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Thread: Cecil Place (104 St. - Jasper Ave.) | Office/Retail | Completed

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    Default Cecil Place (104 St. - Jasper Ave.) | Office/Retail | Completed






    quite nice i think...depending on material choice, but why they dont include a tower on top is beyond me.
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    There must be a pretty good reason why a tower is not being pursued. Oh to be a fly on the wall....

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    ^no kidding..perhaps someone else can share more on this project?
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    Ian, just a guess, but are they builidng with a provision to top it up with a tower ie with a foundation on steroids big enough to support a tower at a later date?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish
    Ian, just a guess, but are they builidng with a provision to top it up with a tower ie with a foundation on steroids big enough to support a tower at a later date?
    no idea...i hope so....
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    Maybe they wanted a tower but the good folks at ICON had that nixed because it would have blocked out some of the ICON's more marketable views.

    I like the look of the Sobeys though. Wouldn't mind seeing a colored model of it for a better sense of how it would look on the street.

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    That corner is prime time for a slender, modern glass residential tower. They are missing a huge oppurtunity with sticking to 4 floors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Maybe they wanted a tower but the good folks at ICON had that nixed because it would have blocked out some of the ICON's more marketable views.

    .
    On the other hand adding more people on 104 street means more commercial services making the ICON 2 even more marketable.


    I don't get why their not building a tower. The owner is a pretty smart guy who has built a nice little fortune for himself. I'm sure he realizes the severe lack of condo's in the area.

    Perhaps he is aware of a couple other big proposals in the area that we don't know about yet....

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    regardless....4 stories on a site in the middle of downtown is a waste....YMCA is the same deal....put a tower on top simple as that.

    i love the design of the sobeys, but without a tower we will look back and lament.
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    I don't think that the folks behind this project are that callous and have totally left out the possibility of a tower of some sort.

    ...and I don't think Langham (sic) would necessarily block the tower, as the ICON has its own views and really is not on the river valley. Shade would be the main concern, but a DT high-rise condo - especially a nice one - can only HELP the ICON in terms of view aesthetics.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    "I don't think that the folks behind this project are that callous and have totally left out the possibility of a tower of some sort. "


    i hope you are right...
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    Yeah, but look at it this way...
    Had I just purchased a unit in the ICON because a south-facing view of downtown/Jasper Ave was marketed to me, I would would be quite annoyed by that view now getting blocked out by another tower.
    If I was the sales guy of the ICON, I'm going to have some unhappy buyers or unsold units on my hands for the same reason.

    I'm just speculating right now, so I'd like some factual information as to why they can't go further than 4 floors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Yeah, but look at it this way...
    Had I just purchased a unit in the ICON because a south-facing view of downtown/Jasper Ave was marketed to me, I would would be quite annoyed by that view now getting blocked out by another tower.
    If I was the sales guy of the ICON, I'm going to have some unhappy buyers or unsold units on my hands for the same reason.

    I'm just speculating right now, so I'd like some factual information as to why they can't go further than 4 floors.
    excuse me, but if I were buying a south facing unit in the icon, i would surely notice the gaping hole in the ground where cecil used to be. At that point I would have assumed that eventually my view will be blocked. Cecil was taken out before Icon set up sales shop there. so, if I was a buyer, i would be kicking myself in the g*%#n for being so stupid not the sales agent for selling me a "lemon."

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    "Had I just purchased a unit in the ICON because a south-facing view of downtown/Jasper Ave was marketed to me, I would would be quite annoyed by that view now getting blocked out by another tower. "


    you are downtown...that happens...
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    You also have the little park between the Cecil site and the Icon to space the two out. Regardless, you would be a fool to purchase property downtown and expect some sort of gaurantee on your view-- especially next to a fenced off site with a big hole in the grounds and no final plans on what will be built.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Yeah, but look at it this way...
    Had I just purchased a unit in the ICON because a south-facing view of downtown/Jasper Ave was marketed to me, I would would be quite annoyed by that view now getting blocked out by another tower.
    If I was the sales guy of the ICON, I'm going to have some unhappy buyers or unsold units on my hands for the same reason.

