Move over, Calgary. Edmonton wants to usurp the title of tallest tower in the west.
A proposed, 71-storey skyscraper, dubbed "The Edmontonian," would be the second tallest tower in Canada and the tallest west of Toronto, if approved.
According to CBC Edmonton the 278-metre building, proposed by project developer BCM Developments, would be built near downtown's Epcor Tower - currently Edmonton's tallest building at 149 metres.
It would also dwarf Alberta's current tallest tower, Calgary's Bow Tower (236 metres) as well as Brookfield Place, a building under construction in Calgary that, when finished in 2018, will hold the title of tallest skyscraper in western Canada at 247 metres.
“You’ll be able to get a grand look at the Edmonton prairie and probably see from Fort McMurray to Calgary,” Erik Lomeland, project leader for Hartwig Architecture, joked with the Edmonton Journal.
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Global News reports The Edmontonian would be home to condos, office suites, a five-star hotel and restaurant, a bar and sky gardens. LED and laser lighting would illuminate the outside of the building.
Recent closure confirmation of Edmonton's City Centre Airport has eliminated many building height restrictions in the city's downtown. Additionally, approval for the new downtown arena is a big incentive for building the tower, said project's architect.
“Certainly, the redevelopment of the airport lands and the closing of the airport has allowed us to do this. But the arena, that’s no secret, it was the impetus for us,” Terry Hartwig, president of Hartwig Architecture, told the Edmonton Journal.
Hartwig told Global News the firm believes bigger is better for the brand new building.
“When you get up to the 70 stories and 80 stories, you’re talking New York. And we’re not New York, we don’t have the density, we don’t have the population – but I think in our own little way, this tower will really create some excitement downtown," he said.
A building permit, rezoning and approval from the city are all needed before the tower gets the green light for development, but Mayor Don Iveson told Metro News the news is "encouraging" and the city will consider the proposal carefully.
“It’s good that people want to invest in downtown, but that doesn’t mean we are going to approve any proposal that comes forward.”