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Oilers owner seeking rezoning for Village at Ice District north of Rogers Place


Ice District's future in downtown Edmonton became clearer Friday as new details emerged about an urban village that could be built north of Rogers Place.

The real estate arm of the Katz Group – which owns the Edmonton Oilers – submitted designs of Village at Ice District for council approval and public input.

The plan includes 2,500 residential units in towers up to 25 storeys with businesses on the ground floors, bike-friendly streets, and a public park.

"This dynamic, yet relaxed urban village will be a safe, walkable, transit-oriented development consisting of residential, commercial and retail opportunities," said Laurie Scott with Katz Group Real Estate.

"(It will feature) public green spaces, restaurants, retailers, and high-rise and medium-rise buildings that transition in height to the existing community to the north."

The area – mostly gravel parking lots now – will need to be rezoned, and the Katz Group is negotiating to buy a church that currently sits there.

"It’s wild that there’s that much undeveloped land right in that area," said downtown councillor Anne Stevenson. She likes the plans.

A rendering of the Village at Ice District. (Source: City of Edmonton)

"It’s so well connected, you know it can support MacEwan (University), it can support people working downtown, it can support families."

The proposal has received a thumbs up from the city’s design committee, and residents can provide input until April 24.

"We want to make sure that our planning analysis is complete and we’re not missing anything," said Andrew McLellan, a planner with the City of Edmonton.

"Sometimes the local knowledge of people that live nearby, or have lived in areas for a very long time is very valuable."

The president of the local community league said most residents he’s spoken with like the design, at least more than they like gravel parking lots.

"What we’re trying to do is create an urban village down there, which has everything. Jobs, culture, schools, everything is around it. The only thing that’s missing are people," said Warren Champion.

Rezoning is the first hurdle in a lengthy process to make the designs a reality. If city council approves that, the urban village will be built in phases over the course of about 15 years.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson Top Stories

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