    I'm just speculating right now, so I'd like some factual information as to why they can't go further than 4 floors.
    They are goin further, they're building one tower atop the 4 floor foundation, a 30 floor one!

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    Confirmation?


    Oh and welcome to the forum....
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA! This better be true...

    If this is how you make an entrance to this forum...PLEASE STICK AROUND!!

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    The Icon is 30 floors on top of the 4-floor podium. Are you sure the Cecil is also? They are two separate developments.

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    Yea, I am wondering if Nosirrah is getting the Cecil and Icon confused.

    Confrim please....

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    yes....i think you might be confused....but i hope you are not!

    i was told there were plans for a 16 storey hotel suites or condo, but that feel through and now it is a 4 storey building, sobeys with 3 levels of office.

    but man would i love you to be right.
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    Ian is Right - Last I heard the Cecil site is still the Sobey's - 4 stories with provisions for a future tower (Office/Condo/Hotel).

    Why the developer doesn't explore the tower option sooner given the current vacancy rates is beyond me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess
    Ian is Right - Last I heard the Cecil site is still the Sobey's - 4 stories with provisions for a future tower (Office/Condo/Hotel).

    Why the developer doesn't explore the tower option sooner given the current vacancy rates is beyond me.
    So provisions will be made? I know they aren't exploiting the possible FAR with the 4 stories... but are they really going to build prep in the event of an addition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by onishenko
    So provisions will be made? I know they aren't exploiting the possible FAR with the 4 stories... but are they really going to build prep in the event of an addition?
    That is the latest rumor going around... I'll check with my sources...

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    PROVISIONS? PROVISIONS? Just build a bloody 30 story condo tower and get it over with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanC
    PROVISIONS? PROVISIONS? Just build a bloody 30 story condo tower and get it over with.
    I Hear ya!!

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    Default Sobeys on 104th

    Does anyone know if the proposed sobeys on 104th street is still going through? Have development applications been submitted and if so does anyone know of a proposed timetable for construction?

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    Moved to Buildings and Architecture...

    ...and yes, it is still going ahead as far as I know, but there is no timetable announced.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    Moved to Buildings and Architecture...

    ...and yes, it is still going ahead as far as I know, but there is no timetable announced.
    i have heard december start...and that sobeys is secured and there IS a consideration for a future tower addition.
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    /\ That's what I also heard.

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    Changes to Sobey's store design aim to 'reclaim Jasper Avenue'

    Ron Chalmers
    The Edmonton Journal


    Saturday, October 14, 2006


    EDMONTON - Prospects for a downtown Sobey's grocery store on the former Cecil Hotel site have improved with a new design.

    Architect Joe Tkalcic's latest plan overcomes earlier concerns about truck traffic at the 104th Street and Jasper Avenue site by placing a loading dock at the back, accessible from a lane.

    Up front, the three-storey structure will feature an elegantly rounded corner,

    reflecting the shape of the Birks Building directly across 104th Street.

    The design does not "mimic" that historic building but "respects its presence by incorporating similar materials, colour (and) window patterns," Tkalcic has written in his development application.

    The two buildings would define "a gateway into 104th Street" from Jasper Avenue, he wrote.

    A 17,615-square-foot Sobey's Ready to Serve store is shown as the main-floor tenant in drawings that accompany the application.

    The store "would serve the fast growing residential population in the downtown core" -- especially those who live several blocks east of the 109th Street Save-On store, said Richard Wong, chairman of the Downtown Business Association.

    Sensitive design elements "will help to reclaim Jasper Avenue," he added.

    The new building will have a 50-stall underground parking garage. Upper floors will be available to commercial or professional tenants.

    While the loading-dock location "has been reconciled," the application "still is in review," said Paul Kozak, a senior development officer in the city's planning department.

    Cantilevered upper-level windows, overhanging Jasper Avenue, may be too close to trolley-bus wires, he explained.

    "We have surveyed the trolley lines and will ask for a variance," Tkalcic said.

    The property owner, John Day, declined to comment on talks with Sobey's, whose officials could not be reached.
    There was also a picture of the building which as the article said really does compliment the Birks building. As soon as I can find the pic I'll post it up.

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    [/img]

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    I sure hope this goes through and they begin construction ASAP. With ICON to the north and this on Jasper Avenue the area will look great. What an improvement over what was there just a few years ago.

