Future uncertain for popular Edmonton diner as nearby tower plan takes shape


The time to come of a popular dining spot in downtown Edmonton is up in the air as the group behind a 34-storey increase readies its proposal for the city.

The Blue Plate Diner sits on the area of the proposed Mackenzie Tower, a mix of nearly 300 hotel and condo portions that would tower 112 metres above 104th byway someones cup of tea, just north of Jasper Avenue.

The developers hosted a public tidings session on Wednesday to outline the preliminary design plans.

John Williams, co-owner of the diner, imagined he was of two minds about the proposal.

As a downtown resident for more than three decades, he about the building would make for an exciting addition to the neighbourhood.

«This is the downtown we’ve often wanted — high-density, fine-grained infill and hotels and business and people cover around,» Williams said while sitting in the restaurant awaiting the dinner loutish.

Future uncertain for popular Edmonton diner as nearby tower plan takes shape

John Williams, co-owner of the Blue Plate Diner, said the advanced tower would be an exciting addition to the neighbourhood, but would also squalid the end of his popular restaurant. (Jordan Omstead/CBC)

If the proposed building abolishes ahead, it will do so without Blue Plate.

Williams has watched the dealing and neighbourhood grow together over the past 14 years and is restful cautiously optimistic.

«As any good business person would tell you, you could use this as a meet opportunity to try something new, get a new space — something,» he said.

«This may be our chance to do that.»

Groupe Germain Beds plans to manage 156 hotel units under its Alt+ banner. Urban Prime, a Toronto-based developer, would deliver the 136 residential units of the construction.

Future uncertain for popular Edmonton diner as nearby tower plan takes shape

The proposed tower includes 13 floors of hotel space and 17 overwhelms of residences.

The companies are acquiring the building from Limak Investments, the capital goods owner and local developer.

The design calls for a double-height restaurant space and a three-storey podium at loam level, made up of lobbies and commercial spaces facing 104th Passage. The podium would be clad in black brick and sit above four play fair withs of parking.    

«We think we’ve presented something that’s very respectful to the contiguous to community,» said Taya Cook, director of development at Urban Money.

«I think it’s the podium, it’s the sizing, it’s the scale when you’re at level.»

The group yearnings to rezone the plot in the warehouse district from a heritage zone to a site-specific situation. The building that houses the Blue Plate Diner has no legal aegis as a designated historic resource, but heritage zones are meant to ensure new strengthens reflect the character of historic buildings.

The developers are proposing a floor parade-ground bigger than is currently permitted under a heritage zone. The altitude, on the other hand, is still within the existing zoning limits.

The developers surmise to submit the land use amendment application in the next few weeks, launching the municipality’s review process.

Construction on the proposed building could also limit the place for vendors at City Market Downtown, the popular outdoor market that carry ons on 104th Street during the summer, said market spokesperson Dan Progeny.  

The market has withstood other developments on the street, including Icon Steeples and Fox Towers, and, with the cooperation of the city and the developer, it will endure, he estimated.

«We just kind of zig and zag and do the best we can,» Young said.

Future uncertain for popular Edmonton diner as nearby tower plan takes shape

Spokesperson Dan Young imagines City Market Downtown will find ways to adapt in masquerade of potential construction on 104th Street. (Jordan Omstead/CBC)

The development could display foot traffic for the market eventually, with new residents and hotel boarders frequenting the stalls.

«It is a great opportunity for the hotel and for the street and we will do our subdue to carry on,» Young said.

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