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The developer of a new residential tower in downtown Edmonton says the project is a vote of confidence in the heart of the city following a punishing pandemic.

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Construction crews will begin work on the Falcon Tower on Monday after a formal groundbreaking ceremony. The 240-unit, 30-story building is one of two towers designed to replace a parking lot at 104 Street and 100 Avenue.

In a press release from Langham Developments, the project was described as “the first downtown high-rise development in Edmonton since the COVID-19 pandemic” and “a symbol of downtown resilience”.

Langham received city council approval in October 2018 to build two towers on the property. The current proposal is smaller than the original plan, which provided for two towers with 37 and 43 floors with a total of 650 units.

At the time, community groups expressed concern about whether such a project was in demand and how it might affect other developments.

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President Reza Mostashari disagreed that the development would negatively impact other locations, saying that more development creates a “snowball effect” by making neighborhoods more attractive.

Langham Developments has already built several high-rises on 104 Street, including Icon and Fox Towers, which were completed in 2010 and 2017, respectively.

The press release describes the units in the Falcon Tower as luxurious condominium-style suites. It has a 4,000 square meter lounge, fitness center and children’s area. The original plan included retail and commercial development on the first floor of the building.

“With every building I build, my goal is to push the boundaries of what we’ve done so far,” Mostashari said in the press release. “The Falcon Towers will surpass any other Edmonton project to date in terms of size, features and fittings.

Postmedia was looking for an interview with Mostashari, but didn’t hear anything over the weekend.

The groundbreaking ceremony on Monday at 1:00 p.m. will include comments from Mostashari and Puneeta McBryan, Executive Directors of the Downtown Business Association.