Calgary Herald

PAST YEAR HAD RAYS OF LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

Mul­ti­ple devel­op­ments across the city are promis­ing as we head into a new year

- DAVID PARKER David Parker ap­pears reg­u­larly in the Her­ald. Read his col­umns on­line at cal­gary­her­ald.com/ busi­ness. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at info@david­parker.ca.

My 2019 year-end col­umn gave hopes for a strong 2020. Who would have imag­ined the changes that would hit us a cou­ple of months later? But, de­spite the ter­ri­ble at­tack by COVID-19, there were many pos­i­tive things to re­port on.

The il­lus­tra­tion for last year's Dec. 30 col­umn was of the pro­posed Mar­riott Au­to­graph Col­lec­tion and Courtyard by Mar­riott Ho­tel to be built down­town on 5th Av­enue S.W. The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try has been par­tic­u­larly hard hit, yet a start was made on the PBA Group of Com­pa­nies' $110-mil­lion de­vel­op­ment, and last time I drove by, the Dorian Ho­tel was up to at least the eighth floor of its 27-storey height.

Un­for­tu­nately, the slow­down of busi­ness saw the trans­fer of two of our most pop­u­lar hote­liers. Ar­jun Channa, man­ager of the Westin Cal­gary, has es­caped the win­ter by mov­ing to the

U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands as gen­eral man­ager of the Ritz-carl­ton,

St. Thomas, and Sunny Joseph de­parted from the Fair­mont Pal­liser Ho­tel for Seat­tle as the new gen­eral man­ager of the Fair­mont Olympic Ho­tel.

Our short sum­mers are tough for those who or­ga­nize out­door events and golf course own­ers had to be very cre­ative in find­ing ways of or­ga­niz­ing tour­na­ments this year.

The good folks at Ste­wart Creek were able to set up food sta­tions on the driv­ing range to ac­com­mo­date the 13th an­nual Rem­ing­ton Golf Clas­sic in Au­gust that raised an­other $375,000 for the Prostate Can­cer Cen­tre. The weather re­sponded suc­cess­fully, but didn't help my golf game as my part­ner Ron Kur­cz­aba and I were awarded a splen­did prize for be­ing dead last.

Many Cal­gary news sto­ries this year cen­tred around the abun­dance of of­fice space in the down­town, cre­at­ing not only a prob­lem for own­ers and city tax cof­fers, but also a poor im­age to the rest of the coun­try.

Bad pub­lic­ity meant a slow­down in real es­tate in­vest­ment. One would have thought that city hall would have re­sponded in a much bet­ter way than in­creas­ing in­dus­trial taxes, which will drive more com­pa­nies to choose the Balzac area just out­side of city lim­its as a place to set up busi­ness. A drive around the area east of Cross­iron Mills shop­ping cen­tre shows in­cred­i­ble growth that Rocky View County can be very proud of.

A lively down­town is so im­por­tant for this city and for­tu­nately, the num­ber of high­rise res­i­den­tial tow­ers cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion will help re­tail­ers and restau­rant/en­ter­tain­ment busi­nesses find new cus­tomers.

The most pos­i­tive news for me was to re­port on was so much progress re­gard­ing the growth of this city as a tech hub and the num­ber of com­pa­nies that have made the de­ci­sion to make the east area of down­town their cor­po­rate homes.

This year has also seen lots of ac­tiv­ity in sub­ur­ban multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion, much of it in large new devel­op­ments such as West Dis­trict by Tru­man Homes on 85th Street S.W. and sev­eral de­vel­op­ers have been busy build­ing in Uni­ver­sity Dis­trict. Tru­man, Homes by Avi, Brook­field Res­i­den­tial, Gra­corp Prop­er­ties and the Brenda Straf­ford Foun­da­tion are all bring­ing peo­ple to the ex­cit­ing project that has also at­tracted a num­ber of re­tail­ers and a cin­ema to the area.

Driv­ing west out of the city, you need to watch chang­ing lanes and speed lim­its among the hu­mon­gous con­struc­tion project that will one day link up with Stoney Trail.

But do take a quick peek at the progress at Green­wich by Mel­cor where more res­i­dences are be­ing of­fered by Cove Prop­er­ties, Land­mark Homes and Madi­son Av­enue Group.

An­other de­vel­op­ment that I was pleased to be able to learn more about and re­port on was Taza De­vel­op­ment's vil­lages on Tsuut'ina lands. What a vi­sion­ary mas­ter plan that while hon­our­ing the land, will bring sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic im­pact to the Na­tion.

De­spite coun­cil's love of the bi­cy­cle, we are still an au­to­mo­bile city and more deal­er­ships are stak­ing a claim to the area on the west side that runs along­side Stoney Trail.

In the space re­main­ing, I must stick to an­nual tra­di­tion and re­mind who­ever took re­spon­si­bil­ity to take care of the for­mer York Ho­tel fa­cade that was promised a new life when it was taken down across the street from the new Telus Sky tower that we haven't for­got­ten.

Have con­fi­dence in this com­ing year — be healthy and happy.

 ??  ?? Taza De­vel­op­ment's vil­lages on Tsuut'ina lands is a vi­sion­ary mas­ter plan that hon­ours the land and will bring sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic im­pact to the Na­tion, colum­nist David Parker writes.
Taza De­vel­op­ment's vil­lages on Tsuut'ina lands is a vi­sion­ary mas­ter plan that hon­ours the land and will bring sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic im­pact to the Na­tion, colum­nist David Parker writes.
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