While some people downtown Grande Prairie are pleased about the Park Hotel being demolished, concerns have been raised about the construction and road closures it could create. The vacant hotel is set to be torn down by the current owners by April 2020 and a new six-storey multi-use building will be built in its place.
For the past 11 years, Charlene Moore has owned The Primative Lane which is located right across the street from the hotel. She says the news is a little bit bittersweet for her.
“I feel like downtown has seen a lot of construction, especially in the last two years… I realize it’s an eyesore, I realize everybody wants to see it gone but I’m not looking forward to the street closure again for us for another year.”
The hotel on 100 Avenue has sat boarded up and covered in graffiti for the past 11 or 12 years now. On December 2nd, the city agreed to enter into a ten-year lease with the building’s owner under the condition that the current owners pay to tear down and rebuild the new building.
City Infrastructure and Economic Development Director Brian Glavin says closures are unavoidable at least in the demolition phase.
“They’ll likely be, at least for a short period of time, sidewalk and street closures that may coincide with the demolition and then during construction the parking that’s adjacent to the building to the east… that will be impacted.”
Downtown Association Executive Director Wendy Bosch says this project was a long time coming and is just another piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating a better downtown.
“Revitalization takes time and this is another piece in building a strong and vibrant city centre. We’ve done the infrastructure and the above landscape but now we have to build on that and this is one of the puzzle pieces of building a strong city core.”
The total cost to the building’s owner for demolition and construction is currently sitting at around a minimum of $25 million.