The waiting for a new interchange at Deerfoot Trail and 212 Ave SE will now happen a year down the road as opposed to several years thanks to additional funding from an area developer.
Brookfield Residential Properties has agreed to provide $13 million in funding to accelerate the construction of the interchange which will benefit residents of two Brookfield communities in the South East: Cranston and Seton.
The promised cash injection prompted a response from the province in its recent budget which will support an earlier construction date. Construction could begin Summer 2017 with an expected completion date of Winter 2018. The City of Calgary had previously scheduled construction and ramp building in 2023. The total cost of the interchange is $39 million which will be on Deerfoot between Cranston and Seton. The city will pay some of the upfront costs of the project and will be reimbursed two-thirds of the final price tag by 2024. Those funds will be shared by Brookfield and the province.
The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Brian Mason, said in the legislature post-budget that Brookfield Residential put forward a great case and put their money down. He told reporters that the partnership between the provincial and municipal governments and private interests is an excellent example of how necessary infrastructure can be built quickly.
There is always debate whenever government decides to spend money and the City of Calgary is no exception. City councillors wondered how a project scheduled so far into the future could jump the queue of city infrastructure plans especially when other necessary projects, such as flood repair and mitigation, are on the docket as well.
Mac Logan, manager of transportation for the City of Calgary, said there were several good reasons to accelerate the project. In addition to stretching provincial money just a bit further, the new interchange will support traffic to the South Health Campus Hospital and will support an area of the city were growth has been made a priority. Brookfield made the overtures to start this process and were leaders in getting it done. Further, a Brookfield Resident spokesman, Kurt Kadatz has reportedly said that it’s hoped other developers in the area will contribute to the dollar amount put forward. He called the move an investment in the communities which will benefit from the interchange, from the residents to the people employed in these areas by local business and schools.
South of Stoney Trail/Highway 22X on the east side of the Bow River lies the picturesque neighbourhood of Cranston. This large community is on flat land high above the river valley with new development down the hill called Riverstone. Homes were first built in Cranston in the late 1990s and build-out continues in this large family neighbourhood of 15,000 residents. From affordable condos, well-designed town homes, single-family homes and luxury residences by the river, Cranston has a good mix of home styles in a variety of price ranges. The average home price is $575,000 to $600,000 with estate homes priced at nearly $2 million.
The tall windmill at the entrance to the community stands tribute to the Cranston family that once farmed the land. This suburban community is a safe neighbourhood for families that appreciate a well-designed community with modern, affordable homes. Getting to work downtown is a breeze down Deerfoot Trail with good transit connections at the Somerset/Bridlewood LRT Station. The ridge along the river in Cranston is a neighbourhood vantage point where residents can look out over the valley to the mountains beyond.
Seton is south of Seton Blvd SE and east of Deerfoot Trail SE by the South Health Campus Hospital. Developed in the late 2000s by Brookfield Residential Properties, Seton is a concept community with striking architecture and a modern work/play urban theme. The name itself is an acronym for South East Town Concept, where residents can work, study, play, shop and enjoy entertainment all within their community.
This master-planned community will develop over time and at final build-out will resemble a robust urban area rather than a suburban neighbourhood. Residences will be multi-family buildings with amazing amenities, all within walking distance of the workplace, entertainment spots, restaurants, schools and recreation spots. Condo buildings will be inter-mixed with office and retail space, as it is in any urban community. The current plan is for 1,300 condo units available for sale in the “mid-town” area of Seton. A $70 million rec centre has been promised to Seton, as well as a major theatre complex, hotels and large regional shopping centre.
The developer wants to attract buyers who want to live, work, relax and have fun without leaving the neighbourhood. The streets will have traffic calming amenities and pedestrians will appreciate the pathway which connects all areas of the community. Macleod Trail and Deerfoot Trail are the preferred routes to downtown and the Somerset LRT station is nearby until the new South East leg is constructed. A big plus to living in Seton is the South Health Campus Hospital, a new medical facility with urgent care in the neighbourhood. A new high school has been announced for Seton.