All aboard: Shipping container development planned for Whyte Avenue next to historic railway station0
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The plan is to provide year-round space for community events and programming as well as short-term lease opportunities for local retailers.
With the idea just hitting the market late last week, Raju said the response from the public has already been overwhelming. Drawings of the unique pitch have been making the rounds on social media and catching the eye of residents as something new to the city.
“It’s been amazing. It just goes to show the need for really providing the canvas for a lot of Edmontonians who are very entrepreneurial in spirit and really focusing in on bridging that gap between being a creative thinker and coming up with really cool concepts and also being able to bring it to life,” he said. “It’s just great to hear what people have been saying about wanting to have a place like this in their city and a place to go and enjoy and boast about even, because it is few and far between across the world.”
Urban planner and YEGarden Suites president Ashley Salvador said she was really excited when she first saw the outside-the-box plan because it will provide an enticing space for both local entrepreneurs and consumers.
“It’s going to provide local entrepreneurs and new businesses with small-scale retail space, which is really missing in our city in a number of ways so giving local makers creative space like that where there is such high volume of pedestrian traffic is really going to be a boon,” she said.
Beljan is currently working with the city on the proposal and hasn’t yet received a development permit, Raju said. The city is considering leasing the parkland, but won’t be selling it at least until a planned report on open spaces in the area is completed.
Raju said the goal is to have the site open by July 2021.