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September 3, 2018

Rejected Grandin tower pitch heading back to Edmonton city council this month


The first tower pitch council turned down in eight years is back, now with three floors of family-sized units near Grandin School and a thin park between it and nearby homes.

Council turned down a 28-storey tower proposal from Westrich Pacific in June 2017, saying the re-zoning request would allow a structure too large for the small two-lot site and unfairly cut off the sky for the four-storey apartment neighbours to the south.

But Westrich Pacific is hoping a series of changes will shift opinions in their favour. A proposal called The View goes to council Sept. 17 promising a shorter tower with more space between it and its neighbours and a mix of 11 townhouses and bungalow-sized condo units at the base.

“This is main floor units with access for kids. … We’re talking about true family units,” said David Sanche, chief executive for Westrich Pacific.

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They would be three- and four-bedroom units, some with direct access outside in a leafy green neighbourhood, a block away from a school, playground and an LRT station. Constable Ezio Faraone Park and the river valley is two blocks away.

Council and community advocates have been lobbying for more family-friendly accommodations downtown for years. But this would be one of the first new towers to include them, Sanche said. The roughly 1,500-foot units would be offered for between $400,000 to $500,000.

It’s uncommon in Edmonton because the market still expects many couples to move to the suburbs when they have kids. But Edmonton’s downtown is in transition and the location — 111 Street near 99 Avenue — has the right neighbourhood amenities, Sanche said.

Still, he’s not sure how the market will respond. “It’s a big gamble. This will probably not sell but we’re going to do our best.”

The developer also secured a deal to buy the adjacent city alley for $400,000, he said. That lets them shift the tower north, away from the four-storey building to the south. The space between the four-storey apartment and its towering new neighbour grows to 10 metres from the originally proposed 2.5 metres and can now support trees and a small pocket park.

The tower height will drop to 23 storeys from the previously proposed 29. But the overall number of units increases. The new proposal calls for 178 dwellings, up from 165.

Keep reading in the Edmonton Journal


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