LETHBRIDGE: It may sound like a fairytale: turning the looming spectre of Lethbridge's atrium building into a "top-class office space." But that's the plan from a group of Calgary-based developers, scheduled to get a green or red light from council during Monday's public meeting at city hall.
Calgary-based T.i. Studios Inc will present a proposal for a new building at 319 7th St. S., on behalf of Trav Enterprises out of Abbotsford, B.C., who owns the property.
"The temptation is to always want to build the show-stopping, feature piece. But sometimes it's better to exercise a little bit of restraint and really do something that is going to make the community happy," says David Flynn, one of designers.
Flynn says the proposed building would include historic-style brick detailing and glass elements that will blend with the rest of the downtown.
"The intent by the builder is to bring some top-class office space for Lethbridge," he adds of the three-storey building that would have accomodation for three retailers on the main floor and two top floors to rent for office tenants.
The project already has support from some city staff. City development officer Jason Price has previewed the proposal drawings, and says he'll reccommend council allow the project to move forward. Council's approval would give developers the chance to apply for a building permit through the same process all developers in Lethbridge must follow.
The man in charge of it all says the most important thing the public needs to know is that unlike other projects proposed for the atrium site over some 28 years, he thinks this one will stick.
"I know historically this property has gone through a few approvals, with nothing happening to it," says John Penner, a builder with TriCan Development hired to oversee the project. "But this is going to move forward. It will be built."
Photo by Country 95 News: The atrium build site on 7th St. S. has been dubbed the "concrete skeleton" for its decades-long legacy of standing empty.