Mercer Building Rejuvenation

Mercer Building Rejuvenation

Mercer Building Rejuvenation

After sitting empty for decades, the century-old Mercer Building on 104th Street, which was once a hub for scotch and cigar sales, is being rejuvenated. It’s a project that many, including our city’s mayor, believe will help breathe new life into downtown.

The idea is to re-invent the area, while keeping a part of Edmonton’s past. Reopening this spring under the name ‘4th Street Promenade,’ the old Mercer Building will house a tavern, coffee bar, and a high end furniture rental company.

On Friday, another business joined the pack. A non-profit company called Startup Edmonton will be moving in, becoming the first tenant in the north section of the building.

“Our goal, here being now the anchor on the north side, is to create that new batch of startups that’s going to keep growing sort of down the street and in the whole warehouse district,” says Ken Bautista, co-founder of Startup Edmonton.

A district that Jim Taylor, from the Downtown Business Association, says is going to be the place to be in Edmonton.

“Filling it up with these kind of tenants, with Startup Edmonton, and the other tenants saves a very important historical building on a very important street, right next to what’s going to be the district in Edmonton. It’s huge, it’s just huge.”

Mayor Stephen Mandel is also excited about the project, saying downtown areas are vitally important for the reputation of cities.

“Ours is starting to come. There’s the icon towers, there’s a couple other buildings on the horizon right now, this particular facility,” adding, “it’s really starting to come together.”

In the process, Mandel says it is important to keep historical, character buildings.

“This kind of a project will show that you can do that with a bit of creativity.”

He belieevs this redevelopment is the beginning of something exciting.

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Read it on Global News: Global Edmonton
Caley Ramsay, Global News : Friday, January 20, 2012 8:28 PM