City receives 62 proposals for redevelopment of Northlands Exhibition Lands

The City of Edmonton received 62 proposals and ideas to redevelop the Edmonton Exhibition Lands where Northlands Coliseum currently sits.

The Agora Borealis proposal boasts housing 700 families, seniors and student residences, and a hotel

The Agora Borealis proposal for the Edmonton Exhibition Lands redevelopment includes renovating Northlands Coliseum into a hotel and residence. (Agora Borealis)

The City of Edmonton has received 62 submissions with ideas on redeveloping the land around Northlands Coliseum.

The city officially closed the Coliseum on Jan. 1.

The submissions will now be evaluated and a concept developed. A report is expected to go to city council early next year. The city will hold a public consultation on June 21 at the Edmonton Expo Centre.

"We just got a lot of great ideas," said Lyall Brenneis, manager of the Edmonton Exhibition Lands initiative. "It's a real range from specific kinds of ideas for a portion of the site to a plan for the entire site in terms of how it might be reconceived or redeveloped."

Northlands Coliseum, the former home of the Edmonton Oilers, has been permanently closed since January. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Agora Borealis is one of the only proposals planning to renovate Northlands Coliseum. The proposal has been submitted by a group of architects, engineers, and investors.

They propose to renovate the former home of the Edmonton Oilers into a "village" that would house 700 families, senior and student residences, and a hotel.

The floor that served as the building's ice surface would be used as a recreation area.

"It can put about 500,000 square feet of residential living inside it, which seems to be a good thing for the neighbourhood and a lot better alternative to knocking it down or losing a piece of history here," said Michael Koski, one of the project's partners. 
Ben Gardner, Haydar Al Dahhan, and Michael Koski are behind the Agora Borealis proposal. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

The plan includes converting some of the existing concrete panels into balconies, making them part of the structure, he said.

"The big thing is it removes the stands and keeps the concourses in place. Those concourses have enough depth in between them that you can put another floor of residential living in there and create a lot of units," said Koski.

The possibility of the coliseum being renovated was put to Brenneis.

"Council decided to permanently close the Coliseum, and permanent closure is just that," he said. "I really can't say much more than that, or than that decision has been debated and determined."

Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca

@Travismcewancbc