Oilers Unveil Details Of C$2.5B Mixed-Use Arena District, Compare It To L.A. Live
Oilers Owner Daryl Katz on Thursday unveiled new details about the C$2.5B Edmonton Arena District, a "mega-development that will transform four million square feet (including the arena) of downtown parking lots and one-storey building sites into what he calls the largest mixed-use sports and entertainment project in Canada," according to a front-page piece by Bill Mah of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Planning for the district "began at the same time as design work started" on Rogers Place, with help from AEG, the group behind L.A. Live. The EAD "will be built over two phases." The first stage "is already underway and its 2.6 million square feet of development around the arena is slated for completion" in '19. WAM Development Group President & CEO Darren Durstling said that an "upscale hotel and luxury residential tower will be built." A casino that will be as big as 60,000 square feet is "slated to go in a building just east of the arena that will also house Oilers and Katz Group offices and a practice rink." A retail podium "will be completed" to the west of the arena in '19 with a residential tower "opening a few months later." Durstling said that the podium "will house entertainment and lifestyle retailers such as a movie theatre, fitness gym, grocery, pharmacy, bank and restaurants." The project also includes "a 50,000-square-foot public plaza" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 8/29). Katz said of the EAD, "There's nothing like this district in Canada." He added that L.A. Live "took more than a decade to build and didn't have as much interest at the outset from businesses wanting to move there." He also "stressed the importance of the residential space, which now totals more than 1,000 units" (EDMONTON SUN, 8/29). In Edmonton, Terry Jones notes Katz in announcing the project details on Thursday was "uncommonly relaxed, engaging, invigorated, excited." Instead of "holding his cards close to his vest," the owner was "laying his cards on the table and declaring 'full house'" (EDMONTON SUN, 8/29).