Development of Currie continues; developer undeterred by economy

The developer behind southwest Calgary’s massive Currie project says it is not fazed by current fluctuations in the local economy and will continue to push forward.

Canada Lands Company (CLC) senior director of real estate Chris Elkey said the corporation will continue to service land over the summer, and the Flanders Avenue interchange is on schedule and set to open at the end of this year.

“CLC continues to assess and monitor the Alberta economy and impacts on the serviced lot inventory,” he added.

Described as an urban village, Currie will be the size of a small city when complete.

In fact, CLC said the 195-acre development that will eventually house as many as 12,000 people is already one of the largest master-planned inner-city communities under development in North America.

Strong on Canadian military history, the recently rebranded development is being built on land that once served as a Canadian Forces base.

It represents the last of a triumvirate of communities by CLC, the self-financing federal Crown corporation – the two previous developments being Garrison Woods and Garrison Green that flank Crowchild Trail between 33rd and 50th avenues S.W.

“Our goal is to provide an all-inclusive community with proximity to downtown that offers residents endless possibilities,” said Elkey, cautioning that build-out in Currie is still another 15 years away.

Upon completion, Currie will have approximately 5,700 homes of all types, 615,000 square feet of institutional and office space, 245,000 square feet of retail space and another 23 acres of green space.

The approved plan allows for as many as six buildings as high as 30 storeys. Mingled among these will be others ranging in height from four to 18 storeys.

“Some of the high-rises in the geographic centre of the plan will be built as mixed use with ground-floor retail and residential above,” said Elkey.

When asked if the decision to include so many high-rises buildings in the development was a response the City of Calgary’s plan for increased densification, Elkey said the evolution of the community surrounding Currie and the desire to create a new urban district were the primary motivators.

Construction of the towers in Currie hasn’t started. Timelines for their construction, as well as the retail component, will be, “dictated in great part by the Alberta economy. We envision having active retail with the next five years,” said Elkey.

To date, construction in the first two phases have focused on single-detached and semi-detached homes, apartments and townhomes in the Rutland Wood area. Architectural styles and community development have been similar to Garrison Woods, and include community parks and pathways along with sidewalk connections to surrounding and future development areas.

Elkey said the first two phases will comprise about 10 per cent of the forecasted 5,700 residences that will make up Currie. The current builder group includes Crystal Creek Homes, Cove Properties, Jayman Modus, Empire Custom Homes, Slokker Canada West and Avi Urban.