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    I LOVE the new Sobeys design - the only thing that bothers me is the City Planners - yapping and interferring too much in some of the developments in this City - including this one. These guys need new marching orders - and that is to be pro-development - without selling the farm. We do want great design - but need to have a philosophy of encouragement not being roadblocks. The guy from the City quoted in the article seems to friggen negative - and with THAT attitude - who would want to have to deal with the City??????? Are we NOT trying to attract development?? I am thinking we need the City Manager to put a fire under these people and get them thinking on a new PLANE here - and to instill a "lets help here" attitude!. Either that or ther City Manager needs to be replaced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    I sure hope this goes through and they begin construction ASAP. With ICON to the north and this on Jasper Avenue the area will look great. What an improvement over what was there just a few years ago.
    i noticed people on site yesterday and the day before.
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    Hey Dumb-dumbs that own this thing...build the freakin tower now. Stop pussy footin around.

    ps. You aren't dumb-dumbs, this is a nice design and you did a good job, but just build the freakin tower ok.

    Thanks -
    The City of Edmonton

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    /\ Yeah it's hard to believe a guy like John Day wouldn't recognize the financial opportunity. Makes me thing there is more to the story.

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    I do have to say, John Day sure has or has done a lot in the past few years, whyte ave and now downtown. Is Frazier still his agent? Perhaps that's the problem...

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    Unfortunately this plan is still not a go. As the article mentioned there might be a problem with the trolley wires.

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    Isn't the city getting rid of Trolleys anyways?

    And as I recall it wasn't a clearance problem, it infringed on it's (for lack of a better term) right-of-way.

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    If they get rid of Trolley's I somehow doubt they are going to spend millions of dollars to decomission millions of dollars worth of existing infrastructure.
    There are Trolley wires in the City that are never used, but are left in place.
    I am sure they will get their variance on clearence.

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    I'm excited to see that building go up and for the tower behind it to be built. With luck they will decide to build a tower above the sobeys too.

    By the way thanks IKAN104 for posting the pic.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    i think people almost dont realize what this sobeys means to the downtown.....it is going to create a LOT of traffic off hours and really solidify the core as a realistic option for residence.

    ICON I and II + YMCA + SOBEYS will truly give the downtown the options and vibrancy we need to turn around this boat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    i think people almost dont realize what this sobeys means to the downtown.....it is going to create a LOT of traffic off hours and really solidify the core as a realistic option for residence.

    ICON I and II + YMCA + SOBEYS will truly give the downtown the options and vibrancy we need to turn around this boat.
    Here here!

    Add to that the Huge bar (which many people will either love or hate) and the possible Oilers Arena, the redevelopment of Japser East...wow..the list goes on, and on, and on.....

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    Downtown right now is on the verge of lots of big things. Maybe with luck in a year or two no one will even consider downtown being a ghost town after 5:00 but a live and vibrant part of the city that people live in and people from around the city come to for all the things it has to offer.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    Downtown right now is on the verge of lots of big things. Maybe with luck in a year or two no one will even consider downtown being a ghost town after 5:00 but a live and vibrant part of the city that people live in and people from around the city come to for all the things it has to offer.

    and many of us already know this to be the case....basically we need to double the downtown pop again to make it "really vibrant"
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    Well the residential devellopers are taking care of that part, let's continue to see businesses, retail and offices continue to move into the downtown.

    Oh yeah I was just thinking about it. The property that the Sobeys would be on, does that look onto the park that is in on the other end of the block or is there still a building between the two. If it did spill onto the park maybe that would be a good place for a little restaurant or coffee shop like Second Cup, Tim Horton's, or Starbucks, or even a local company.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    Well the residential devellopers are taking care of that part, let's continue to see businesses, retail and offices continue to move into the downtown.

    Oh yeah I was just thinking about it. The property that the Sobeys would be on, does that look onto the park that is in on the other end of the block or is there still a building between the two. If it did spill onto the park maybe that would be a good place for a little restaurant or coffee shop like Second Cup, Tim Horton's, or Starbucks, or even a local company.
    to my knowledge that friggen lawfirm will remain....and if it does, thank you very much mr.lawyer for ******* up that block. It better be coming down.
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    It really looks like it is staying...

