Wonder what a stadium can do for a city?
An arena, a building boom, a downtown transformation. Love it or hate it, this is really happening
PAULA SIMONS, EDMONTON JOURNAL
It’s hard to find a happier man in town than Jim Taylor.
For years, the affable director of the Downtown Business Association has been advocating for new investment in Edmonton’s long-depressed city centre. Now, with Rogers Place set to open this month, Taylor says his biggest problem is that he’s getting tired of saying “I told you so.”
“It’s like Christmas Eve. All the presents have been bought and they’re under the tree. Now we just need to take the wrapping off,” he enthuses.
It’s not just the arena itself that has Taylor so gleeful. It’s all the stuff going up around it.
The 27-floor Edmonton Tower, almost finished, which is to be occupied by year’s end.
The 67-storey Stantec Tower, now rising above grade, soon to be the tallest building west of Toronto.
The luxury 55-storey J.W. Marriott Hotel, already under construction, the first major four-star hotel to be built downtown in decades — and the first to be topped with 264 “service flats”, high-end condos for people who want hotel room service and other such grace notes.
Another 40-storey apartment now, just now breaking ground, on the site where the bedraggled old Greyhound Station once stood.