BY BILL MAH, EDMONTON JOURNAL
EDMONTON – While Rogers Place arena has been scrutinized from the start, information about the area surrounding the new home of the Edmonton Oilers has been murky.
On Thursday, Daryl Katz, team owner and co-developer of the Edmonton Arena District (EAD) made a rare appearance before journalists to reveal new details about a $2.5-billion mega-development that will transform four million square feet (including the arena) of downtown parking lots and one-storey building sites into what he calls the largest mixed-use sports and entertainment project in Canada.
“There’s nothing like this district anywhere in Canada,” said Katz, chairman of the Katz Group which has partnered with WAM Development Group.
“Arguably, there’s nothing like this district anywhere in North America.”
BY JOHN MACKINNON, EDMONTON JOURNAL
EDMONTON — With Rogers Place, the Oilers’ under-construction new home, framed by what soon will be a mixed-use development, Daryl Katz found the perfect salesman to champion the emerging brick-and-mortar of the Edmonton Arena District — himself.
For 75 minutes on Thursday, from a 17th-floor board room affording a panoramic view of the district, the Oilers owner was by turns passionate, witty, charming and in total command of the file as he briefed six journalists about his vision.
Katz chatted with his visitors around a board table, got up and ‘walked’ them around the site from a great height, and showed them the details by way of a video ‘flyover,’ a virtual tour of the district.
Seven and-a-half years after Katz submitted his first offer of $145 million to buy the Oilers, he never has been more convincing in sharing his dream of spearheading a project to help transform his hometown.
“It may be hard for you to believe, but we planned this before we bought the team,” Katz said. “We were active in the real-estate market, relative to where we saw the arena (being built).