As Edmonton’s downtown and ICE District prepare for thousands of new residents during the next few years, it is also attracting a mix of new retailers. The latest is Loblaws CityMarket, announced as the first retail anchor tenant in ICE District, at the former Greyhound bus terminal now known as Block BG.
The 22,000-square-foot Block BG store will be located on the corner of 103 Avenue and 103 Street, occupying the second floor of the building. It is slated to open in fall 2020.
This will be the second Loblaws CityMarket in Edmonton. The other store is in the adjacent Brewery District.
“Announcing Block BG’s anchor tenant is a major milestone, as it showcases the continued progress and evolution of ICE District,” said Darren Durstling, president and CEO of ONE Properties, an ICE District Joint Venture partner, in a release. “Loblaws CityMarket is a great addition to our tenant roster as it provides quality and fresh grocery options that align with the convenience and accessibility of ICE District.”
It is the first major tenant announced for the 208,000 square feet of retail space which will be available at ICE District. Retail offerings will be spread across the project, from the Edmonton and Stantec towers, to Block BG and the terminus of Ford Hall in Rogers Place.
Store designed for downtown market
The urban concept grocery store will provide an assortment of food and groceries tailored specifically to downtown residents, workers and visitors. The centralized location means shoppers in the ICE District Public Plaza area will have convenient access, including an escalator directly to its doorstep.
The store will feature “grab ‘n’ go” meal items for lunch and dinner; a wide selection of products to suit a variety of dietary needs, including organic and gluten–free choices; and other fresh food and grocery items.
At present, there is no significant grocery store in that area of downtown Edmonton.
“We are proud to partner with Loblaw Companies Ltd., and we see this as a strong investment opportunity for downtown Edmonton, specifically in ICE District,” said Tim Shipton, senior vice-president of communications and government relations for Katz Group, in the release.
The CityMarket store is designed to be a one-stop destination for residents living in ICE District, including those in the luxury suites in SKY Residences and The Legends Private Residences. Shoppers will have access via underground parking and the district’s indoor pedway system, providing the opportunity to shop in the warmth and comfort of the indoors.
“ICE District is a great location for a Loblaws CityMarket store given the trendy, desirable area the district has become,” said Derrick Pittman, vice-president, market franchise for Loblaw, in the release. “With a focus on local, quality, fresh food and great customer service, we are excited to bring our unique shopping experience to residents of the ICE District.”
Block BG serves as a podium for a portion of the ICE District development, a two-storey project which will feature retail and other amenities for residents and workers in the towers and surrounding areas. A Cineplex theatre, which had been part of the original plans, had been removed when updated plans were presented to the city in 2018.
Other ICE District updates
Elsewhere at ICE District, the exterior portions of the crane used to build the 251-metre tall Stantec Tower were removed last week, and construction continues to allow occupancy of the upper residential floors this fall.
The tower contains 29 storeys of office and commercial space, with the SKY Residences on Floors 30 to 66. Stantec Tower is the tallest high-rise in Canada outside of Toronto.
ICE District will be the largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district in Canada when complete, its developers say.
Anchored by Rogers Place arena and entertainment complex, ICE District is already delivering concerts, NHL and WHL hockey and other major events. The adjacent Grand Villa Casino offers gaming. The district will soon feature boutique shopping, trendy dining, and a public plaza with year-round programming from festivals to public skating.
All this is located just steps from residences and premium office space.
Rogers Place was developed by Oilers Entertainment Group and the City of Edmonton. ICE District Properties, a mixed-use development surrounding Rogers Place and Ford Hall, is being developed through a joint venture between Katz Group and ONE Properties.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated shortly after publishing with new information about the total amount of retail space to be built in ICE District. The story originally stated “up to 300,000 square feet” which was in earlier project documents, but the retail portion has since been adjusted to 208,000 square feet.