CMLC on a roll with city-building infrastructure and construction in Downtown Calgary's east end
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)—the organization transforming downtown Calgary’s east end into one of the city’s most exciting and inviting destinations—is diving into 2020 with a full slate of projects on the go.
While sustaining its ongoing commitment to shepherding the renewal of East Village, where new commercial and residential projects continue to take shape, CMLC will be forging ahead in 2020 to bring the Rivers District Master Plan (RDMP) to life in east Victoria Park.
“Carefully crafted by CMLC and approved by our shareholder, the City of Calgary, the RDMP will continue to guide our work in east Victoria Park, transforming the neighbourhood into Calgary’s world-class Culture and Entertainment District,” says Kate Thompson, CMLC’s freshly appointed president and CEO.
“We’re looking forward to bringing to light all the plans we have in store for enhancing the vibrancy, diversity and human energy in downtown Calgary’s east end. With that in mind, much of what we’re doing this year will be laying the groundwork for upcoming construction and renovation projects in east Victoria Park and beyond.”
A new sports and entertainment venue to benefit all Calgarians
Among CMLC’s undertakings in 2020, one of the most significant will be serving as the development manager for Calgary’s new Event Centre.
Jointly funded by The City of Calgary and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. (CSEC), the Event Centre will allow Calgary to host major sports and entertainment events in a larger and much more modern venue than the Saddledome it’s replacing.
“We are thrilled to be building—on behalf of The City of Calgary and CSEC—this extraordinary civic amenity that residents and visitors will enjoy for generations,” says CMLC’s Thompson. “Beyond bringing the city a world-class venue for events of all types and sizes, this project will also add wonderful and inviting public gathering spaces to our community that will be available to everybody, 365 days a year. This catalyzing project will have a significant, positive impact on the whole district, energizing and revitalizing a truly special part of Calgary.”
CMLC is leading a public consultation process on the Event Centre, collecting input from Calgarians on their aspirations for the visitor experience and programming the facility will support to help inform the development of the building and its surrounding public spaces. The multiphase engagement program began this week and includes an online survey, public outreach in every city ward and a series of roundtable discussions with community stakeholders. The survey is available at ( www.calgarymlc.ca/ECengage ) and will be open the public from January 29 - March 27, 2020.
As development manager, CMLC will also be managing the procurement process to identify and select the Event Centre’s project team, including prime design consultant, construction manager and a host of other specialists who will work together to bring the project to life. That process began this week, with CMLC issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to identify the prime design consultant(s) for the facility. Additional RFPs will go out in the coming months to assemble the rest of the team.
Says Thompson, “CMLC takes great pride in our role overseeing the Event Centre’s construction and ensuring its coordination with other ongoing redevelopment in east Calgary, and we look forward to working with Calgarians, the project team and all other stakeholders to ensure the new facility integrates seamlessly with the community and the Rivers District Master Plan.”
BMO Convention Centre to elevate Calgary’s convention host status
Having cultivated a reputation as one of Calgary’s most trusted and effective development managers, it’s not surprising that CMLC was tapped last year to manage BMO Convention Centre’s latest expansion—a major renovation that will vault Calgary into the top tier among global convention destinations by dramatically increasing its profile and capacity. The full project is scheduled for completion in 2024.
“Together with our partners at Calgary Stampede, we will reveal the expansion’s exciting new design to the public this summer,” says Thompson.
17th Avenue extension and Stampede Crossing to improve flow
CMLC will also initiate a major infrastructure project this summer to substantially improve the appearance and function of the western entrance to Stampede Park. Upon completion in 2023, 17th Avenue SE will continue across the CTrain tracks—connecting to Stampede Trail and adding a new pedestrian and vehicle corridor into the district. The new road extension will not only link several major venues in the area in a supremely practical way (including the expanded BMO Centre and the new Event Centre) it will also serve as a canvas to invite new retail and commercial development to the neighbourhood.
In conjunction with the road work, CMLC will oversee the overhaul of the Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain station, improving pedestrian access in the area. Detailed design work for this two-part project is complete, and construction preparation will begin in the summer.
New retail offerings increase variety and livability in downtown Calgary’s east end
Spring 2020 will mark the opening of East Village’s first urban shopping centre—the retail component of a residential-commercial venture by BOSA and RioCan. Dubbed 5th & THIRD, the urban-format retail centre will be anchored by Real Canadian Superstore—the district’s first major grocery store—and will also include Scotiabank, Olympia Liquor, TD Canada Trust and Winners.
Perched atop the retail development, the first of two residential towers is under construction that will bring 190 new residential rental units in Spring 2021.
CMLC welcomes new president and CEO
CMLC saw a change in leadership in early 2020. Kate Thompson, previously CMLC’s Vice President of Development, assumed her new position as president and CEO in January.
“We’re thrilled to officially welcome Kate into the role of president and CEO. Her expertise, professionalism, uncompromising standards and unwavering commitment will be invaluable as our organization progresses through the next phase of its evolution as Calgary’s premier placemaking and redevelopment team,” says CMLC’s Board Chair, Randy Magnussen.
In addition to her work with CMLC, Kate holds a variety of roles in the community—including chair of YWCA’s Board of Directors and adjunct professor with U of C’s Faculty of Environmental Design.