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This article was published 21/10/2010 (2440 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A parkade built on the site of a demolished heritage building in the Exchange District formally opens today.
The 159-stall Bedford Parkade opens at the southwest corner of King Street and Bannatyne Avenue, where the Ryan Block stood from 1895 until 2009.
The north and east-facing facades of the $7-million structure incorporate bricks from the former heritage building. Digital technology was used to document the location of the bricks and replace them, after they were sandblasted to remove a coat of red paint.
"It was like deconstructing a Lego house and reconstructing all over again," said Judy Hansen of Bedford Investments.
The new building has four retail spaces at ground level on King Street, while vehicles may access 140 above-ground parking stalls through an entrance on Bannatyne Avenue. Another 19 stalls are located underground.
The city and downtown development agency CentreVenture assisted Bedford Investments with the project, the first of two new parkades planned for the Exchange District. The second is planned for James Avenue, east of the Centennial Concert Hall.
The Bedford Parkade is the only public parkade that will restrict pedestrian access to people with vehicles in the parkade, Bedford vice-president Ken Reiss said.
The open-air portion of the King Street facade is also covered with a form of chain-link mesh to enhance the design, senior heritage planner Giles Bugailiskis said. The city's building code did not allow the parkade portion to be open, so the city's historical buildings committee recommended the use of mesh.
"It's a really high-standard architectural product. It's not just chain-link," Bugailiskis said.