Mayor Morris Flewwelling said he’s excited to see the City’s downtown becoming more “uptown”.
“It really is starting to have an urban feel to it,” said Flewwelling. “That’s thrilling to me. Our grand plan is coming to fruition despite the economic situation. I think that’s pretty knobby because much of that is private development and you can’t force private development.”
He added the new additions to the City’s core and the transformation of buildings and landscapes was what he envisioned for Red Deer’s downtown.
“I wanted to see the issues in the historic downtown be resolved and to add to it, not to have replaced the historic aspect,” said Flewwelling.
He said a feature he enjoys about downtown is when driving on Ross St. going east and looking over the parking lot where the old Arlington Inn used to sit, you can see the back of the old buildings such as the Buffalo Hotel and the Club Cafe which line Ross St. going west.
“I think that is such a neat perspective and it adds a little something extra to that area,” said Flewwelling. “I always think, this is really looking pretty good.”
He added the firehall downtown used to stick out as it was the newest building in the downtown for quite a while.
“Now we have the new police station, Executive Place, the parkade and many more, so it blends right in now,” said Flewwelling. “Even the bars have cleaned up quite a bit too and they look a lot spiffier.
“You’re getting a nice downtown feel now.”
Flewwelling said he is excited to see Veteran’s Park get started.
“I think that is going to transform that corner and that will be so great,” he said.
Sorensen Station, the new $21.8 million downtown parkade is set to open next month.
The parkade will consist of three parking levels and will be constructed over top of the existing transit terminal. There will be about 415 parking stalls within the structure.
The first level of the parkade is intended to be used for daily parking while the second and third levels will be used for monthly pass holders.
The third level of the parkade will also include a green roof garden concept.
On the west side of the development, there will be room for outdoor cafes and kiosks.
An elevator will also be accessed in the northwest corner of the structure.
Bicycle storage as well as motorcycle parking will also be available within the development.
“I’m finding with the parkade, just as a general comment is that it has helped to enclose City Hall Park,” said Flewwelling. “It’s the fourth side to the park.”
The parking structure is not a taxpayer burden, it is a public utility.
“The parkade will pay for itself over time,” said Flewwelling.
He added for those waiting for buses on a hot summer day, it will be a little more comfortable as the transit terminal will be enclosed.
“It will never be warm in there in the wintertime, I know that, but it will be more comfortable in the summer,” said Flewwelling.