This means lower-rent businesses and residents will gradually have to move out — something known even by ’60s urban community activists like Jane Jacobs, author of the Death and Life of Great American Cities.
While many people want older communities to stay the same forever, it isn’t going to happen in a city with a healthy downtown.
However, if the downtown is not robust — such as in Winnipeg, Man., and Hamilton, Ont. — you will find that their downtowns, and the surrounding residential communities, are struggling.
Many buildings are either closed or tired-looking and in need of redevelopment.
In Winnipeg’s Exchange District, the credit for the preservation of the past is more due to the lack of downtown prosperity than any proactive preservationist policies.
The challenge for every city is to balance prosperity with preservation. tre or perhaps even further away — Montgomery, Forest Lawn, Bowness or Manchester.
Calgary actually has a pretty good track record of revitalizing its inner-city communities.
What I really like about the East Village plan is that they are going to put historic buildings to new use.
Yes they will be higher end — unfortunately, the only way to justify the investment of new dollars is to create something that will pay market rents.
The private sector and the city aren’t in the business of subsidizing the rents of pubs for cheap beer.
Many people question if East Village or the Beltline will ever become the vibrant urban communities promised by planners and developers just a few years ago.
But I am encouraged that Vancouver developer Qualex announced it is going forward with its Luna condo development in Calgary — the third and final phase of a three-tower condo project on 12th Avenue near the new urban village developing around the Midtown Co-op.
I am confident the new buyers of other failed city centre condo projects — due to reduced carrying and construction costs — will complete these projects in an manner that will be attractive to yuppie and ruppie alike.
The same is true for the downtown office market. The increase in supply will drive down rents — and as it did in early 1990s, downtown Calgary will once again be able to attract new head offices. The cup is half full. Urban development is just a continuous series of adaptations to new markets, ideas and economies.
Yes, the beer may get more expensive for awhile, but not to worry. There are always pioneers who find a new neighbourhood to open up a pub with affordable beer.
An artist’s rendering of the King Eddie Hotel in the redeveloped East Village, centre left, which is to become the National Music Centre.