Second proposed ‘Grandin City’ tower approved

EDMONTON — After a close vote by council, a new downtown tower has been approved in the Oliver neighbourhood.

The new tower is part of Westrich Pacific’s Grandin City project and passed approval from council Tuesday evening by a vote of 8-5.

The tower has a height allowance of 36 storeys and will be built at 100 Avenue and 112 Street.

It is the second of four towers proposed to council by Westrich Pacific.

The first tower, The View, was approved by council by a vote of 10-3 in Sept. 2018.

The View is a 23-storey tower that is currently being built at 99 Avenue and 111 Street.

Westrich Pacific Co-CEO David Sanche says he was surprised by how close the vote was on this tower, considering how the vote went in 2018.

“A lot of the councillors who voted yes on some of the other ones voted no on this one. A little confusing…mixed messages,” said Sanche.

In order to “check all the boxes” for council, Sanche said the company set its rezoning back a year, bought an extra lot and redesigned the tower.

The new tower will be a 32- to 34-storey high purpose-built rental with about 300 units, as opposed to condo units like The View.

Ward 6 Coun. Scott McKeen was one of the councillors who voted against the new tower Tuesday night.

“There’s 20,000 people living in Oliver already, and we keep approving these towers with no serious analysis of whether we’re over doing it, and whether or not the parks, green space, amenities in there already are enough,” said McKeen.

“I’m just a little bit worried that we’re overdoing the towers in Oliver.”

McKeen also voted against The View in 2018 and says this new tower is going to be too big for the area.

“It’s almost like a residential street, it’s not very wide, and we’re going to stick a 36-storey tower there…it’s a lot of people, a lot of density, a lot of activity in a constrained area,” said McKeen.

Ward 5 Coun. Sarah Hamilton says she understands why some residents and colleagues are apprehensive regarding the size of the building and its future location, even though she voted for it to be built.

“I’m of the opinion that we don’t do a very good job with area redevelopment plans,” said Hamilton.

“In terms of dealing with the project as it was proposed, as it was in front of us, I saw no reason why we should not approve it.”

Westrich Pacific is planning to break ground on the project in the summer of 2020 and expects it to take three years to complete.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s David Ewasuk:

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