Gasoline Alley to get residential and commercial project

Gasoline Alley to get residential and commercial project

Includes a six-storey commercial and 60-suite residential building, grocery store and pharmacy

A six-storey commercial and residential complex marks the latest multi-million investment in Red Deer County’s Gasoline Alley.

Sylvan Lake-based Emerald Developments Ltd. is planning to start work soon on a project that will feature a ground-floor grocery store, pharmacy and doctors office topped by 60 one-two-and three-bedroom rental suites aimed at the 55-plus market.

Emerald Developments owner Kevin Halsey said the project on Laura Avenue will be worth about $12 to $15 million and is expected to be completed in spring 2018. Red Deer-based Pearl Rose Construction will be building.

The county’s municipal planning commission unanimously approved a developer permit for the project on Tuesday.

It will be located across the street from Emerald’s $12-million, four-storey extended stay hotel already under construction and expected to be ready in the summer 2017. Pearl Rose is also general contractor on that project.

Halsey said competitive pricing and the availability of trades makes it an ideal time to move ahead.

Gasoline Alley is a choice spot for the project, which will include a 20,000-square-foot grocery store.

“Basically, we want to accommodate the people coming off the highway with an alternative to fast food,” he said on Tuesday.

The combination of food, pharmacy and medical services will also be ideal for tenants in the rental suites above.

“We are really excited about Gasoline Alley. There are 12,000 cars a day going there.

“We just see it as a great area for expansion as far as the city and area are concerned.”

Mayor Jim Wood was enthusiastic about the new investment in the county’s commercial heart.

“I’m looking at this as another great example of continued growth in Red Deer County,” said Wood. “I think it’s important for the future of Red Deer County to see growth in this area.”

The county will allow only four buildings in Gasoline Alley to exceed six storeys as part of an intermunicipal development with the City of Red Deer.

Emerald’s project would be the second. A six-storey, 65-unit apartment building near Liberty Avenue and Lake Street was approved last year.

However, construction is not expected to begin on that development until next year at the earliest, said county planners.