With the wheels now in motion on the Mezzo apartment and retail complex just off Whyte Avenue, the executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association says businesses and the community are split on the project.
Murray Davison says nobody seems completely against redevelopment.
“Everybody likes density and we want to some positive density from a business standpoint but we’re getting a lot of phonecalls from the community that are outraged and want to keep it the way it is,” explains Davison. “They feel it is going to impact the walkability and the culture and everything of the area.”
Davison says some are excited for change in the area and development but others want it to stay the same.
“We’re disappointed as the Old Strathcona Business Association because two years ago we asked that we look at the ARP and get some more meaningful community engagement happening so we can determine how high is too high, what about massing and what are all these various technical things developers are talking to us about.”
Davison says there are a number of concerns from different sectors.
“Shadowing is definitely a concern and knowing that progress coming and even following the rules and regulations that was never going to be protected in that way,” explains Davison. “From the Old Strathcona Business Association standpoint that was never really the issue, it’s not necessarily height, it’s not necessarily shadowing, and it is a combination of things.”
Davison says the OSBA is disappointed because the lack of community engagement but overall, they are happy to see the area grow.
He hopes there will be more consultation for future projects. (twd)