Public hearing on Alldritt Tower proposal to continue Wednesday

The public hearing on a contentious 80-storey condo tower proposed for Jasper Avenue will continue on Wednesday. 

More than 50 people registered to speak at a public hearing at Edmonton city hall on Monday. 

Roughly three-quarters of them were opposed to the development and not all of them got time at the microphone; about 10 presenters were put over to Wednesday. 

"I think when you have quote-unquote iconic projects of this nature that are pretty dramatically misaligned with the area redevelopment plan that the public weighed in on in great detail and in great numbers for a long time, there's some pretty serious reaction to that," said Coun. Michael Walters, who is not in favour of the proposed development, after the public hearing adjourned after several hours Monday. "That's what we're contending with."  

Walters expects the continuation of the hearing will take up another full day Wednesday.

The development would include a hotel, condominiums, restaurant, fitness facilities, shops and two publicly accessible parks, stretching over 100,000 square feet.

Private land deal

Some of the details contained in a recent land deal between project developer Alldritt Land Corporation and the city have been released by David Benjestorf, legal counsel and general manager with Alldritt.

Earlier this month councillors voted behind closed doors to sell the land on the embankment above Louise McKinney Park to Alldritt. The sale was necessary for this project to go ahead.

If the project is approved, the first thing that'll happen is the old pink and blue buildings on the main site will be demolished, said Benjestorf.

"I have in my hand a demolition permit application for the pink and blue buildings," Benjestorf told councillors.

Once the buildings come down, the site will be redeveloped into an "interim park," he said.

"If we get into the ground right away, a park is possible for this summer," Benjestorf said.

That temporary park will remain until construction begins on the tower. Alldritt would then have 10 years to begin the development or the land reverts back to the city.

The development also includes a "restricted covenant" which means the public would be allowed to access the park as part of the project, he said.