Trio of land parcels up for ten­der

City hopes sec­ond time is the charm for The Bridges

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - BARB LIV­ING­STONE FOR THE CAL­GARY HER­ALD

Three of the four parcels of land left in the last phase of The Bridges are out for ten­der for the sec­ond time.

While Bucci De­vel­op­ments was the suc­cess­ful bid­der for one par­cel and is al­ready in plan­ning stages of its Bridge­land by Bucci project ex­pected to launch sales in Fe­bru­ary, the other three parcels did not have suc­cess­ful bid­ders, says Joel Ar­mitage, di­rec­tor at the Of­fice of Land Ser­vic­ing and Hous­ing for the City of Cal­gary.

The sec­ond round of ten­der­ing on the lots, known as 10, 11a and 11b, is to close in the next cou­ple of weeks. The Bridges is lo­cated in the north in­nercity neigh­bour­hood of Bridge­land, north of the Bow River and down­town and bounded by Ed­mon­ton Trail and Memo­rial Drive. It is a 14-hectare in­ter­na­tion­ally award-win­ning re­de­vel­op­ment project, spear­headed by the city, on city land made avail­able with the clo­sure and im­plo­sion of the Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal more than 15 years ago. It has been lauded as a prime ex­am­ple of Tran­sit Ori­ented De­vel­op­ment (TOD) with its ac­cess to the Memo­rial C-Train sta­tion.

The city, says Ar­mitage, will also be of­fer­ing one of the sites in Phase 2 for re­sale after it buys back the land from San­dle­wood De­vel­op­ments. San­dle­wood, along with Apex with two sites and As­sured, were suc­cess­ful bid­ders when Phase 2 lands went out for ten­der in 2006. But through the re­ces­sion, the de­vel­op­ers were given sev­eral ex­ten­sions to con­struc­tion time­lines, the last un­til 2014. Both Apex (Bridge­land Cross­ings 1 and 2) and As­sured (Steps Bridge­land) are well un­der­way with their de­vel­op­ments. The fifth project in Phase 2 is McPher­son Place, al­ready built by the In­House At­tain­able Hous­ing So­ci­ety. How­ever, be­cause San­dle­wood’s project is not out of the ground, it must sell the land back to the city — not to another de­vel­oper — un­der the orig­i­nal area de­vel­op­ment agree­ment. This par­cel sits di­rectly south of the com­mu­nity cen­tre and the large parks ad­ja­cent the fa­cil­ity.

Un­der that same area re­de­vel­op­ment plan, Phase 3’s par­cel 11a has 24 af­ford­able hous­ing units that must be built as part of the project. If one de­vel­oper buys both site 11 parcels, those units — which will come un­der the Cal­gary Hous­ing Company, owned by the city of Cal­gary — could be spread over the two sites.

A to­tal of 100 units of af­ford­able hous­ing were man­dated by city coun­cil for The Bridges project, 76 which have al­ready been built. Fifty-eight are in­cluded in Phase 2’s McPher­son Place, which sits di­rectly across from the C-Train sta­tion, and the rest over the Phase 1 mixed-use build­ings (apart­ment-style con­dos top­ping re­tail opera- tions like restau­rants and cafes) along First Av­enue.

In The Bridges, a large park an­chors the first phase, which trans­formed the old Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal site into a large green space with to­bog­gan hill, soc­cer fields, play park and a com­mu­nity cen­tre de­signed by award-win­ning ar­chi­tect Jeremy Sturgess. The Phase 2 sites are closer to Memo­rial Drive with the four sites in Phase 3 sit­u­ated on 1.4 hectares of land be­tween Cen­tre Av­enue and McDougall Road, east of 9th Street N.E.

Bridge­land by Bucci will be lo­cated at 1009 Cen­tre Ave. N.E. with views of down­town from the 195-unit, seven-storey, air-con­di­tioned, con­crete build­ing.

In­fra­struc­ture for the whole Bridges project is now in place. Phase 3 sites will hold multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial build­ings up to seven sto­ries. This last phase in­cludes a small park — St. Matthew’s Square — with a di­rect sight line to the church sit­ting above Mur­doch Park where the old Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal once stood.

Wil Andruschak

Joel Ar­mitage, di­rec­tor at the Of­fice of Land Ser­vic­ing and Hous­ing for the City of Cal­gary, in one of the un­de­vel­oped plots at The Bridges project.

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