After sitting vacant for years, construction is starting on two lots in Grande Prairie’s downtown core. Two buildings are set to go up on the old site of the York Hotel and one is planned for the Germain Park lot. TurCon Construction Group General Manager Travis Miller says the new owners Toremide Holdings plan to construct three buildings with residential units above and commercial space below.

“The first building is going to be phase one which is what’s laid out there with the caution tape. Phase two is going to be directly attached to that building so it’s essentially one building; it will be 36 apartments and then commercial on the main floor. Phase three is on Germain Park right behind us here and that’s going to be the [last] of the buildings.”

The city purchased the York Hotel and tore down the building in 2010. Since then, three previous development plans have fallen through. One was for a hotel/commercial building, but the company couldn’t find a hotel partner. The Grande Prairie Public School District also proposed building a new office tower there, but the cost ended up being double what they’d budgeted. Mayor Bill Given says that once these new buildings finished they will create a different style of living in the city.

“There haven’t been a lot of options for people to live an urban lifestyle which means that you can walk to work, that you can walk to where you shop and the Toremide Towers will offer that opportunity which is actually very limited in Grande Prairie today.”

TurCon would not disclose the budget for the project but Alberta Projects sets the price tag at $11.6. Building one is expected to be open to the public in February 2020. Construction on buildings two and three will take place after that.

An artists depiction of what Toremide Towers will look like, Emma Mason

The building layout for the towers, Emma Mason