What a year it’s been! Hit by a global pandemic while the provincial economy was still reeling from low oil prices meant 2020 didn’t quite play out as anyone had imagined. But, despite the challenges of COVID-19, CMLC made significant progress on all the work we had lined up for the year.
We saw many, many amazing projects begin, continue and wrap up and—in spite of everything—our city-building momentum continues apace.
Notable happenings in the past 12 months
- Enabling work on the 17th Avenue SE extension project continues to progress, which includes construction on a new siding track bridge and utility complex for the adjacent Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain station. The design for the new barrier-free C-Train station was approved in October 2020 that will allow pedestrians to access the station from the street-level.
- Work crews topped off the 9th Avenue SE Parkade and Platform Innovation Centre with the final concrete pour on its upper level, marking completion of the substantial structural work on the building. On track for completion in spring 2021, the seven-storey building brings East Village a noteworthy addition to its burgeoning ‘tech corridor’—plus a 500-stall parkade that includes public bike parking and an outdoor sport court.
- At the BMO Centre, crews finished construction of Hall F, a 100,000 SF facility on the north side of the existing building that’ll allow business to continue uninterrupted through the construction phase. Also, Calgary Stampede and CMLC unveiled the much-anticipated concept drawings for the expanded convention centre. The visually stunning structure, to be completed in 2024, will significantly grow and modernize the facility and enable Calgary to host meetings and conventions on a global scale.
- We made significant progress on a major renovation of East Village Place, a partnership with Calgary Housing Company and not-for-profit carya. Construction broke ground and is progressing on schedule. The building will be ready to welcome carya’s new Village Commons site in February 2021.
- PARK PARK opened at Inglewood’s ‘Lot 43’ parking lot. Public City Architecture Inc. worked with Calgary Parking Authority to bring this innovation to life, giving the neighbourhood a reimagined parking lot that also offers a dynamic, multi-faceted, interactive installation—making it both attractive and usable for much more than just parking cars.
- On the cusp of its two-year anniversary in East Village, Calgary’s spectacular Central Library got another reason to celebrate: a prestigious LEED® Gold certification for its green building features.
- CMLC, Arts Commons, and The City of Calgary signed an agreement to begin designing a major transformation to Arts Commons. As development manager for the Arts Commons Transformation project, CMLC has begun assembling the project design team. An oversight committee with representation from all three parties will oversee the procurement and design process, which will last through mid-2022.
- Venture-building studio Harvest and CMLC signed a three-year lease agreement that enables Harvest to expand their staff of 90 into 8,000 SF of prime office space in the East Village Experience Centre. Harvest is one of several innovators setting up shop in East Village—along with recent additions Platform Calgary and UCalgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape—making the community a growing hotbed of innovation, technology and entrepreneurism.
- Cycle tracks opened on 9th Avenue SE, between Macleod Trail and 4th Street SE.
- The 5th Avenue SE connector opened, adding a new two-way road into and out of East Village.
- 5th & THIRD welcomed new commercial tenants Real Canadian Superstore, ScotiaBank and Freshslice Pizza.
- The W.R. Castell Building, home of the UCalgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) got a new canopy and lighting to enhance security in the area. This initiative is just one of many outcomes from 9 Block project which CMLC supports.
- And, to top it all off we hosted numerous COVID-safe community-building events over the year, giving Calgarians safe ways to get outside, connect with the neighbourhood and interact with their community. Our innovative groundwork gave community partners ready-made solutions for additional activations of ‘COVID-ready’ spaces with built-in safety and social distancing measures (e.g., the creative artwork and colourful ground-murals of #VibranceYYC and #Staybright).
Looking ahead to 2021
The next 12 months will see numerous construction and renovation projects start and finish in East Village and east Victoria Park. Some highlights of the coming year:
- We’ll break ground on three major buildings in east Victoria Park: the BMO Centre, Event Centre and Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain station.
- We’ll complete construction of the 9th Avenue SE Parkade and Platform Innovation Centre.
- carya will begin welcoming Calgarians to its new east Calgary headquarters, Village Commons, when renovations wrap up on East Village Place.
- Cars will be routed onto the new 9th Avenue SE Bridge and bikes will begin using the nearby cycle tracks on 9th Avenue (between Macleod Trail and the Elbow River).
- We’ll announce the project team for the Arts Commons Transformation project.
To learn more about all of the exciting projects, initiatives and programs we have planned for 2021, visit www.calgarymlc.ca.