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    That's too bad. The lawfirm could move upstairs of the sobey's in a brand new building
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    That's too bad. The lawfirm could move upstairs of the sobey's in a brand new building
    no friggen kidding.
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    Looks like a case of brinkmanship. I say sell. That piece of land will be essentialy worthless if the Sobeys project goes ahead without it.

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    Well hopefully they will be smart and something good will happen there. And also, I sure do hope they approve the design and get going asap. I want to see that sobey's sooner than later.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    The design was approved - by EDC. the application is just going through finishing touches with the safety codes, and trolley line set backs etc.

    That law firm has refused to sell, they think they should receive a windfall for their property, but they seem to forget it is only 15 feet wide!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citysource
    The design was approved - by EDC. the application is just going through finishing touches with the safety codes, and trolley line set backs etc.

    That law firm has refused to sell, they think they should receive a windfall for their property, but they seem to forget it is only 15 feet wide!

    i understand what they did and i for one think we should have a "dont give them your business for ******* edmonton" promotion campaign.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citysource

    That law firm has refused to sell, they think they should receive a windfall for their property, (...)
    A law firm looking to make more than it deserves??? What is this world coming to???

    Oh, I love the smell of sarcasm in the morning...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    LOL

    Yeah go figure.

    Well too bad for their own shortsitedness.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    im tempted to go talk to them and explain what they are doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    im tempted to go talk to them and explain what they are doing.
    Better take a lawyer with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murman
    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    im tempted to go talk to them and explain what they are doing.
    Better take a lawyer with you.

    nah, might just get in the way
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    Then you'll have to get another lawyer to sort out the first two lawyers.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    Quote Originally Posted by Citysource
    The design was approved - by EDC. the application is just going through finishing touches with the safety codes, and trolley line set backs etc.

    That law firm has refused to sell, they think they should receive a windfall for their property, but they seem to forget it is only 15 feet wide!

    i understand what they did and i for one think we should have a "dont give them your business for ******* edmonton" promotion campaign.
    I think that the law firm chose not sell based on principle. You see, Mr. John Day, owner/developer of the Cecil site, is a big lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain. The small 'law firm' probably doesn't like Mr. Day and decided not to entertain any offers. Big corporate lawyer vs. small private firm lawyer

    Just my thoughts....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisD
    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    Quote Originally Posted by Citysource
    The design was approved - by EDC. the application is just going through finishing touches with the safety codes, and trolley line set backs etc.

    That law firm has refused to sell, they think they should receive a windfall for their property, but they seem to forget it is only 15 feet wide!

    i understand what they did and i for one think we should have a "dont give them your business for ******* edmonton" promotion campaign.
    I think that the law firm didn't sell out based on principle. You see, Mr. John Day, owner/developer of the Cecil site, is a big lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain. The small 'law firm' probably doesn't like Mr. Day and decided not to entertain any offers. Big corporate lawyer vs. small private firm lawyer

    Just my thoughts....

    thanks for your conjecture "chris", but i think my thoughts are more precise.
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    I have a source that told me the deal is finalized and construction begins mid-November!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess
    I have a source that told me the deal is finalized and construction begins mid-November!!

    spectacular...
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    yes yes.

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    Great news, this will be a great addition to Jasper Avenue. The sooner the better

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    not to mention the new wine bar opening up in the north retail spot of the birks building.
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    ^Yea they were painting and touching up the exterior. That building is so great.

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    Speaking of the birks building, other than the wine bar on the main floor, what else is in that building?
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    where is that building located?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    Speaking of the birks building, other than the wine bar on the main floor, what else is in that building?

    mostly small tenant office and some professional left....also DECL is in there.


    at one time it was almost all dentists if you can believe it.
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    Birks also has a lot of nifty high-tec startups, just as the Empire does.

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    where is that place that you are talking about? and, what's DECL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish
    where is that place that you are talking about? and, what's DECL?
    Birk's is the building on the NE corner of the Jasper/104st intersection.

    DECL = Downtown Edmonton Community League.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish
    where is that place that you are talking about? and, what's DECL?
    birks building is on jasper and 104st where ATCO travel is.

