Edmonton kickstarts downtown redevelopment with $56 million

Edmonton dedicated $56 million to improving infrastructure on the downtown eastside Wednesday kickstarting a program to redevelop the largely vacant lands.

Edmonton dedicated $56 million to improving infrastructure on the downtown eastside Wednesday kickstarting a program to redevelop the largely vacant lands.

 "The key factors for a vibrant downtown are coming together," said Gary Klassen, with the city’s sustainable development department. "Significant mixed use development, expanded LRT, wide-ranging professional and retail services and incredible cultural facilities."

Council approved a plan to raise millions of dollars to pay for the revitalization and dedicated $56 million to begin work.

The plan, called the Quarters Downtown Community Revitalization Levy, will pay off the investment with property taxes from new development in the area over the next 20 years. The city anticipates further investments of up to  $110 million.

The city hopes the investment will entice developers to begin building in the area.

The area encompasses the entire Boyle Street neighbourhood, the Quarters Downtown and Boyle Renaissance.

"We are transforming our downtown to be home to great economic growth and we invite investors to join us," said Walter Trocenko, with the housing and economic sustainability department.

The city is now waiting for the province to approve the plan.