A section of land in east Inglewood has been selected as the proposed site of a 20-storey modern highrise but the yet-to-be approved project is receiving heightened criticism from some neighbours.

The Grid would be developed on the site of a former Husky gas station near the intersection of Blackfoot Trail/17 Avenue and 19 Street Southeast.

“We’re looking at 14 townhouse units on the base of the building which we hope will respond more to some of the historic character of the Inglewood neighbourhood,” explained Daniel MacGregor, a senior planner with B&A Planning Group. “Then the current proposal for the 20-storey tower, once again, very attractive and it would be something of a landmark feature project as well.”

McGregor says the selected location is ideal given its proximity to a future bus rapid transit station. “We just want it to be something that flourishes into a high-quality, very attractive , transit-oriented development.”

Area residents and businesses have received brochures, approximately 700 have been distributed, notifying them of the plans to build The Grid.

L.J. Robertson of the Inglewood Community Association says the proposal is out of synch with existing development in the area. The building would be over twice the height of the SOBO development across 17 Avenue but Robertson says her concerns extend to the natural areas along the banks of the Bow River.  

“For reasons aside of height, it’s a very environmentally sensitive area,” said Robertson. “Just around the corner is the bird sanctuary which is one of three very special areas that have special City policies applying to them.

Robertson says the path of the bus rapid transit line would inhibit vehicle access to the apartment building from 19 Street and all of The Grid traffic would make its way through the community and along 7 Avenue, currently a quiet residential road.

Some businesses in the area say they would embrace the influx of new residents. Ameen Hamirni, manager of the Centex gas station on 19 Street S.E. says The Grid is a good project that will be good for the community and potentially his bottom line. "The more people living in that building might come in here and shop too. So it's good for my business."

"I think we need more projects like this."

Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra says there have been unspecified plans in place to develop the area for nearly two decades but on a somewhat lesser scale.

“This is a part of the neighbourhood where we’re making a massive investment in transit,” said Carra. “It’s sort of an empty hole in the centre of the community that used to be the employment area and it’s a place where the community has, for almost 17 or 18 years now, considered a good place to put some density.”

“It’s absolutely a place where density is appropriate but, having said that, 22 storeys is high and it’s kind of shockingly high and I think it’s a lot more than anyone really considered as a natural thing to do.”

An all-ages open house regarding the proposed residential development is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 10 between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at Cold Garden Brewery (1100 11 Street S.E.).

With files from CTV's Ina Sidhu.