City council has given the go ahead for a new co-op housing project for artists, that will also double as an anchor for the east downtown area known as the Quarters. The tower, with retail, and theatre space is set for 96 street and 102 ave.
“We had a few questions,” said Coun. Scott McKeen. “Looking at it from our point of view it looks like they’ve got a lot of parking in it, given it’s a half-block from the (future) LRT station. But they’ve done a lot of research on it, they have a lot of tenants going in, Rapid Fire Theatre, Mile Zero Dance Company, so that’s what they’re looking at for the parking.”
“It just really feels like a nice fit for the Quarters. And Lord knows there’s enough social service agencies in Boyle and McCauley, I think it’s almost incumbent on the city to put in an arts building like this.”
“We see that on Alberta Ave, it’s really taken off because of that. And you see it in other areas of the world where the arts led it, and it became an area where everybody wanted to live in. The city’s invested a lot of money in the Quarters so this will be I think the final catalyst project that’ll get things going there.”
The only hold up now, is money. “What needs to be in the works now is the funding from the province,” McKeen stressed. “I think the feds are waiting on the province, we’re waiting on the province, the Arts Hab people are waiting on the province, and it’s an $8.3 million investment. It’s a really solid investment in affordable housing, plus an arts catalyst for the Quarters.”
The vote was unanimous on the zoning which was needed as step one to get federal and provincial funding since subsidized housing is part of the $32 million plan.