An overflow crowd gathered at an Edmonton school Wednesday night to learn about a plan to revitalize a region just east of downtown.
City planners want to rename Downtown East to the Quarters and, if approved by council, the population could increase from about 2,400 to 14,000 people.
On Wednesday night, the design team for the Quarters development shuffled through a series of slides outlining their vision of more highrise condos, park space and commercial development.
Before the meeting, Bob Caldwell, who is leading the development, told CBC News the area needs to be pulled out of poverty and promises that building community is what the project is all about.
"Perhaps a different community than exists today but very much a community."
John Kolkman, who has lived in the McCauley area,part of Downtown East,for 29 year, said he likes the project, especially if it means more people moving into the neighbourhood.
"I think there is a lot of potential for more housing to be built in the downtown east and I hope it happens," he said.
Riverdale resident Diane Kenny said she is worried about how traffic will flow to downtown but she still likes the project.
"It would certainly be nice to have more services and businesses closer to where we are. Because down in the river valley where we are, there is nothing so this is of quite a bit of interest to us," she said.
But Tony Chapor, who owns land next to the Shaw Conference Centre on Jasper Avenue with his brother, was unhappy planners want to use the land for a central park. He wants to build a 22-story condo on the site.
"There's a park on the tip of that land right now and nobody uses it. It's brain dead, it's bureaucracy, and it makes no sense," he said.
Wednesday night's meeting was the first in a series city planners will hold on the project. The Quarters includes land from 103A Avenue south to the top of the river valley and from 97th Street to 92nd Street.