What’s NEXT?

Soil contamination a major hurdle for any West Village development

The Calgary Flames’ season may be over, but that doesn’t mean hockey talk in the city has come to a close.

In addition to fans’ usual examination of how things could have gone differently, the question of where the team is going to play its home games in the not-too-distant future remains.

Part of that answer will come to light April 25 when Calgary Municipal Land Corp. (CMLC) reports findings to city council from its six-month environmental assessment of land in West Village where Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. (owner of the Flames, Calgary Stampeders and Calgary Roughnecks) is proposing to build the much-debated CalgaryNEXT project.

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Dropping anchor

Will mega-project CalgaryNEXT be the anchor institution that breathes new life into the local landscape?

Urban planning enthusiasts call them anchor institutions – those landmark buildings in which cities are built around.

In Calgary, they dot our landscape: from the University of Calgary and Foothills Medical Centre in the northwest to Stampede Park and the Calgary Tower in the southwest — even the up-and-coming Seton mixed-use district in the southeast.

Calgary would be a very different — even lesser — place without them, says Colin Jackson, member of the senate at the University of Calgary and also chair of several arts and culture initiatives.

“A good way to think of them as anchor institutions is that they set the tone or give a feel to a neighbourhood,” said Jackson, who has spoken on the subject in the past.

Could the CalgaryNEXT mega-project be next?

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Third and long

With the unveiling of CalgaryNEXT, the storied stadium’s days may be numbered, in turn creating a rare opportunity for high-density inner-city development

CalgaryNEXT, the proposed $890-million home of the Calgary Flames and Calgary Stampeders, may mark a new chapter for the city’s pro and amateur sports community.

Yet it could also spell the end of McMahon Stadium, one of Calgary’s most hallowed landmarks, and create a development opportunity that many experts say is rare in a city this size.

“It’s an interesting situation because it doesn’t happen often that you have a large piece of land in the inner city ready to be developed,” said Bryan Romanesky, a former city planner and CEO of City Trend, a planning and permit firm.

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5 things about CalgaryNEXT project

After much speculation, the Calgary Flames have announced plans for a massive sports complex, including a new football stadium and field house. The plan would see replacements for the aging Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium constructed on the west side of Calgary’s downtown. Dubbed CalgaryNEXT, here’s a breakdown of five things you need to know about the new Calgary arena project.

1. Location
Currently home to an assortment of car dealerships, empty lots and the GreyHound bus station, the proposed site for the project sits alongside the recently opened Sunalta LRT in Calgary’s West Village. Once home to a creosote plant, construction on the site would likely necessitate a costly cleanup, with an estimated pricetag between $50 and $300 million.

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