The name of the condo project which will soon rise in Edmonton’s Strathcona neighbourhood sums up the story: 1932 by Bateman.
In 1932, Mike Bateman’s grandfather started as a butcher on the corner of 99th Street and 89th Avenue. The Bateman family business grew into a grocery store and eventually a local chain of Bateman IGAs. The family’s involvement in the grocery business ended in 2017, but the two condo towers on the site of the original shop will leave a lasting family legacy.
Bateman, partnering with developer Pangman Development Corp., architect/designer Dialog Design and Ledcor Construction, is on the cusp of building a project incorporating 18 and 15 storey towers joined by a pedway with retail on the main floor of one tower and townhouse units at the base of the other.
The firm opened its sales office this summer and will start construction once 100 units of the 228 total units are sold. Bateman says the plan is for new condo owners to take possession between the middle and end of 2022. The total project includes 180,000 square feet of leaseable space: 170,000 residential and 10,000 retail.
The condos will range from the low-$300,000s to $1 million, with prices including underground parking. The market Bateman says he is shooting for is diverse — from university students to downtown professionals.
That reflects the location of the project, on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, with close proximity to downtown and the University of Alberta.
1932 by Bateman bucks rental trend
Bateman says he wanted to insure a quality project. He’s bucking the trend to rental building in the city because he doesn’t want a transient situation, but rather permanent residents making their homes in those condos.
“It’s based on our family’s philosophy over all the years we were in the grocery business. We were high-quality, high-service,” he says.
The project wasn’t easy to get approved. Bateman first reached out to friends of the family in the development and construction industry about redeveloping the site in 2015. At the time, the city was smoothly approving 28-storey towers, so he decided to go with that model, along with development partner One Properties.
However, by the time the developers were presenting to the city, the administration’s appetite for tall residential had waned and in spring 2017 the city said it wouldn’t support the height.
The project was revised to the current two shorter towers plan. The townhouses, originally planned as standalone residences west of the tall tower, were incorporated into the base of the 18-floor west building.
Even the shorter heights attracted protests at public meetings from some members of the neighbouring community, which is dominated by low-rise and single-family residential.
One Properties gives way to Pangman
Eventually, approval was granted in April 2018. One Properties saw the project through the rezoning phase and then dropped out because it was busy with major developments in the downtown core, says Bateman. Pangman then stepped in as the development partner.
Bateman says he is determined to keep a commitment to the neighbourhood that the retail space on 99th Street will be filled by a grocery store.
“That’s a guarantee . . . We were there for all those years. The heartbeat of that community was the grocery store,” says Bateman. “I’ve been talking to a few folks, local independents, that I think would be a perfect fit there.
“It’s 10,000 square feet. Our little grocery store was 6,000 square feet for all those years and it did quite well.”
He suggested with the extra space a grocer could incorporate a cafe or wine bar.
For residents of the condos, the developers are including a number of amenities, including third-floor and rooftop lounges, a private dining room, a fitness centre and a 1,500-square-foot business centre for meetings or study space.
The business centre is a nod to the likelihood professionals and students will be interested in these condos, says Bateman.
The project is a one-off development venture for his family, he says.
“We didn’t want someone else to control the land and build something the community didn’t want . . . I want to leave a legacy for our family and make our own history.”