Work on a 12-storey, mixed-use apartment building in the space left by Park Hotel will begin in the next couple of weeks. The project will house 160 suites, including an unspecified number of units allotted for affordable housing, as well as a rooftop patio, underground parking, and the main floor reserved for commercial real estate.
Mayor Jackie Clayton says the City of Grande Prairie has invested $45 million into downtown infrastructure as part of an ongoing series of rehabilitation projects. She argues without those upgrades already in place, projects like this would be difficult to get off the ground.
“Projects such as this would not happen without it, we needed to increase our capacity,” she says. “The finishing of the sidewalks and aesthetics truly are beautifying downtown, but the essential part of it is the upgrades to the infrastructure.”.
In December 2019, the city entered into a 10-year lease with the building’s owners, Grande Prairie Place Enterprises, which, at the time, only planned for a six-storey multi-use building. However, after a redesign to the proposal, Park Avenue, as the building will be named, is now nearly double the size.
GPPE General Manager Shane Mudryk says the final project is something they are thrilled to be able to bring to life. “We are very excited, and committed to creating an iconic urban project with social benefit in the heart of downtown,” he adds.
Clayton says as the region continues to battle its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the approximately two-year construction schedule could offer up a substantial economic boost.
“Going through [wave] three of COVID, the city is supporting as many businesses as possible, but projects like this are a great way to create jobs and a stronger economy,” she adds.
On-site work on the building is expected to begin on April 29th, with the building planned to open to tenants in March 2023.