In 2009, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) unveiled the master plan for East Village – Calgary's newest, oldest, coolest, warmest neighbourhood. And to help convey our vision, we produced a 3D animation that depicted what we hoped and believed East Village would become. Now, nearly five years later, we are sharing a new 3D animation – with one major difference: this time, it shows the neighbourhood as it is actually taking shape. East Village has moved from hopeful speculation to exciting reality!
In those five intervening years, we’ve tallied a long list of tangible achievements. Infrastructure upgrades. Heritage building restorations. Public art installations. We completed the 4th Street Underpass and two of the RiverWalk’s four kilometres. We orchestrated a deal with Cantos Music Foundation to turn the legendary King Eddie into the National Music Centre. We paired the Simmons Building with a trio of local food and beverage superstars: Phil & Sebastian, Charbar and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. We added plans for a New Central Library to the East Village books; bridged some longstanding gaps with plans for a revitalized St. Patrick’s Island and new St. Patrick’s Island Bridge; built deals with Embassy BOSA and Fram + Slokker Developments that will open the door to nearly 1,300 new residential units; and after shopping around for exactly the right retail partner, collaborated with RioCan to establish a 300,000 sq. ft. urban shopping centre here in East Village.
Full steam ahead in 2014
With more than 70% of CMLC’s available development parcels now sold, the East Village vision – which has been purposefully taking shape since CMLC released the master plan in 2009 – is poised now to come to life in rapid, dramatic fashion!
This year, Calgarians will see the following additions (and many more) to CMLC’s growing list of East Village achievements:
- Divestment of a parcel of land for East Village’s first new rental apartment complex;
- Announcement of the neighbourhood’s first multi-family project by a local developer (Spring 2014);
- Grand opening of the new St. Patrick’s Island Bridge (Fall 2014)
- Site work and encapsulation of the LRT tracks, which will pass under the New Central Library (NCL);
- Public unveiling of the final and approved schematic design for the New Central Library (Fall 2014);
- Construction start of the new 300 room, dual branded, Hilton Hotel (Spring 2014);
- Anticipated sale of 300 residential units (following the sale of 230 in 2013); approximately $230 Million of residential product has sold in East Village in the past 24 months;
- Advancement of the construction program called the Crossroads; a landscaping program which integrates RiverWalk with the base of the new St. Patrick’s Island Bridge;
- Continue to work to build spirit of community with a robust calendar of events and programs (topping 2013, which boasted 148 days of community programming and 56,000 visitors into the neighbourhood).
The East Village redevelopment program is made possible by an innovative financing model called Community Revitalization Levy (CRL). The CRL is similar to ‘tax incremental financing’ and is a mechanism by which property tax revenues - from new development - are accessed by the corporation, to put approved infrastructure improvements in place. The CRL catchment area considers the Rivers District area of Calgary, a 309 acre region in Calgary’s east end, of which the East Village community is 49 acres.
To date, CMLC has committed $260 Million of improvements (which includes a commitment of $70 million to the New Central Library project) in the area and has attracted nearly $1.6 Billion of new development in the community. This number is expected to grow as the remaining development parcels are sold and activated.
“Our new 3D rendering is a realistic view of what East Village will look like in a few short years from now,” says Michael Brown, President & CEO, CMLC. “I think Calgarians will be awestruck to learn how the east side of downtown is transforming into a new urban village; if you haven’t been here in a while, it’s worth the trip to see all the change.”
Access to 3D animation: http://www.calgarymlc.ca/2014-animation