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    Wine bar in the Birks building? I think that's just a wine store, and a good one from all accounts. But a wine bar would be nice too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Wine bar in the Birks building? I think that's just a wine store, and a good one from all accounts. But a wine bar would be nice too.

    time to get out more sonic....


    they owners are opening a wine bar in the closed "hole in the wall" just north of the wine store.

    :>
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    Yep, the owners of DeVines are opening a nice classy wine bar right next door.

    104 Street is really shaping up. Now to fill in that gap on the NW corner of 104 Street and 102 Avenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisD
    Yep, the owners of DeVines are opening a nice classy wine bar right next door.

    104 Street is really shaping up. Now to fill in that gap on the NW corner of 104 Street and 102 Avenue.

    ^no kidding....a nice 2 storey retail podium with say a Earl's and a "Belgo" ....with a mixed use 10 storey office and 20 storey condo.
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    Better still - how about a high end deli (like Peck in Milan), selling cheese, meat etc. etc. Perfect for an upper class residential area and a good mix with the restaurant/wine bar image.
    Edmonton, Capital of Alberta

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    how about a running room where urbanites and office workers can meet to run in groups around downtown...

    how about another starbucks

    how about a bakery
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    I am sad to say, there is probably the same amount missing from DT as there is in it.
    I just want to see some retailers step up, but I think its going to take 5 more years to see name brand stores popping up outside the mall. Have to get all this new residential in the core on line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanC
    I am sad to say, there is probably the same amount missing from DT as there is in it.
    I just want to see some retailers step up, but I think its going to take 5 more years to see name brand stores popping up outside the mall. Have to get all this new residential in the core on line.

    yup and it will take some retailers who take a chance on the core...likely local...but not necessarily. Biggest thing we need is....


    people who live downtown to shop downtown

    i know so many people who dont and that is IMO the biggest problem.
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    You mean people who go to wem to shop at places like urban men and high grade...many of my friends didn't even know they had stores Downtown.

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    As far as most are concerned what is the current population of the downtown core consist of?

    As for 104 over all I think that once the Sobey's goes in that is one street that will have much more character than other streets. With the residential there and the grocery store, wine bar, etc... it's starting to shape up.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    As for 104 over all I think that once the Sobey's goes in that is one street that will have much more character than other streets. With the residential there and the grocery store, wine bar, etc... it's starting to shape up.
    Yup, I just wish that character would extend south of Jasper.

    One evening this past summer, I walked the east side of 104 St south of Jasper. What I saw was mostly unimpressive:
    - Java Express (which is quite nice)
    - small convenience store
    - comic shop with nothing but books piled up on the floor
    - bigass parkade
    - bigass parking lot
    - some shady characters lurking about near 100 Ave

    It's not bad on the west side of the street, with the Red Arrow terminal, the Free Press bistro and some other small retail.

    But overall, that stretch of 104 needs some serious improvement to match the coolness north of Jasper.

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    ^the lot east of the holiday inn needs a hotel tower like a Hampton inn as well as a condo tower with street front retail
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    the parking structure has been recently "repaired" and me thinks it is not going any where for a while I don't mind however a parkade structure itself (better than a dirt-lot). I would like to see street-front retail though.

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    I have to agree that a parkade is much more preferable than a dirt lot. For one thing lots more cars can occupy the space. One area that looks soooooo sad is just a couple blocks west near the BP's where there is dirt or paved lots as far as the eye can see. That's one area too I so dearly want to see a building go up. I know this would be for a different thread but how bout that area near the BP's for the urban style home depot.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    I have to agree that a parkade is much more preferable than a dirt lot. For one thing lots more cars can occupy the space. One area that looks soooooo sad is just a couple blocks west near the BP's where there is dirt or paved lots as far as the eye can see. That's one area too I so dearly want to see a building go up. I know this would be for a different thread but how bout that area near the BP's for the urban style home depot.

    sorry, but wrong place IMO.....unless residential or comm was incorporated above.


