Red Deer’s former Greyhound bus station is being torn down this week, four years after its closure.
The bus station at the bottom of the south hill has sat empty since October of 2018 after Greyhound Canada announced it was ending passenger and freight services on the Canadian Prairies after a steep decline in ridership.
Greyhound announced in March 2021 it was permanently suspending operations in all of Canada, except for a couple of cross-border routes. The Germany company FlixBus then announced its acquisition of Greyhound Canada assets last fall.
The Red Deer station site, at Gaetz Avenue and 43rd Street, had been listed for sale some time ago but was removed from the market after ground contamination was discovered.
Local commercial Realtor Brett Salomons had initially looked at potentially investing in the property. But he and other prospective investors received information that contamination found at the site exceeded Alberta Environment’s guidelines, so the bus station had to be removed from sale so the property owners could start de-contaminating the soil, as well as the groundwater, if needed.
There are different ways of doing a site remediation, depending on how much contamination is found — from removing the layers of soil continuing hydro-carbons and replacing it with clean earth, to injecting oxygen down into the ground, if the pollution penetrated deeper, said Salomons.
Sometimes bacteria can be used to break down substances in the soil. Chemical or immobilizing agents can also be added to reduce leaching — or soil washing can be done with water and a liquid wash solution to separate contaminants.
However it’s done, the station building and cement parking pad will have to be removed in order for soil remediation to take place.
Once the clean-up is completed, Salomons imagines the site’s central location will lend itself to various kinds of future developments.
While the property is relatively small and backs onto a creek, he can imagine a boutique office-type development being built there, or perhaps a small retail strip with low-traffic businesses, such as a jewelry store.
Salomons doesn’t think the site would lend itself to a high-traffic, fast-food-type restaurant because of its limited parking and access.