Well over a decade after the City of Edmonton approved the Mill Woods Station Area Redevelopment Plan (SARP), in September 2013, the redevelopment of the Mill Woods Town Centre shopping mall and the land that surrounds it now is now officially underway.
The Mill Woods Town Centre was acquired by Maclab Development Group in 2022 and is managed by BGO (formerly known as BentallGreenOak), the real estate investment arm of Toronto-based Sun Life Financial.
The full redevelopment site consists of a large parcel of land that’s bound by Hewes Way NW to the east, 23 Avenue NW to the south, 66 Street NW to the west, and 28 Avenue NW to the north.
The first phase of redevelopment would see the construction of two 22-storey towers sitting atop a shared six-storey podium, housing a total of 550 residential units. The towers would be located on a 2.37-acre parcel within what is called the Transit Precinct in the SARP, located immediately south of the recently opened Mill Woods LRT Station along 28 Avenue NW. The site is currently being used as a surface parking lot for the transit centre.
“High-rise residential development will introduce much needed housing to the area (and the City),” the developers say. “New residents will provide customers and clients for existing area businesses to support MWTC as a vibrant community core as phased redevelopment occurs. A podium base, with individually accessed rowhousing at the ground floor, supports a pedestrian-friendly and active interface with the LRT, Transit Centre, and pedway.”
The Mill Woods Town Centre site and Phase One site.(City of Edmonton, Maclab Development Group)
The proposed buildings would have a rectangular shape, with one tower at the northwest corner, the second at the southeast corner, and the six-storey podium connecting them, all of which would surround an internal four-level parkade. The roof of the parkade is expected to be home to amenity spaces.
“The tower forms are intentionally shaped,” the developers add. “They are elongated in [the] North/South direction to reduce the shadowing on the courtyard, ground-level outdoor spaces, the LRT station, and beyond the boundaries of the subject lands. Each tower is shaped in a way that splits its elevation into two, visually emphasizing the verticality, and reducing the perception of these as single large walls.”
The townhouse units would surround the building on the western, northern, and eastern sides, while the southern side of the building will potentially be home to a greenspace and mural art. The northern side of the building is also expected to have a semi-private public plaza, while a gathering “nook” is planned for the northeastern corner of the site.
View of phase one from the north.(Maclab Development Group)
The site plan for Mill Woods Town Centre redevelopment.(Maclab Development Group)
The height, density, built form, and land use being proposed generally aligns with what’s allowed under the SARP, although the developers say they are seeking a “minor increase in height” in order to leverage the strategic location of the site and its proximity to a transit hub. That change is from 60 metres (approximately 18 storeys) to 75 metres (approximately 22 storeys), according to the City.
The proposal is also seeking to include commercial uses on the ground floor, on the eastern and western sides of the building, which the City says would require an amendment to the SARP.
The City received the application on December 13, sent out notification postcards to surrounding landowners on January 22, and is taking public comment on the project from now until Sunday, February 25, after which the proposal will go to a public hearing.