Investment in the iconic Bay Building preserves the city’s heritage while creating a vibrant center for innovation.
The City of Edmonton is in the midst of a major campaign to breathe new life into its downtown core, investing $4.7 billion since 2015 in new residential, office, cultural, educational and entertainment space.
A key part of this revitalization is the University of Alberta’s Enterprise Square in the historic Hudson’s Bay Company building, having hosted 500 professionals in its newly renovated space and nearly doubling its current occupancy.
This move aims to strengthen relations with the downtown business, artistic and cultural communities and to actively contribute to the economic recovery of the city.
“I am proud to see this historic building returned to its prominent place in downtown Edmonton,” said University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan at an event celebrating the move on Tuesday.
“Home to world-class learning facilities and a wonderful space for technology and innovation, Enterprise Square is poised to become a major downtown,” Flanagan said.
The UA Innovation Center will be the anchor of a downtown science and innovation district, he added, “a place where researchers, innovators and the world of business can engage and connect”.
With approximately 44,000 square feet of rental office, lab, co-working office, classroom and lab space, it is home to 17 companies and home to the U of A’s Health Innovation Hub program.
“This space brings research from the lab to the real world,” said Martin Ferguson-Pell, a U of A biomedical engineer who participates in collaborative projects to improve the safety and accessibility of public spaces in the city.
Since the university’s founding in 1908, it has grown in tandem with the city, Flanagan said.
“When the city of Edmonton succeeds, so does the university, and vice versa, it’s a symbiotic relationship.
The Bay Building opened in 1939 as Edmonton’s largest retail space, with more than 20,000 people passing through its doors on its first day, nearly a fifth of the city’s population at the time. ‘era.
The U of A acquired Enterprise Square in 2005 with support from all three levels of government, creating a town center to strengthen the university’s longstanding and vital relationship with the city.
“I am very pleased that the University of Alberta has reaffirmed its continued support for our downtown,” said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “Having more academic staff in Enterprise Square will help keep downtown vibrant and support our economic recovery goals.
“The City continues to work closely with a number of partners and collaborators to ensure that all Edmontonians feel safe and welcome in the heart of our city, and by continuing to create opportunities like these, we can all help downtown Edmonton reach its full potential. potential.”
Enterprise Square’s recent renovations reflect the university’s integrated asset management strategy, ensuring world-class research, learning and teaching through efficient use of campus spaces and buildings. The plan also aims to maximize opportunities for innovation and integration into the wider community through outreach, services, experiential learning and research.
Article courtesy of University of Alberta Folio