bank Inn has been sold to a local entrepreneur who is hoping to revitalize and bring new energy to the historic building, which has been a fixture on Jasper Avenue since 1911.

“The idea is to honour its history, really pull out the roots of what the Union Bank was,” said Henok Kassaye, the new owner, who is taking over a business that’s been closed for the majority of the pandemic.

...
Kassaye said he bought the Union Bank Inn along with three other properties: the Scona Garage off Whyte Avenue, the Harvest International building on 109 Street, and 10507 Saskatchewan Drive (the former Incite marketing building). All four were listed by Omada Commercial.

 
Henok has a ton of vision, energy and has shown us what he can do with his building on Jasper/104st. Time to find the right partners, consultants and scale his ideas up.

I should also mention that he is one hell of a human being and community supporter.
 
Henok has a ton of vision, energy and has shown us what he can do with his building on Jasper/104st. Time to find the right partners, consultants and scale his ideas up.

I should also mention that he is one hell of a human being and community supporter.
What building on 104 St. and Jasper does he own?
 
Personally I will utilize the parking lot for the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market (I go several times a year) but I can use the gondola once it opens

I am sure the Farmers' Market is going to fight tooth and nail to renew that lease, as they deeply subsidize their operations through revenue from that lot.

It is a ridiculous use of land though. planWhyte envisioned this parking lot as part of a linear park - from what I understand, the planning department would like to see that vision come to life through the Old Strathcona Public Places Plan. The real question mark will be implementation (as always).
 
I can appreciate the need right there and believe it would be a very negative move for the area to get rid of that parking, but a better deal and or some portion to be used for other things to improve the community could be a nice balance. My mom goes to that market BECAUSE of the ease of parking and she likes her once a week trip to a 'neat' part of the city. If there was no parking she would go to one of the Southside markets.
 
I can appreciate the need right there and believe it would be a very negative move for the area to get rid of that parking, but a better deal and or some portion to be used for other things to improve the community could be a nice balance. My mom goes to that market BECAUSE of the ease of parking and she likes her once a week trip to a 'neat' part of the city. If there was no parking she would go to one of the Southside markets.
And THIS is how we keep enabling car culture in Edmonton, my friends.
 
I don't disagree at all, BUT we need to be cautious with our decision making in that if we don't provide reasonable options/alternatives/ease of use, many will simply change their habits and at the expense of some of our best assets.
Sometimes caution ends up just dragging needed changes. If I had to point one single issue that holds Edmonton back, it would be excess caution. We don't dare, we never go bold and disruptive.
Curiously, we did in the past and it gave us some of the best legacies (underground LRT in DT, for once).
In the end, the messaging that the city has put forward in the past few years is that they want to change, turn Edmonton in a thriving urban metropolis, but doesn't quite commit enough. It's just like saying you want to lose weight and starting to walk a few miles every week, but reward yourself with a XL pizza after, instead of going in a healthy diet.
While some people will change their habits and stop going to the market, if we get rid of the parking there, others will come to use the linear park, or to live in a residential built there (and shop in the stores that would need to be in the podium), etc...
 
I'd say give Farmer's Market another 5 year lease, but reconsider heavily after that. The Farmer's Market is a natural draw for folks that live farther away who are often only willing to get groceries by car. I don't think this area is at the level of density and infrastructure to be self supportive yet. Whyte Ave is still heavily reliant on outside customers, a lot of which come by car.

We have a ton of parking lots all along 81 Ave that can be redeveloped first and are in much more pleasant locations.
In 5 years from now the story might be different, what with the massive amount of new housing being built by the U of A (about 700 units currently under construction, if my count is correct) with easy bike access and the gondola being finished up.
 
^^
^
When we go to Granville Market we usually drive. Same with the St. Lawrence Market in Downtown Toronto. Same when I go to Byward in Ottawa. It's not about removing parking as much as it is about providing a good variety of options, good transit and an amazing experience in the neighbourhood once you get there to not just drive in and get your stuff and go, but walk, explore and make a day of it.

Don't for a second think this is an Edmonton/car-centric thing.
 

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