The Baccarat Casino in Edmonton on Jan. 14, 2020.

Crews started to tear down the Baccarat Casino in downtown Edmonton on Thursday.

"It's a long anticipated day certainly in the development process of the ICE District," Tim Shipton of the ICE District told reporters on Thursday. "Today we're beginning the demolition of the Baccarat Casino. Certainly this is something we've heard loud and clear from Edmontonians, that this building has become somewhat of an eyesore in the city."

Demolition of the building at 104 Avenue and 101 Street started at 10:15 a.m. and is expected to take a month.

"We're working with our design team to see what transitional use is going to look like for this site, and as everyone knows, ice district phase two is as ambitions a plan as phase one," Shipton said.

He said the plan for phase two calls for a large residential development with up to 4,000 units in 12 towers. The plan will take several years to execute.

"We've got some exciting ideas about how we can activate 104 Street, really bringing in some urban design elements to get people. We need more people experiencing our development," Shipton said.

Until then, the ICE District is on record as saying the site may be used for parking.