Centre to shrink

Skyway Professional Centre may have a tough time living up to its lofty name, with the developers of the proposed eight-storey building now contemplating reducing it to four.

Skyway Professional Centre may have a tough time living up to its lofty name, with the developers of the proposed eight-storey building now contemplating reducing it to four.

Red Deer’s municipal planning commission approved a site plan for an eight-floor building at 5156 43rd St. — the former site of Central Alberta Florists — in August 2008. On Monday, it considered an application to cut the number of storeys by half.

Sherry White, project manager, told the commission that economic conditions have made it difficult to satisfy lenders’ requirements when it comes to leasing commitments. Rather than delay the project, the decision was made to proceed on a smaller scale.

The new design would occupy the same footprint as the original, with landscaping also unchanged and the number of parking stalls to remain at 182. But the square footage of the building would drop from about 122,000 to 61,000.

White said the structure’s footings and foundation will be sufficient for an eight-storey building, so its height could be increased in the future.

“It is our intent to keep adding to it if we can,” she said, noting that it will likely be three months before construction begins.

It was previously indicated that Red Deer’s six orthopedic surgeons will share space in the building, with the Central Alberta Hip and Knee Clinic and other medical-related tenants also expected.

The commission heard that Skyway Professional Centre will still be used for administrative and medical offices, with retail on its ground floor.

The former Central Alberta Florists building was demolished last month to make way for the project.