Back to the Future: Step into Edmonton’s Revillon Boardwalk Building

May 30, 2022 4 Minute Read

Edmonton Revillon Boardwalk Building

When you step inside Edmonton’s Revillon Boardwalk Building, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time while also getting a sense of the future of work.  Constructed well over a century ago, the building is in the midst of a major redevelopment, courtesy of Allied Properties REIT that will see it modernized for today’s office user.

“Businesses gravitate towards this type of space, but the availability of authentic brick & beam construction has been limited in Edmonton,” says Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Sales Representative with CBRE Edmonton.

“The Revillon Boardwalk has been a hidden gem in the middle of downtown for decades. Now it’s being polished and getting ready for primetime.”

Edmonton Revillon Boardwalk Building
Edmonton Revillon Boardwalk Building

Historic Spaces

In 1910, the Ross Brothers built a hardware warehouse on 103 Street NW, just north of 102 Avenue. The space became known as the Boardwalk Building, and, though it changed hands several times, remained a hardware store until the 1970s. Its most recent tenant, Centre High School, vacated in 2020.

In 1912, Revillon Frères – France’s premier fur company decided to expand to Canada and built their namesake warehouse on the corner lot next door to the Ross Brothers warehouse. This building housed the company’s Canadian headquarters and a distribution centre until Revillon Frères was purchased by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1930s.

Both exceedingly modern and efficient for their time, the Boardwalk and Revillon buildings became a focal point in Edmonton’s growing warehouse and commercial district. Initially separated by a laneway, a glass atrium was built to connect the pair in 1986.

Modern Details

When Centre High School moved on, Allied moved in. The redevelopment will fully restore the buildings’ façades to their original design and give the atrium a sleek modern facelift.

Flooded with natural light, the reimagined atrium is timeless and impressive. It will host an array of amenities, including a presentation centre, shared meeting spaces, collaboration areas, a bike room, and a fitness centre and locker room.  There is also the opportunity for a wine or coffee bar and event space that can be rented out to the community.

The renovations have exposed historic details lost to time, particularly so in the Boardwalk Building. Decades worth of drywall and paint have been removed to reveal the original brick and beam space hidden within brick that was supplied by another historical Edmonton company, J.B Little’s Brickyard.

The Revillon’s sleek concrete flooring and fluted pillars create an industrial aesthetic fitting for the neighbourhood’s commercial past. High ceilings and gorgeous natural light are abundant.

The character of the original features is juxtaposed by the updated, state-of-the-art building systems, which include brand new HVAC, electrical, and lighting systems, as well as improved barrier-free access to both shared spaces and offices.

People want character filled space and technology allows us to maintain the old while creating the new. - Andrea Belanger

“Thankfully, people want character filled space and technology allows us to maintain the old while creating the new,” says Andrea Belanger, Sales Representative with CBRE Edmonton. “Allied has managed to blend the history of one of the most impressive historic buildings in downtown Edmonton with the modern amenities and quality users would expect from a new build.”

Looking To the Future

The Revillon Boardwalk Building not only bridges the past with the future, it also provides access to the best of Edmonton’s downtown core:

  • Direct connection to 104 Street – one of Edmonton’s most vibrant stretches with some of the best restaurants, bars and markets in the city
  • The Ice District and Rogers Place are a block to the north for sports and entertainment
  • The Financial Core is immediately to the east along with City Centre Mall, access to Edmonton’s pedway system, banks & hotels.

Edmonton Revillon Boardwalk Building

Encompassing nearly an entire city block, the Revillon Boardwalk can accommodate a range of tenants, with suites ranging from 900 sq. ft. to over 30,000 sq. ft. Entrepreneurs from Edmonton’s budding tech scene, architectural and law firms, and design and marketing companies would be well-suited to the building.

Renovations are expected to be substantially completed later this year, leaving ample time for tenants to settle into the space before the end of the year.

“People spend so much time at work that space needs to be compelling, which in this case is cool, interesting, and different,” Belanger says. “The Revillon Boardwalk Building is not what comes to mind when people think of a traditional office building. This is somewhere people want to be.”

One hundred and twenty years after the Ross Brothers and Revillon Frères dug their shovels into the ground, the Revillon Boardwalk Building has been infused with new life and new purpose. Exceedingly modern and efficient, it will once again become a focal point in Edmonton.

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