In a 7-5 decision that came as a shock to supporters of urbanism and downtown development, Edmonton City Council has granted The Katz Group permission to build what will amount to a 600-space gravel parking lot adjacent to Rogers Place, in the heart of downtown Edmonton. In a city already rife with surface lots, critics of the decision have been left wondering why the City would approve a project like this, especially in light of recent pro-development moves that led to the construction of the ICE District and a host of other projects in the core over the last few years. 

Future site of a controversial gravel parking lot, next to Rogers Place, image courtesy of CBC

Katz Group has promised to landscape the lot in the near future once additional parking for the adjacent arena is provided underground. Some public supporters of the lot were quick to voice concerns about an apparent lack of oversized vehicle parking accommodation downtown, to which the gravel lot presents a viable solution.

Rogers Place (left), surrounded by surface lots, image via Google Maps

While only time will determine the impact of placing a large gravel parking lot in the heart of downtown Edmonton to accommodate the needs of a handful of drivers, the recent decision has left many concerned that this will reflect poorly on the future of development in the core in years to come. 

SkyriseEdmonton will be sure to provide updates as details continue to come forward. 

Related Companies:  Architecture | Tkalcic Bengert, City of Edmonton, DIALOG, HOK, Katz Group Properties, Manica Architecture, Walters Group