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Preliminary interior concept sketches for possible new Edmonton arena. (SUPPLIED)
The Katz Group introduced the real estate powerhouse expected to do the heavy lifting on development around the proposed Oilers arena.
The announcement made Friday morning follows on the heels of the sale earlier this week a big chunk of Daryl Katz’s pharmacy business to a U.S. firm for just under $1 billion. He promised at the time to accelerate real estate projects.
Edmonton-based WAM Development Group (WAM) will help them develop the lands surrounding the proposed site of Edmonton’s new downtown arena at 101 St. and 104 St., immediately north of 104 Ave.
WAM will acquire a minority equity position in the properties the Katz Group currently owns and has rights to acquire around the arena. WAM will also help with the master plan, engaging architects, construction firms and other professionals, assessing economic viability and coordinating financing.
The company will manage construction, leasing and managing retail and commercial space.
The goal, said Katz Group VP John Karvellas, will be a walkable and vibrant city core.
The land surrounds the site of the planned new city-owned arena; Katz’s Oilers NHL team will be the primary tenant for the arena.
“We see great potential in developing the lands around the arena. We are extremely proud to be involved with this project and look forward to working with the Katz Group, the City and other stakeholders to create a world-class urban community in downtown Edmonton,” said Darren Durstling, a partner with WAM Development Group.
The Katz Group selected WAM following a review and evaluation of several different real estate development organizations. Financial terms of the arrangement will not be disclosed, the press release said.
WAM will not be involved in the development by the Katz Group and the City of Edmonton of the arena itself, nor the operation of the arena once it is completed, the release said.