An Important Milestone in the Project 10 Initiative
The demolition of 10 problem properties.
The Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC) has reached its goal of 10 problem properties for their Project 10 initiative.
Anna Bubel, a long-time resident of McCauley and researcher for ECDC, assisted in acquiring these properties through community networking. In 2018, through conversations with McCauley and Alberta Avenue community members, ECDC discovered derelict properties were their most significant pain point. Neighbours were exposed to drug activities, risk of fires, and decreased property values.
The ECDC decided to make Project 10 a priority and set a goal to acquire and demolish 10 problem properties in Edmonton’s core neighbourhoods and build new homes for families to purchase. However, purchasing these properties was not an easy task. Properties rarely come on sale in the open market. Bubel said, “Acquisition has been difficult. There are hundreds of potential inventories that are not listed, so it’s not a straightforward process.” Some owners hold on to their property, thinking it will increase in value, leaving it abandoned for many years.
Project 10 was a proof of concept for ECDC. The organization performed a study on the socio-economic costs of problem properties and recognized the urgency of its revitalization efforts. Bubel says, “we cannot stop with 10 properties; we need to be relentless with getting these properties torn down.” Ten properties are just the beginning.
Seeing a derelict property torn down gives residents hope for a vibrant future. There is a lot of work to be done between purchasing, demolition, and selling a property. The drawn-out process can make it feel like change is out of reach. However, it was a moment to celebrate on April 29th during a walk-through of the first ECDC property, which will be ready for the market in June. Bubel says, “I’m really proud. I know this really makes a difference.”
Erica Marie is a content writer for the ECDC.