$30M upgrade for Manulife Place to include rooftop terrace, better curb appeal

A downtown Edmonton skyscraper will have a friendlier street presence as well as a new rooftop park in a $30-million redevelopment that is expected to get underway later this year.

Storefronts will be repositioned to 'extend the shopping experience outwards'

A $30-million redevelopment is planned for Edmonton's Manulife Place, a 36-storey downtown skyscraper. (Submitted by Manulife Investment Management)

A downtown Edmonton skyscraper will get a friendlier street presence and a new rooftop park in a $30-million redevelopment expected to begin later this year.

Exterior work on the 36-storey Manulife Place, 10180 101st St., will include transparent glazing and bright signage.

But the bigger change will see its main floor storefronts repositioned to "extend the shopping experience outwards," Manulife Investment Management said in a news release Tuesday.

"The city of Edmonton is undergoing a renaissance that will breathe life into its downtown service and amenity offerings," Ted Willcocks, the company's head of asset management, real estate, said in the news release.

"The repositioning of Manulife Place is integral to this evolution and we are excited to be a part of redefining the community."

The building, which opened in 1983, is the site of a street-level LRT stop for the new Valley Line Southeast, which is expected to open in 2021.

The other big change to the building is a rooftop terrace will offer an acre of "fully-landscaped parkland in the heart of downtown Edmonton" — an amenity the company says will be unique in the city's core. The terrace will be about 45,000 square feet, a little smaller than three hockey rinks.

Holt Renfrew, which has now closed, moved to Manulife Place in 1983. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

The building's interior will get new porcelain flooring and LED lighting.

Manulife Place's two retail floors include longstanding tenants such as Vandenbergs Jewellers, Blu's and Henry Singer. Holt Renfrew, which closed earlier this week, had been a tenant in the mall since 1983.

Manulife Place is jointly owned by Manulife and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).