    The area around BP's should be a few mid rise IBM style campus office spaces for solid B+ or A space with super large floor plates and 3-4 condo towers with mixed use retail mains.
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    i still vote for a central transportation station for that space. all the busses, airport shuttles, a large year-round market showcasing the whole region under one roof. add, maybe, a hotel/ convention/trade centre.
    see a thread that I started a looooong time ago:
    click here

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    New grocery store will help feed revitalization of downtown

    Paula Simons
    The Edmonton Journal


    Saturday, November 04, 2006


    More Columns By This Writer
    :: Officer's conviction unlikely? Let court decide

    :: Ritter's one-man show is over. Prison awaits

    :: Muddy waters

    :: Rolston case rests in grey area between teens, adults

    :: We must take advantage of the arts boom

    :: Tiny beetle is a huge menace

    :: Klein should have followed own advice

    :: Weak heritage rules spell destruction for historic Tabernacle buildings

    :: Tories want to dispense with basis of law

    :: What a province. Cynical bulk buying of party memberships may pick new leader

    :: Former Iraq hostage aims to reforge link between religion, peace

    :: Henday marks path to our urban future



    It's been a long time coming. The rumours have been swirling for months.

    But on Friday, property developer John Day and the Sobeys grocery chain made it official. They've formally signed a deal to build a 17,500-square-foot grocery store on the north side of Jasper Avenue, just west of 104th Street on the site of the former Cecil Hotel.

    It's been almost four years since the Capital Health Authority condemned the grotty old tavern, more than three years since Day and a partner spent some $900,000 to acquire the site. And it's over a year since Day knocked the derelict hotel down.

    The wait is almost over.

    Construction, says Day, will begin in January. The building is to be completed by October 2007. And the Sobeys will open in March or April of 2008.

    The grocery store will cover almost an entire block of Jasper Avenue, between Beaver Hills House Park and 104th Street. Above the Sobeys will be another two storeys of commercial and office space, with a total area of 42,000 square feet. The space should come in handy, now that downtown office vacancy rates are at about four per cent.

    The office complex includes a big balcony overlooking the park, and a roof-top deck and garden for tenants.

    To be sure, grocery stores open all the time around our booming city. Why get so excited about this one?

    Because it's a turning point in the evolution of Edmonton's downtown.

    For decades, that Cecil Hotel corner was a canker in the heart of the city. The dilapidated Cecil and the run-down Hudson's Bay building on Jasper Avenue and 103rd Street were hopeless impediments to rejuvenation. Now, Jasper's two biggest problems are solved. The Bay is being transformed into a major new downtown University of Alberta campus and research centre. The Cecil site will soon be home to a classy, pedestrian-friendly market, a perfect complement and spur to burgeoning downtown residential development.

    "It's so important on so many levels," says Jim Taylor, the executive director of the Downtown Business Association. "For the downtown, just the announcement of this project, just the way it's going to change people's perceptions, is going to be huge."

    It's been a struggle, he says, to convince major firms to invest in downtown Edmonton. Prejudices were hard to overcome. Six years ago, he points out, there was no Starbucks downtown. Now, there are five. Taylor hopes the Sobeys announcement inspires others.

    "Name companies have a mentality that they want to be part of the crowd," he says. "Other name companies might say, 'Hey, if Starbucks is here, if Tim Hortons is here, if Sobeys is here, maybe I want to be here too.' "

    Of course, if Sobeys was just plopping a suburban-style big-box store in the middle of Jasper Avenue, there would be less to cheer about. But what makes Friday's news doubly welcome is that Day, Sobeys and architect Joe Tkalcic are planning a chic little market that fits happily into its surroundings.

    The east end of the complex, facing onto 104th Street, will be gently curved, and clad in terra cotta or sand-coloured brick, to match the lovely old Birks Building across the street. The idea is to create a welcoming signature gateway to the heritage warehouse district. But the Jasper Avenue front of the market will be almost entirely made of windows and the two office levels above will be faced with curtain wall glass. Tkalcic says the two styles will break up the facade of the building, so that it doesn't look like one big massive blob. "We wanted to give the Jasper side a more cosmopolitan, metropolitan feel," he says. "It's like we have two languages going on, and they'll offset and complement each other."

    Sobeys plans to operate a sidewalk cafe out front on Jasper. To the east, the store intends to open up sliding windows, when the weather permits, and sell produce outside, market-style.

