Edmonton’s Downtown Enrichers
Edmonton City Centre is proud to be a collaborator within Edmonton’s downtown. As the largest group of retailers (80+ stores) and businesses tenants (TD Tower, 102A Tower, Centre Point Place) we are passionate about all of downtown, the people, residents, businesses, workers, commuters, shoppers, tourists. This series is our way of reflecting on some of the people that are making a difference in your downtown and enriching the community with the work they do. We hope you enjoy the series.
Mike Saunders – Senior Vice President, Qualico
As Senior Vice President, Qualico Properties, Mike Saunders oversees the development, leasing, and management of Qualico’s entire income producing portfolio. From initial land use, regulatory approval processes, design, construction, and financing his leadership and vision guide the company’s approach. Mike has always had an affinity for architecture and urban development, taking particular interest in how buildings interact with each other within the communities they serve. He finds contributing to our cities’ built environments the most gratifying aspect of his work.
1. Tell us a little about how Station Lands came to be.
There is a lot of history there; it was a CN Rail yard for years that played a vital part in the growth of Edmonton. Qualico believes in urban development that combines multiple requirements into a comprehensive solution that enables community. Our vision was to transform that land north of the CN Tower into a mix of residential, office, public and retail space. Phase 1 was completed in 2011 and includes the EPCOR Tower.
2. Qualico has been an early adopter of new residential concepts like multi family, condominiums. Are you seeing a shift to more urban residential?
Yes, Downtowns are growing and not just in Edmonton. We are seeing growth in urban residential as younger demographics discover the amenities and vibe that downtown living and working brings. We have seen the energy that Ice District and Arts District bring; people want to be part of that.
3. How do you see the impact of Station Lands on the downtown community?
It will be a dramatic shift in the downtown’s growth. Station Lands will be a bridge between the Arts District and the Chinese community connecting our downtown in ways that will bring everyone closer together. The first two towers will bring 600 needed residences to the market.
4. As urban communities develop, how do you see the relationship between a larger retail development like Edmonton City centre and its downtown neighbours.
Retail space is a critical component of any community and Edmonton City Centre has filled that role in Edmonton’s downtown for 50 years. The services, shopping, and employment you provide is an important component for the rising tide of people that want to be part of the downtown’s energy where they work and live.