When Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) accepted the challenge of rebuilding East Village from the ground up back in 2007, they did so with a focused determination to create a neighbourhood as accessible as it is attractive and as inclusive as it is intriguing.
“In our efforts to bring Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood back to life as one of the inner city’s most sought-after destinations, we knew that inclusivity and accessibility would be among our most important measures of success,” says Michael Brown, CMLC’s President & CEO. “This called for a broad array of real estate options – from affordable suites for the first-time buyer to luxury condominium homes along the riverfront. N3 Condo by local developer Knightsbridge Homes adds an important piece to the range of residential options available here in East Village.”
N3 – short for “New Attitude, New Living, New Vision” – is a vehicle-free, no-parking condominium project that aligns with the values and wishes of consumers aged 24 to 35. At the same time, it also dovetails with the City of Calgary’s transportation objectives by advancing East Village as a pedestrian and transit-oriented development.
Along 8 Avenue SE, N3 will add 168 condominium residences to East Village.
“N3’s location, steps from the LRT line, is ideal for young urban explorers working in the downtown core and students attending classes at Bow Valley College or the University of Calgary’s downtown campus,” says Joe Starkman, President of Knightsbridge Developments. “With condo suites starting at just $199,000 they’re apt to find the price points equally appealing.”
Requiring special approvals from Calgary City Council to proceed (with full relaxation of the land-use bylaw as it relates to residential parking allowances), the N3 project received unanimous support from City Council in May and represents a fresh perspective on inner-city living and a daring, unorthodox approach to condominium development.
Keeping with this innovative approach, the N3 Condo team today unveiled a scale model of the project. Rather than creating a table-top model using traditional materials like foam board, balsa wood and those tiny trees that come with miniature train sets, N3 Condo’s Presentation Centre model is made entirely of LEGO®.
Calgary mosaic artist Dave Ware worked with Robin Sather, Canada’s only LEGO-Certified Professional, to build the model, which includes the iconic and historically designated St. Louis Hotel adjacent to N3 Condo. Requiring 600 man-hours to complete, the 1/24 scale model stands almost 224 cm (7’ 4”) tall with a footprint of 183 cm x 183 cm (6’ x 6’), making it the largest commissioned LEGO building replica in Canada.
“Using LEGO to create the N3 model is playful, original and unconventional – all attributes of the N3 project and the East Village neighbourhood as a whole,” adds Susan Veres, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, CMLC. “It’s also a great example of how the Gen-Y demographic is challenging residential developers to change the way they design and market homes. This younger cohort expects style and function, aren’t interested in big mortgages and don’t see value in vehicle ownership and ongoing maintenance, particularly when other mobility options are available to them. They’re also immune to slick marketing and flashy advertising. The LEGO concept, like the N3 project itself, is simple, unpretentious and highly accessible. N3’s prospects will ‘get it’.”
Imagined as a mixed-use, amenity-rich master-planned neighbourhood in the downtown core, East Village will be home to more than 11,000 residents upon completion in 2027. With local amenities like RiverWalk, St. Patrick’s Island Park, New Central Library, National Music Centre and an urban shopping centre, East Village has become a highly desirable neighbourhood in Calgary’s downtown core.