After being abandoned three years ago, a derelict construction site in Glenora intended as a luxury condominium project is finally getting back on track under new owners.
InHouse, the infill housing arm of Beaverbrook Communities, took over the Glenora Skyline project last year after the previous owners ran into money problems.
This week, the company started on demolition of older buildings that were still on the site at Stony Plain Road and 142nd Street.
The new project — West Block — is intended to house five buildings on a 3.5-acre lot.
There is still a partially completed building on the site that was built by the previous owners.
InHouse intends to use that as part of one of its new buildings.
"We did a complete reimagining of the site and essentially did a full redesign, incorporating the bones of the existing structure," said Ryan Smith, one of the principals of InHouse.
The location will be along the proposed Energy LRT line that goes west along Stony Plain Road and ends up at Lewis Estates.
Smith said the West Block development will incorporate an LRT stop into its design.
"It stops directly at the centre of our plaza," he said. "When we did the redesign of our development, we opened up the public plaza part of the development to the LRT stop and then we framed the plaza with retail uses, so restaurants, coffee shops, ...maybe a bakery.
"The intent is to have an active square right off of that stop."
'It's a prime area'
Seeing something happening at the spot that's been an eyesore for the community is good news, said Michael Paull, president of the Glenora Community League.
"They've [Beaverbrook] had community involvement so we can look at their plans," he said.
"A couple of months ago they had an open house so we can see what the floor plans look like so they're really involved. We're really happy that these people want to do something."
Peter Wilson has lived in the area for more than 30 years.
He's happy to see the new development which is just half a block from his place.
"It's a prime area," he said. "It's a beautiful area, a great location and it's a pity that it hasn't been developed before."
Smith said that prime location was what attracted InHouse to the project.
"The fact that you had three-and-a-half acres in Glenora," he said. "Where do you get three-and-a-half acres in a mature neighbourhood like Glenora?"
Smith said the company intends to roll out the development in three phases.
"The first phase will have a 16-storey luxury highrise with office on the second floor and retail at grade," he said.
"We're doing a second building with the first phase that's all commercial with retail at grade and two floors of office.
"In the future, we'll have a third, fourth and fifth building that will be up to 24 storeys, four stories of stacked townhousing and a mid-rise building that's about 12-14 storeys that we're looking at doing seniors' housing."
'A proper reputation'
Those kind of big plans are things the community has heard before, said Paull, although this time, he believes they will actually be realized.
"We really looked at their reputation," he said. "If it was someone else coming in that we'd never heard of with no developments at all, then we'd be saying 'Yeah, we are worried.' "
"We're very happy that someone with a proper reputation has come in to get rid of the eyesore and put something there."
Smith said close to 60 per cent of the condo units have already been pre-sold.
The company is still in the pre-construction phase but hopes to have a crane up and lifting in May, he said.