The Hyatt Place Hotel. Leif Gregersen
On January 23, Mayor Don Iveson cut the ribbon at the official opening of the new Hyatt Place hotel at 96 Street and Jasper Avenue. The approximately 200 people in attendance were treated to a reception and tours of this distinctive new structure designed by Edmonton architect Gene Dub.
The hotel is a significant component of the Quarters Redevelopment Plan, the centre of which is the newly upgraded four-block section of 96 Street called the Armature, running north from Jasper Avenue to 103A Avenue. The Hyatt Place is also a major addition to Edmonton’s hospitality industry, the first hotel to be built in the city since 1978 and the first Hyatt Place in Canada.
The 13-storey hotel has 258 rooms and 11,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. The rooms vary in size from 400 square feet to 1,000 square feet. “It has WiFi streaming from every corner,” said Michael Koffner, Vice President, Corporate Operations, Hyatt Hotels, who travelled from Chicago to attend the event. Koffner also talked about the hotel’s café and bar offering fresh food 24 hours a day, the gym and fitness centre, and its pet-friendly policy.
“The building looks fantastic,” Iveson said. He congratulated owner Prem Singhmar and Hyatt Hotels on having the leadership and vision to “invest boldly in our city” and to “go to where you believe the market will be.”
Iveson spoke about how the location of the hotel might be unexpected. However, he noted that it is near the Shaw Conference Centre and the River Valley. The area also includes historic buildings such as the Flatiron building (Gibson Block), the St. Barbara Cathedral, and the WW Arcade building (Goodridge Block) where the Hardware Grill restaurant is a tenant.
“This right here, where we’re sitting, was the heart of Edmonton from 1885 to 1912,” said Candas Jane Dorsey, board member, Boyle Street Community League, while attending the reception.
Dub is best known for designing the Edmonton City Hall, completed in 1992. He has also been extensively involved in the restoration and reuse of heritage buildings in the city, for example, the McLeod Building in downtown Edmonton and the reconstruction of the Alberta Hotel at 98 Street and Jasper Avenue.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who moved to Boyle Street three years ago and loves her new community.