The foundation behind Edmonton’s Galleria Project have decided to build the downtown arts centre in phases.

The project includes an office tower, four performing arts theatres of various sizes, and space for the University of Alberta.

The new approach will see the U of A space and smaller theatres built first, with the office tower and 1,600 seat theatre coming later.

Godfrey Huybregts, communications director for the Edmonton Downtown Academic and Cultural Foundation, says the commercial aspects of the project are not being dropped.

“We still will have commercial interests involved in the Galleria Project, that’s how we will finance a portion of the project,” he said.

“So certainly having a commercial aspect to the project is an essential to complete all of the project that we’ve envisioned and we still are committed to doing.”

The University of Alberta is planning to move the School of Music and the Department of Art and Design to the new space.

The project is estimated to cost between $950 million and $1 billion.