Plans have finally been announced to redevelop Eau Claire Market.

Regina-based company Harvard Developments Inc. has been working with the City of Calgary and other community groups to create a final design for a mixed-use project totalling 2.5 million sq. ft..

“Redevelopment of the market and the property was always the objective from the time Harvard Developments Inc. and its partners made the purchase of Eau Claire in 2005. Our company is 113 years old and we believe in investing in communities and owning and maintaining those assets for the long term. This would be our vision for this property as well,” said Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, managing director of Harvard Buildings Inc. and vicepresident of leasing for Harvard Developments Inc.

The land-use application is expected to be submitted either by the end of the year or early in 2014, with late 2014 being the projected construction start date for phase one of three.

The 2. 5 million sq. ft. development will consist of five towers with 1,000 residential units, 800,000 sq. ft. of office space, 555,000 sq. ft. of retail space and three levels of underground parking.

“Phase one will include a two-three level retail podium with a variety of retail, a proposed grocery store, a cinema, a hotel with potential condos on top and a residential rental tower,” said Hill Blaisdell.

“A redevelopment of Eau Claire Market has the potential to bring significant vibrancy, activity, entertainment and connectivity to the downtown community. We see the redevelopment creating a place where people can live, work and play.”

What is currently known as the Eau Claire market will stay open until phase three, when it will be demolished, and a new structure will replace it.

“We have had some tenants express concern about the impact on their business, but we are assuring them relocation opportunities will be discussed down the road when more detail is available on future phases,” said Hill Blaisdell. “Most citizens and the community are saying that they are wholly in support and can’t wait for the project to get going.”

There has been some concern regarding the office building on the southeast corner of the site that is planned to be built during the second phase of construction. “With the future LRT planned to run down 2nd Street, an office use on this corner makes good planning sense and provides a critical economic sustainability component to support and maintain the rest of the project. It would represent about one third of the total proposed density,” said Hill Blaisdell.

Construction for phase one is expected to start in late 2014, with the projected completion for all three phases in seven to 10 years.