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Planned High Rise is East Side, Calgary


Planned highrise will bring 221 rental units to East Village

A 28-storey, 221-unit residential rental highrise is being planned for Calgary’s East Village — part of new development plans announced Tuesday by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, which oversees the neighbourhood project.
CMLC said it has sold a piece of land at the southeast corner of 7th Avenue and 5th Street S.E. to Cidex Developments Ltd, which will develop the neighbourhood’s first residential rental project.
The rental high-rise, on a 24,000-square-foot parcel of land, will see the introduction of family-oriented, three-bedroom apartments to the community.
“This community represents the future of downtown living,” said Abed Itani, president of Cidex. “It is inclusive, accessible and attractive to young families who want to have an urban living experience. Our project introduces three-bedroom units and child-care services to the community which, I view as critical to the overall health and sustainability of the community.
“We love the community. We think it’s a great location and that’s why we got engaged with them . . . The reason we’re introducing the three bedrooms is because we believe in family living in the inner-city . . .  We’re a long-term player and we believe in Calgary. “
Itani said he is hoping to break ground in the fourth quarter of this year with a building timeline of about 26 months. Occupancy could be late 2017.
The tower will include 66 one-bedroom and studio apartments, 123 two-bedroom units, and 32 three-bedroom units. There will be 250 underground parking spaces. The day care will be 5,000 square feet and commercial street front space will be 1,500 square feet. There is also a second floor rooftop patio.
Susan Veres, vice-president of marketing and communications for CMLC, said the project will broaden the residential opportunities in East Village.
“This community aspires to be the most desirable of inner-city communities and for us to achieve our goal, we need to offer a range of products to appeal to all market segments: professionals, empty nesters and young families,” she said.
CMLC also said it will begin in February a 14-month base building improvement program on the St. Louis Hotel to ready the structure for its future within the community and it will acquire the Cecil Hotel site for future development.
The corporation unveiled its master plan for East Village in 2009. More than $2.4 billion of planned investment has been attracted to the area, which will include the New Central Library, the National Music Centre and other developments.
• Two new residential condominium towers will welcome about 800 homeowners this year in East Village — the first big contingent of the master plan vision of eventually having 11,000 residents in the neighbourhood.
• CMLC said St. Patrick’s Island Park will open this summer after four years of planning and construction.
• In August, a food emporium will open in the Simmons Building.
• In the fall, RioCan will initiate construction on the urban-style shopping centre that will bring Loblaws and numerous other retailers to East Village.
“Our ambitions for 2015 – all of them fully achievable – are evidence of the momentum we’ve created here in East Village,” said Michael Brown, president and chief executive of CMLC. “In our early days, the East Village master plan was met with some scepticism; now, I think it’s safe to say that our approach has worked. The construction cranes in the neighbourhood tell a convincing story about our successful rejuvenation to this community and we are very proud of that.”
Brown said the rental project is rounding out the East Village product mix.
“We’ve had a number of multi-family buildings built over the last couple of years opening this year. Now it’s an opportunity for a rental product. That’s what the community is looking for,” said Brown.
“It’s not low-cost rental. This is basically hitting a nice market mix. It’s taking advantage of its location with Fort Calgary. Also within East Village.”
Brown said the St. Louis Hotel will more than likely end up being two floors of office space on the second and third floors with a restaurant on the main floor and a bar in the basement.
He said CMLC will own the Cecil Hotel in the next two months and another building on the block which used to be a beer store.
“We’ll go through a process to actually look at its future. More than likely we’re going to have to take down parts of the Cecil. It’s in pretty bad shape. But then we’ll look at how we can actually build out that site. We’re not looking at owning a parking lot. We’re looking to own a development corner,” he said.
Brown said 2015 will also be a time of reflection for CMLC and its future which could include other development areas in the city.