Character Assassination

St. Albert was a community where residents took pride in the charm, the friendliness, and neighbourliness it emitted. Then came the changes. More residential properties crowded together in ever-increasing concrete surroundings blatantly dismissing authentic ‘green’ space; leaping tax hikes; increase in bylaws and lack of small community charm as this city continues to compete with the province’s capital. And now proposals of monstrous towering buildings are laid at the residents’ feet.

It is not only Grandin Park residents who will suffer lowering property values and the abominable view towering over their homes, but most St. Albertans would be saying good-bye to anything remotely charming about their small city as they look out of their homes to see Big City endeavours trying to manifest itself into reality. One needs to seriously question why people chose living in St. Albert over Edmonton. Surely it is not because of the city’s exorbitant taxes.

Residents can be assured though that with the forecasted increase of apartment dwellers, the small town feel of this community will effectively be dead. Of course the pro of no longer experiencing the small town feel is that buyers will have an easier time to choose if they would like to live in an “urban village” with higher or with lower taxes. Most dollar conscientious buyers will choose Edmonton.

Speaking of Edmonton and various developers’ attempts at what Amacon is looking to duplicate, it is interesting that many of these developments have become rentals as owners either find they do not like the caged in feeling, or they can not sell their properties at a profit. Is this what part of city council envisions for the future? A transient rental community?

As for believing that this will inject new life for the downtown area – possibly at first. But humans are inherently nomadic and therefore will travel elsewhere once the novelty wears off.

Some will squeal delightfully at the possibility of a LRT coming to this “transit village“. At whose cost though? The taxpayers? It has to be remembered that even with free-spending Alison Redford at the provincial helm, promises for a LRT extension to St. Albert were not made. City and provincial taxpayers have woken to government’s spending. So expecting this type of transit for a “possible” 3,400 people is extremely remote.

Retail and office space lays vacant throughout St. Albert. Other than optimism for this project, it would be interesting to hear why Amacon feels that their vision will not suffer the same fate.

Promoting ICLEI’s urban villages in a smaller community definitely supports the much touted content of the social master plan Councillor Heron championed.   Community spirit can not be successfully fostered when a small city promotes separate identities throughout it.

St. Albert is long overdue for reinstating the MPC so the character of this community is not eroded any further.




16 thoughts on “Character Assassination

  1. Sure, bring back the MPC – as long as it doesn’t become a puppet for the majority of our current city council.

  2. Profit loss? – ask those who bought in Century Park. The original owners lost over 100K on their places. Won’t be different here.

    1. Sheena Hughes asked an excellent question to Amacon when she pointed out Tenor on the River didn’t manage to sell all their units, so why would Amacon think they could sell 1200 units.

      1. The picture in The Gazette showing the Grandin location through a chain link fence is pretty darned ominous.

        HOPEFULLY we’ll be smart enough to learn from all those urban renewal projects that went bad in the U.S.

        Cabrini Green, anyone?

  3. SAP had an interesting article on oil pipeline development in the Maritimes yesterday. Guaranteed that will curtail migration to Alberta to a degree.

  4. Likely only investor demand in this project.

    How long has that place adjacent to Canadian Tire been trying to get enough buyers?

    We have this massive amount of building – rentals in North Ridge, North Erin Ridge, more by Costco, now Faulty Towers in Grandin. Sure looking forward to the traffic issues, the crowded ER and MediCentres.. but it will make it easier for the Library to keep on wa wa waaing for a larger space. Oh, and what about the Schools? Aren’t they already full?

    Also, why not 40 storeeeeees high if higher is better. Let’s go for it!

    Meanwhile, kids have nowhere to go to a movie in a town of 65,000 .

    As they say ” Fools seldom Differ”

  5. A transient rental community would give less flack to council than permanent residents. Betcha his nibs would really like that.

  6. Never heard of ICLEI till I came to this site. Reading up on it makes for a very scary future. Thanks for the eye-opener and keeping St. Albert informed.

    1. Agree. Our community needs to become a LOT more active in fighting it. Mind you, with the upheaval that’s been done to Akinsdale, Erin Ridge and now Grandin, we’re seeing more people speaking up than ever before. That’s a good thing.

  7. If anyone read the Zit, Amacon says they look for support from a community before going ahead, then tell people they’d lose privacy no matter how high the buildings are, but are concerned about the privacy for those living in the towers. Double standard if I ever heard of one.

  8. Do we have stoopid stamped on our foreheads when Amacon says it’d increase property values for homes bordering this proposal. A quick check around Edmonton neighbourhoods where cave dwellers can look into other people’s property shows the opposite.

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