EDMONTON -- The first phase of a new Holyrood development is breaking ground while other projects around the city are put on hold.

The site is currently a 45-foot hole in the ground but when it's complete it'll be 26-storeys tall, the tallest of the four towers.

Regency Developments broke ground on the transit-oriented project in June, a move owner Raj Dhunna says no other big developer has done.

"This was supposed to be a good year for everyone across our industry, from contractors, consultants, developers, it was supposed to be... we finally recovered from the last recession," said Dhunna.

Dhunna says others may have seen a big risk moving forward with a project in the midst of a pandemic, but he believes the bigger gamble would've been to wait. He says the site has already benefitted; with a handful of competing residential projects along the Valley Line still in limbo, Regency is finding that contractors are eager for work.

"We know of three projects put on hold, and we have a first mover advantage here, with three projects on hold there's only so much to go around so we're seeing some good pricing coming through."​

Dhunna is also banking on the completed LRT line next year, although a recent quarterly report by the city shows the project is falling further behind, he believes the building will show people a rental's true potential.

"Thirty years was the last time something was done in this neighbourhood on a bigger scale. It gives people the opportunity to downsize: maybe the pandemic has made them realize, 'I don't need my home, maybe a nice rental project, but not leaving my community,'" said Dhunna.

The four-tower phase one, with more than 700 units, is set to be complete in 2022.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk