As the East Village begins to take shape, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is beginning to cast its eye around the city.
This corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary and the brains behind the East Village area. This once neglected area full of derelict buildings was ripe for redevelopment. Ambitious plans include world-class condos, a welcoming street-scape, retail shops and restaurants, parks and architectural interest. To say the East Village will rejuvenate the area east of City Hall is an understatement.
Now, the creative engine of the CMLC is applying all that they’ve learned in planning East Village to the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition, Olympic Plaza and to Arts Commons downtown. Exciting new plans for the land where the Cecil Hotel once stood are also in the future for CMLC. And, there is also the West Village area over by Pumphouse Theatre which is currently in the preliminary and very controversial stage. This is the area where the Calgary Sports Entertainment Group (Calgary Flames) is considering building Calgary Next, a huge multi-sports complex.
But the first order of business is building on the Calgary Stampede’s master plan for Stampede Park. There is lots of land to work with as the CMLC moves forward in helping the Stampede Grounds become a year-round focal point in inner-city Calgary.
The new Agrium Western Event Centre was recently completed as part of this master plan. ENMAX Park is going to be enhanced with more trees, lawns and gardens. A Youth Campus will soon break ground. This is a creative area of the grounds which will reinforce Alberta’s western roots through performing arts, specifically for but not limited to the Young Canadians and the Calgary Stampede Showband. The Calgary Arts Academy, a public charter school, will also move to this campus in the future.
Some of the other CMLC projects have been stalled and now that the economy in Calgary has slowed somewhat, these projects may be even further delayed. Those include redevelopment along the Erlton LRT Station and Ramsay Exchange to the east; 17 Avenue Crossing, the retail area at Stampede Trail and BMO Centre conference space expansion. It may be a while before we see these projects on the go.
However, in 2016 East Village will see the construction of a huge urban shopping area anchored by Loblaw’s City Market: an 11-storey hotel with 155 rooms and a 28-storey apartment tower with 221 rental units. The much-anticipated condo tower from FRAM + Slokker called Verve will also start construction.
Work will continue on the new Central Library building and the National Music Centre in the East Village.
When all is said and done, there will be 11,000 residents in the East Village which will do much to keep downtown Calgary vibrant, safe and sustainable.
Other urban centres have revitalized and redeveloped the downtown core by making it more exciting and livable for thousands of Canadians, where working, living and playing can happen all within a few square kilometres of home.
Thanks to CMLC, Calgary will join the ranks of Canada’s greatest cities in which to live.