MAKING ROOM – A pile of rubble lays where the ‘Old Store Building’ once was in the Riverland’s area.

MAKING ROOM – A pile of rubble lays where the ‘Old Store Building’ once was in the Riverland’s area.

Demolition to begin in Riverlands area

  • Aug. 27, 2014 3:23 p.m.

Further progress is being made in the Riverlands area this week.

Another building is expected to come down in the old Civic Yards as part of the Riverlands Area Redevelopment Plans.

The former electric light and power building is being prepared for demolition.

Demolition is expected to begin this week as soon as the final disconnect for the electric light and power building can be complete, officials have said. The disconnect is expected to take place no later than tomorrow.

There are four buildings that will be demolished including electric light and power building, the old transit building, the old garage building and the old public works building.

The first building that was demolished was a former storage and inventory warehouse for the City.

It is anticipated that the remainder of the buildings will be demolished by the end of October.

“The demolition is the first step in working towards the Riverlands Area Redevelopment Plan. Part of that plan is derived out of the Greater Downtown Action Plan. In the Riverlands Area Redevelopment Plan the City is looking for it to be a vibrant mixed-use community consisting of medium to high density residential and commercial development,” said Wade Martens, Riverlands project manager. “This is the first step to get the lands prepared for that.”

To improve the vehicle and pedestrian traffic between all three areas of the downtown (the Riverlands, the Railyards and Historic Downtown), the Taylor Drive Improvement Project is underway.

Following the completion of the demolition of the remainder of the old City buildings, the next phase will include the burial of the Alta Link line. Martens said after that is complete, the City will have to undertake some servicing studies.

“We’ll have to look at how do we now service the City-owned area and as well, we’ll look at the ground contamination,” said Martens.

He added that although there has been a lot of work behind the scenes in regards to the Riverlands area, it is good to start some work that the public can actually see happening.

“Now the community can actually see progress happening there – they’ll see the buildings coming down, burial of the power lines. They’ll see visual progress now,” said Martens.

Once Riverlands is completed, Martens added the area will enhance the community as a whole.

“It will help make the whole downtown core to be a place to a live, work and play. It will be a draw to Red Deer and to the downtown.”