99th Street’s Impact on Edmonton’s Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Markets
In 1870, private land ownership was introduced in Alberta, but until the Calgary and Edmonton Railway (C&ER) Company decided to establish a commercial centre on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, Old Strathcona was largely undeveloped. Until 1882, only a sparse settlement (including John Walter’s property) existed and the only way to cross the river was via Walter’s ferry. The C&ER constructed the first railway station in south Edmonton just a few blocks off 99th Street at 104th Street and 86th Avenue, with the tracks running parallel between 99th Street and 104th Street as they headed south to Calgary. But the C&ER’s decision not to construct a railway across the river to north Edmonton frustrated Edmontonians and sowed the seeds of discord between the settlements north and south of the river. Because the C&ER didn’t want to deal with a costly investment to build a bridge across the North Saskatchewan River, they planned for Strathcona to replace Edmonton as the metropolitan hub in the north, and in that pursuit, they influenced the development of Whyte Avenue from 104 Street to 99 Street.
Between assembling the land for a townsite and constructing the first buildings (the railway station, section house, engine house, coal shed, water tank, and the Old Strathcona Hotel), the company also graded the first roads: Whyte Avenue and 104th Street forming the core and 99th Street connecting that core to the river valley and residential areas. Development of the area boomed until the City of Strathcona amalgamated with Edmonton in 1912, when development slowed. But the area remains a historical core for Edmonton, with many historical buildings located just off 99th Street like the Sheppard Residence (1911), the King Edward School (1912), the Thomas Scott Residence (1912), the William Lowes Residence (1913), and the Ritchie School (1913) on 75th Avenue.
Over the next 100 years as south Edmonton expanded and grew, 99th Street south of Argyll Road (63rd Avenue) became a commercial and industrial hub. From Canadian institutions like PCL Construction setting up headquarters in 1932 to the introduction of the infamous Labatt Brewery in 1963, 99th Street has continually paved the way for the commercial and industrial real estate market. Today, 99th Street is a major commercial artery that’s home to Rosedale, Coronet, Papaschase, and Parsons Industrial parks as well as home to a wealth of industry leaders in construction: PCL, Derrick Concrete Cutting & Construction, TimberTown Building Centre, Snowbird Rentals, Shamrock Flooring Accessories, Windsor Plywood, Touchtone Canada Flooring and Interiors , and Pine Environmental.
But 99th Street isn’t just about construction, the auto industry thrives there too with Cooper Bros Auto Electric, Gear Jammers Truck & RV Wash, Integra Tire & Auto Centre, Atlas Auto, Kal Tire, Trail Tire, 4 Wheel Parts, Enterprise, Bumper to Bumper, Southtown Hyundai, Fix Auto, and Herbers Autobody Repair.
And, offering both space and accessibility, 99th Street is also an appealing destination for commercial food businesses like Western Bakery Equipment, Ventura Foods Canada, and Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada.
Nearing 42nd Avenue, 99th Street intersects with the Whitemud, offering convenient access to major roadways across Edmonton. Rooted in expansion and accessibility, 99th Street still lives up to its origins as part of Edmonton’s ever-expanding economic and business growth, continuing to attract retail traffic and opportunities for commercial and industrial ventures.
Chad GriffithsPartner, SIOR, CCIM
Chad is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate and focuses on the Greater Edmonton area. Chad entered the industry in 2004 and has completed over 400 commercial transactions with clients ranging from small, local companies to large institutional owners. Chad has been a top 15 producer with NAI Canada-wide since 2013.
Ryan BrownPartner, BCom, SIOR
Ryan is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate in Edmonton and is currently ranked nationally as one of NAI's top advisors. Having executed in excess of $100 Million worth of sales transactions and over 2 Million square feet of lease transactions, Ryan has developed a firm understanding of asset evaluation and an aptitude for building design, functionality, and long-term practicality.
Darcie is a licensed Commercial Real Estate Agent in the Province of Alberta with a focus on the Edmonton market and its surrounding areas. Darcie accomplishes custom solutions for her clients through her personable nature and results driven attitude. Darcie can help if you are looking to invest in commercial real estate or are looking for representation for a sale or lease transactions.
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