Startup Edmonton announces a new home for creative innovation in the Mercer Warehouse

startup edmontonToday Startup Edmonton is excited to announce that it will be moving into the Mercer Warehouse on 104 Street later this year. Edmonton’s new collaborative home for technology, entrepreneurism, and creative innovation will be located on the third floor of the historic building with an anticipated move-in date set for the spring.

The Mercer Warehouse project is a natural extension of the 104th Street/Warehouse District revitalization efforts, solidifying the area as the start-up hub of the city. Built in 1911, the Mercer Warehouse enters its next phase of service, from its beginnings as entrepreneur John B. Mercer’s liquor and beer cold storage to housing the next generation of creative endeavors and innovations.

The news comes just a week after a series of exciting announcements related to the ongoing revitalization of the Warehouse District. For more on the history of the Mercer Warehouse, check out Lawrence Herzog’s article from March 2010.

It should be no surprise that I’m incredibly excited about this! The new space will play a significant role in anchoring the north end of 4th Street Promenade, and it provides Startup Edmonton with the space and physical presence we need to grow and achieve our goal of making Edmonton a hotbed for creativity and entrepreneurship. Here’s a concept sketch for the space:

startup space sketch

And here’s a concept floor plan:

startup space sketch

There’s a lot of renovation work yet to be done, but don’t be fooled by the sketch above. The brick, the beams, all of the historic elements that give the space character – that’s all staying. The space needs to be functional, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose the history! Last week I had the opportunity to check out the building, and took some “before” photos.

Startup Edmonton @ The Mercer Warehouse
The team meets with Kelly & Devin Pope.

Startup Edmonton @ The Mercer Warehouse
The space!

Startup Edmonton @ The Mercer Warehouse
Ken with the floor plan sketch.

Startup Edmonton @ The Mercer Warehouse
The other side of the space.

Startup Edmonton @ The Mercer Warehouse
I don’t know why painting over the brick was so popular. I love the brick!

Startup Edmonton @ The Mercer Warehouse
Cam and Ken ham it up!

I can’t wait until the doors officially open! To keep informed on this and other Startup Edmonton initiatives, sign up for the mailing list and follow @StartupEdmonton on Twitter.

UPDATE: You can learn more about the space here, and also check out Ken’s thoughts on what this means for Startup Edmonton and our city.

Let’s recap a busy week for 104 Street!

This week has been so full of exciting news and announcements related to 104 Street downtown that I figured a quick recap would be helpful.

Mercer Warehouse

It started on Tuesday with some coverage of the renovations taking place at the historic Mercer Warehouse, located on the corner of 104 Avenue and 104 Street. Owned by the Pope family, the building will soon be home to a flower shop, a restaurant and bar called Mercer Tavern, a high-end furniture rental company, and Roast Coffeehouse, among other tenants. I got to tour the building this week, and while there’s a lot of work still ahead, it is fantastic to see the building coming back to life.

Confederation Building

On Wednesday we learned that The Confederation Building, which has been undergoing a much-needed facelift since late last year, will soon be home to a 7-11 as well as a whisky bar. I love the idea of a whisky bar as opposed to just another pub, and though you might scoff at first, the 7-11 is a big deal. Alex makes the point: “I see a new 7-11 as a sign that there’s a permanent population that justifies its creation (many new residences have been created on or around 104th).”

104 Street

Yesterday the news came out that Langham Developments Ltd., the developer behind the Icon towers, has purchased the land at the northwest corner of 104 Street and 102 Avenue. Currently home to a parking lot, we’ve heard for many years that condos would be going up on that site, but it sounds like it might actually happen now. Langham is planning something similar to the Icon, with two towers. I think they did a great job of keeping the Icon towers in line with the Heritage Zone, so I am looking forward to the new development.

There have of course been lots of other things happening on 104 Street as well:

Oodle Noodle

Oodle Noodle’s latest restaurant, located just around the corner on Jasper Avenue, opened recently and has been busy.

I Think I Do

The film I Think I Do is filming in and around Edmonton, and was located on 104 Street in the Armstrong Block most of last week.

Birks Building

The façade improvements to the Birks Building are ongoing and so far look great!

There are more announcements on the way in the next couple of weeks, including the launch of our new website, so stay tuned!