Photos by Jesse Yardley / For CREB®Now

East Village development is in full swing as master plan takes shape

The ambitious master plan and vision for East Village, which was years in the making, is bearing fruit these days with an unprecedented level of construction taking place and more to come.

Two key blocks in the neighbourhood are the next big projects for Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, which is spearheading development in East Village.

Susan Veres, senior vice-president of strategy and business development for CMLC, says COPEZ has plans for the East Village Courtyard, which is before the City right now for permits, and it will include two rental towers of about 600 units, a mid-rise market product with about 100 units, and an office building.

CMLC will be going to market in April to sell a block of land in the heart of East Village, bordered by Seventh and Eighth Avenues and Fourth and Fifth Streets S.E.

“This Block A is really important because it’s the centre of the entire vision. Centre ice, I call it. It has the Riff in it – the pedestrian walkway,” said Veres. “I’m taking it to market on April 1, so I’ll be looking for a qualified developer who can master plan a full city block.”

In the vision of the Village, says Veres, it was imagined as having more of an entertainment base.

“It’s a lot of land. It’s 110,000 square feet. It’s our last full block of land,” she said.

“January 1 represented our halfway mark of the project. So we were 10 years into our 20-year plan. The next 10 years will see the balance of our land sold and more development coming – people moving in.”

When it comes to why people are buying homes in East Village, Deb Pedersen, director of sales for the FRAM Building Group, says it’s all about the community and the amenities the neighbourhood has to offer.

“People really see the value in that,” she said. “It’s the proximity to downtown. You’re kind of able to have the best of both worlds. You’re literally downtown. Access to downtown is five minutes. But yet on the other side you’ve got acres of park. So you kind of get to live in both worlds.”

It’s the proximity to downtown. You’re kind of able to have the best of both worlds. You’re literally downtown. Access to downtown is five minutes. But yet on the other side you’ve got acres of park. So you kind of get to live in both worlds.

“The fact that East Village is a community that’s growing and is only getting better with time, I think people really recognize that and they really see the value in that, especially for a downtown community.”

East Village Progress

• Two of three residential towers in Evolution by Embassy Bosa are completed with 484 units. A third tower will come at a later date, which will be about 90 units.

• The First tower by FRAM of 191 units is complete.

• N3, by Knighstbridge, with 167 units is ready for occupancy in the first week of April.

• Velo, a twin project to N3, is in the discussion stage.

• Four buildings are being proposed for the Verve site by FRAM with a total of 661 units. The first tower of 283 units is under construction with occupancy by the fall of 2018.

• Embassy Bosa and RioCan have a joint venture that includes 200,000 square feet of retail anchored by a Loblaws store which is scheduled to open the first quarter of 2019. The residential component, called Arris, will be two towers of 550 units. Sales will begin in the first quarter of 2018.

• Cidex has a residential rental tower under construction with 221 units scheduled for occupancy in the second quarter of 2019.

• In the future, there are a couple of parcels of land near the Simmons Building and the Bow River which will eventually house about 100 units.

• Embassy Bosa has assembled some land on another block where the police parkade is located. It intends to buy the whole block for a future development of at least 500 residential units.

• The former Cecil Hotel site will likely be marketed at the beginning of next year, but it is imagined to have multi-family density.

• The Central Library will open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

• The Hilton hotel is open and the ALT hotel is under construction and scheduled to open June 2018.

• Battistella has a residential project called INK under construction with 115 units.

• The old St. Louis Hotel houses CMLC offices on the second and third floors but the main floor and basement areas will be for food and beverage establishments. Those spaces will go on the market in October of this year. • A retail pop-up park will take place over the next two summers on a parcel of land that was formerly a gas station.

• Beginning this spring, a streetscaping program will get going on Third Street, between Ninth Avenue and the Bow River.