In September 2020, the Edmonton CDC launched Project 10, with the goal of purchasing 10 derelict properties in McCauley and the Alberta Avenue district. Shortly thereafter, two properties along 93 St near 107 Ave. were purchased and more recently, another two properties were added to the portfolio.
Located at 11221 94 St and at 9316 109 Ave., these two properties are zoned RF3 and DC 1 respectively. We anticipate building front to back duplexes on each site with the goal of selling each unit to families at or just below market prices, with the hope of attracting first time home buyers.
From assessing biohazards and other hazardous materials, to drug and junk removal, and finally demolition, navigating the redevelopment of problem properties poses a set of challenges that discourages most developers. Building in older neighbourhoods adds another layer of complexity because the lots can be short and narrow and water lines insufficient to support anything other than a small single family dwelling.
Oddly enough, in the midst of a pandemic another factor impacting Project 10 is a dramatic rise in the cost of construction materials and permitting approval times affected by the increased volume of applications submitted to the City of Edmonton. It takes longer to get utility lines marked, meters removed, demolition/development/building permits approved.
Are we discouraged? Definitely not! It is exciting to acquire a property that has been the source of community pain, knowing that it will soon be gone and in its stead, new homes built!
PHOTOGRAPHS – WHY DEMOLITION IS NECESSARY
CDC's Collaborative Project 10 Research Project
March 2, 2021
Problem properties pose a threat to public safety; their owners or managers neglect the fundamental duties of
The impacts of derelict housing have been well-documented in both the popular and academic literature. While most studies are based in U.S. locations, there are a few Canadian reports that speak to this issue.
Researchers have demonstrated the public costs associated
with problem properties by tracking the extraordinary
demands they create on government services. These include:
• Bylaw (inspection, enforcement, illegal dumping)
• Emergency/First Responders (call outs; hospitalizations)
• Police (call outs, enforcement, court attendance);
• Fire (calls out for arson, accidental fire and other
• Health (inspection, enforcement)
• Law (enforcement, legal proceedings)
Municipalities also experiences losses in uncollected and
suppressed property tax revenue and can incur the cost of
demolition (which may or may not be recouped upon sale of
Researchers have also calculated the cost of derelict housing
and problem properties to neighbours and community
members. Their direct costs include:
• Decreased property values, depending on proximity to
the derelict house;
• Increased insurance fees, depending on numbers of
• Increased out of pocket expenses for insurance
• Decreased health (due to proximity to needle debris, toxic
materials associated with drug production, presence of
• Decreased peace of mind (fear, anxiety, stress,
When derelict houses are renovated (as opposed to
shuttered), there are statistically significant decreases in all
classifications of crime (violent and non-violent) in adjacent
properties, as well as increases in nearby property values.
Project 10: The first two properties!
November 16, 2020
Edmonton CDC’s new Project 10 initiative (a commitment to purchase 10 problem properties in the McCauley and Alberta Avenue district), began in earnest with the purchase of 10741 93 Street.
10741 93 Street in Spring 2020
For years, this property had been identified by neighbourhood sources as a centre of drug activity, and over that time, many public services have been actively seeking opportunities to shut the building down.
Finally, in January 2020, Alberta Health Services was able to register a notice of “Health Hazard” on title, and the property eventually went into foreclosure. Edmonton CDC saw the potential in this property, and we made soon made the decision to purchase.
The property is, after all, in a fantastic location: It is within walking distance of Commonwealth Recreation Centre, Stadium LRT station, and of course, the beautiful Giovanni Caboto Park!
Our excitement was bolstered once more when, shortly after purchasing the first property, we were able to purchase another nearby at 10727 93 Street.
10727 93 Street in Spring 2020
The building on the site, also known to be a drug house, had burned to the ground earlier this year, sadly also burning the lovely two-storey home adjacent to it.
The Edmonton CDC is currently working with local builder Skil-Tec to create three units of housing on each property. All condos will be sold at- or below-market to encourage families to move to the neighbourhood.
If you are interested in learning more about the condos, please send your contract information to Karen Gingras, Director of Neighbourhood Development.
Project 10: Transforming problem properties into neighbourhood assets
Due to the multifaceted challenges of neighbourhood development and the significant number of such properties in urban core neighbourhoods, it can take years to turn properties like these into new developments that have a positive impact.
Many of these properties exist in communities with aging infrastructure—therefore, redeveloping those properties into the sort that will contribute to neighbourhood revitalization will require cross-sector partnerships, government funding, private sector investment, and collaboration with developers and builders.
The CDC is actively pursuing such long-term strategies, but right now, we have chosen to address the problem on a one-property-at-a-time basis through our “Project 10” initiative.
Through engaging with residents and business owners in urban core neighbourhoods, and also through engaging in our own research, the CDC has set out over the next 12 to 24 months to identify and purchase 10 properties that can be transformed into neighbourhood assets.
The CDC is maintaining a database, co-created with community stakeholders, that identifies problem properties, current zoning, price, foreclosure status, lot size, proximity to other similar properties, and other factors, which allows us to prioritize candidate properties for purchase and redevelopment.
When the CDC makes the decision to purchase a property, we strive to engage with community members to identify development options for that location that will bring about positive change for the community’s economic and social well-being. Any small profits made will be reinvested in purchasing and developing future properties.
For more information about this or other initiatives of the Edmonton CDC, please email us at email@example.com or call us at 780.306.4456. And, for the latest news on this and other initiatives of the CDC, please visit our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!