With quite a few empty office towers in Edmonton, the Downtown Business Association (DBA) is trying to find out if anything can be done with those buildings.
The DBA has put together a report on the best way to utilize “redundant office high rises.”
Report author Satish Narayanan says a lot of good ideas are coming from European cities, where underutilized office buildings are converted into residential spaces.
“In Amsterdam there was a conversion of a vacant office building into a hotel, a school, and student housing, into one split structure project,” says Narayanan. “Another office was just a conversion directly into student housing.”
Narayanan also points to the ICE District as an attraction, which could lead to a higher demand for affordable housing as more jobs become available in that area. He says an interesting concept in that realm of affordable housing is pet-friendly affordable housing.
“In doing a survey and a bit of research, I found that a lot of people did say that a reason they wouldn’t want to move downtown is because dogs were allowed in most places, and apartments don’t normally allow dogs. But they did this is LA (Los Angeles), and it just created a really good and tight knit community of dog enthusiasts.”
Narayanan adds that student housing may also be a great option for Edmonton as well, with various post-secondary schools expanding campuses downtown. tl/kb