‘Char­ac­ter ar­eas’ part of East Vil­lage

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - KATHY MCCORMICK

As part of the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of East Vil­lage near City Hall, the his­toric in­ner-city com­mu­nity will be di­vided into six “char­ac­ter ar­eas” or neigh­bour­hoods.

Each of the new neigh­bour­hoods in the mas­ter plan will have a her­itage build­ing that will be re­vi­tal­ized, says Chris Ol­len­berger, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Cal­gary Mu­nic­i­pal Land Corp.

The cor­po­ra­tion is over­see­ing the mas­sive re­de­vel­op­ment. The six char­ac­ter ar­eas are: River’s Edge, a water­front prom­e­nade along the Bow River.

The Gate­way, which is to the north and ad­ja­cent to the River­Walk area along the Bow River. It could in­clude larger-scale re­tail in a mixed-use for­mat.

River­Walk along the north bound­ary of the site, which will in­clude a water­front prom­e­nade of pubs, cafes and restau­rants over­look­ing the Bow River.

The Cross­ing di­rectly be­hind City Hall, which will in­clude the re­stored King Eddy Ho­tel. Res­i­den­tial apart­ments will be above pub­lic squares with niche re­tail, cafes, bars and restau­rants as well as com­mu­nal gar­dens.

Park­side ad­ja­cent to Fort Cal­gary and bounded by 9th Av­enue S.E., which will have more multi-fam­ily hous­ing per­me­ated by pedes­trian paths. Over-looking bal­conies, ir­reg­u­lar set­backs, raised gar­dens and con­cealed park­ing are just some of the con­cepts. The high­est con­cen­tra­tion of peo­ple will be in this area.

St. Pa­trick’s Is­land, where recre­ational open space will be up­graded to ac­com­mo­date a num­ber of sum­mer events.

Fort Cal­gary rounds out the area with its mu­seum, repli­cated fort and her­itage green space.

Gate­ways into East Vil­lage will also be im­por­tant to the con­nec­tiv­ity of down­town.

Th­ese in­clude the 4th Street north/south con­nec­tor via an un­der­pass that will con­nect to Stam­pede Park, and River­front Av­enue and River­Walk.

Fu­ture East Vil­lage res­i­dents will be “ur­ban ex­plor­ers,” says Su­san Vervs, se­nior man­ager of mar­ket­ing for Cal­gary Mu­nic­i­pal Land Corp.

“This time last year, we re­searched with our man­age­ment team and an in­ter­na­tional group to de­fine who our fu­ture res­i­dents would be: ur­ban ex­plor­ers who are con­vinced East Vil­lage was built for them with their needs in mind,” she says. “The con­cept is di­ver­sity in ev­ery­thing they touch, from shop­ping, to cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences, to types of hous­ing.”

Stu­dents, work­ing sin­gle pro­fes­sion­als ages 28 to 32, mar­ried cou­ples ages 36 to 40, and mar­ried cou­ples with a school-age child all fit the de­mo­graphic that is likely to be at­tracted to the in­ner-city com­mu­nity, she says.

“We found in our re­search that there has been an ex­o­dus of younger peo­ple — uni­ver­sity stu­dents or work­ing pro­fes­sion­als — who have been search­ing for cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences and they feel that Cal­gary is not pro­vid­ing that,” says Vervs.

“So we need to prove to them that East Vil­lage is what they have been looking for. We need to reach them with event-spe­cific ac­tiv­i­ties that will draw them into the vil­lage.”

The Can­tos Mu­sic Foun­da­tion’s move to the his­toric King Ed­ward Ho­tel as part of a pro­posed Na­tional Mu­sic Cen­tre is one ap­proach.

The other is the pos­si­bil­ity of hold­ing Canada’s first opera fes­ti­val in East Vil­lage, says Vervs.

“St. Pa­trick’s Is­land could be the spot,” she says. “We’re ex­plor­ing that.”

Chris Ol­len­berger

Colleen De Neve, Cal­gary Her­ald

Crews work on 6th Av­enue S.E. as part of the re­de­vel­op­ment of East Vil­lage.

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