Building Resilient Communities

    · 6 min read

    CMLC welcomes 2021 with ambitious plans and city-building momentum

    Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) has been enthusiastically transforming downtown Calgary’s east end into one of the city’s most inviting destinations since 2007.

    Despite the myriad ways the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives and shifted our daily routines in 2020 and beyond, CMLC kept perspective, kept safe and did what we could to sustain the city-building momentum we’ve cultivated so ambitiously since day one.

    Over the next 11 months, with that same unwavering focus on serving our community, we’ll be kicking off the Arts Commons Transformation project; advancing three long-term city-building initiatives; completing construction on several East Village projects; and continuing to provide enticing community programming options.

    The Arts Commons Transformation project that started in late 2020 with a formalized development agreement between CMLC, the City of Calgary and Arts Commons, has swiftly moved forward with the selection of the first two members of the project team. We are pleased to announce the selection of Colliers (Calgary), whose locally based team will help guide project management, and Fisher Dachs Associates (New York), whose extensive expertise as specialized theatre consultants will see them bring the facility’s artistic vision to life. One of the world's leading theatre consultants, Fisher Dachs will be planning and designing all the performance, audience and support spaces to deliver a truly modern and fully customized facility.

    “This project will be a major boost to arts in our city,” says Kate Thompson, CMLC’s President and CEO. “The Arts Commons Transformation will support the growth and recovery of arts in Calgary and the province, providing new opportunities to come together to engage as a community—when it’s once again safe to do so.”

    Alex Sarian, Arts Commons President and CEO adds, “The pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on Calgary’s arts sector and those who depend on it—for enjoyment and for employment. This new facility will be a vital component in the recovery and growth of Calgary’s artistic community and an important contributor to our city’s economic revitalization. The Arts Commons Transformation project will not only create jobs, bringing needed immediate and ongoing economic benefits, but will also serve as a longer-term draw for those who take part in its creation, operation and performances.”

    CMLC and Arts Commons will continue assembling the rest of the project team—prime designer, construction manager, and acoustic and specialty consultants—and anticipate that all will be in place by the summer. Over the next several months, the team will work directly with the resident companies who call Arts Commons home, along with citizens and community groups from across Calgary, to engage in a collaborative process of visioning and crafting just the right spaces to serve our city's future.

    “Our long-term strategy is to make sure Calgary is the city of choice for the world’s best entrepreneurs solving the world’s greatest challenges,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “That means investing in this city, in the industries, amenities, and services that support that unrivalled quality of life. These projects are all elements of that work, and that’s why I’m incredibly excited to share this update today.”

    CMLC’s biggest city-building projects—the BMO Centre expansion, Event Centre and 17th Avenue extension and Victoria Park/Stampede Station rebuild—will also continue to advance this year, furthering our vision for Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District.

    “Despite all the challenges of the past year, CMLC remains firmly focused on the important work of supporting our city and building for the future,” says Kate. “These vital projects and the many others CMLC will be undertaking this year are just what the city needs. People will always need places to live and work, and our whole city will benefit from the new infrastructure and development we’ll be helping to make happen in 2021.”

    Over the next few months, CMLC will also complete construction and project management for several notable East Village landmarks including the 9th Avenue SE parkade and innovation centre. Developed in a partnership with Calgary Parking Authority and Platform Calgary, Platform will open its doors to 55,000 SF of new innovation space this fall, after completing tenancy improvements.

    The renovations to East Village Place that CMLC has managed on behalf of Calgary Housing Company will be complete by mid-March, enabling non-profit carya to open its new Village Commons community hub on the second floor.

    Residential progress continues in East Village with Arris, East Village’s second residential rental tower, launching in the spring. We also anticipate making several developer partner announcements over the course of the year.

    Finally, despite COVID-related restrictions on gatherings, CMLC continues to find ways for Calgarians to get outside and connect with their community. Tomorrow (February 5), we are reopening the popular riverside Hygge Hut and firepits located just off RiverWalk Plaza, east of the Simmons Building.

    The East Village Nordic Loop, a groomed one-kilometre cross-country ski and snowshoe track on the Fort Calgary lands—a partnership with Fort Calgary and Foothills Nordic Ski Club—is also open to the public, and basketball at The Bounce and curling at St Patrick’s Island remain open throughout the winter.

    To learn more, watch the CMLC 2021 Outlook Building Resilient Communities video.

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