    The downtown store will be far smaller than suburban Sobeys, which can be as large as 55,000 square feet. Michael Lupien, Sobeys western Canadian spokesman, says the chain has three smaller urban stores like this in Toronto, but none in Western Canada.

    The Jasper location won't be a "full-service" grocery store. But it will have basic groceries, and specialize in fresh produce, fresh meat and fish, and "ready-to-go" meals. While the building will have 49 underground parking stalls, Lupien expects many customers to come on foot.

    Such a "boutique" Sobeys should be a boon for downtown residents and office workers, and a handy complement to the 104th Street farmers market. It could animate a "dead" corner of Jasper Avenue in a whole new way.

    Hmm. As I read this column back, I realize it sounds rather like a commercial for Sobeys. Perhaps it is absurd to be so excited about a grocery store.

    But it's not just some store we're celebrating. It's a new way of looking at our downtown, not as a sad example of urban decay, but as a hip, vibrant residential and commercial district, a place where investors are willing to take a risk.

    There's still plenty of work to do in downtown Edmonton. But with the promise of this new development, things are starting to come together.

    [email protected]

    The Edmonton Journal 2006
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    Looking at the picture in the Journal and the "balcony overlooking the park" I have to assume that the lawyers building next door will also be going?
    Edmonton, Capital of Alberta

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    Or they are building an overhanging balcony over that ugly law office. Beaver Hills would be a heck of a lot nicer with out that building front a blank dark wall onto it.

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    Is this a new picture in the journal? It would be really nice to have the building overlooking the park. And if the lawyers do move into the Sobey's building than they will have made a smart choice.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    I would like to know more about the difference between "full service" and "boutique" grocery stores in Sobey's world. I was thinking Sobey's Express, but from what I've read, those are more akin to convenience stores.

    I was in a Marketplace IGA (a separate entity from Sobeys) in downtown Vancouver on Burrard Street. It was a 2-level store with escalators, I did not see any large grocery carts at all, only shoppers carrying baskets. But it had everything you'd find in a Safeway or Save-On. That's sorta-kinda what I'm hoping for with this new downtown Sobeys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    I would like to know more about the difference between "full service" and "boutique" grocery stores in Sobey's world. I was thinking Sobey's Express, but from what I've read, those are more akin to convenience stores.

    I was in a Marketplace IGA (a separate entity from Sobeys) in downtown Vancouver on Burrard Street. It was a 2-level store with escalators, I did not see any large grocery carts at all, only shoppers carrying baskets. But it had everything you'd find in a Safeway or Save-On. That's sorta-kinda what I'm hoping for with this new downtown Sobeys.
    being 17,000 sqft it would be roughly 1/2 the size of the one on burrard if i estimate correctly. It will have everything a downtown resident needs for daily life, but not everything save-on has. It is more to walk there on the way home from work to grab ingredients to cook that nights meal with. It is a convenience store for the urban dweller.

    it is EXACTLY what we need there...we dont need a full service store, we need a place to get 60-75% of anything save-on has in a convenient, walkable store.
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    After doing a bit more research, I think this will highly likely be a Sobey's Express. But unlike what I found in some internet sources, it would be inaccurate to simply call it a convenience store because at least one of the Sobey Express stores in TO offer fresh produce and meat, bakery, deli, flowers and almost anything else.

    http://www.sobeys.ca/stores/store_data.asp?store=867
    http://toronto.ibegin.com/retail/sobeys207-queens-quay

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    I chatted with the guy at their booth at the Shaw today and pestered him with questions. The information I got from him:
    1. This will not be a Sobey's Express. This will be a totally unique concept for the chain, based on the urban grocery stores one sees in Vancouver.
    2. They wanted to build a residential tower on top of this, but several factors made it infeasible for them to do so. Parking was one, and a couple of others I couldn't remember.
    3. The parking will be underground. It will only be a few stalls because this will cater mainly to office workers and local residents.
    4. Had they been able to buy the lawyer's office next door, they would have knocked it down and put in a Sobey's entrance from Beaver Hills park.
    5. One of their goals is to integrate the store with the summer farmer's market. So on those days, this Sobey's will be fully opened up on that side to add to the market experience.

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