Big development dreams for downtown Calgary
The city is planning to extend the pedestrian-friendly Stephen Avenue Walk, but there is no timeline on when work could possibly begin.
Published Tuesday, January 12, 2016 5:17AM MST
Calgary city council has made a big list of development projects they say will dramatically transform the core over the next few decades.
Ten projects are in the works to give the core a big makeover, with the first being a plan to revitalize Olympic Plaza, what the city sees as Calgary’s cultural heart.
The city is also planning to extend Stephen Avenue Walk, which has been a popular pedestrian and business zone since the 1970s.
Planners are looking to extend the area from 3 Street S.W. all the way to Mewata Armoury at 11 Street S.W. and on the east side of City Hall all the way to Fort Calgary.
“It would make East Village much more connected to the downtown,” said Maggie Schofield with the Calgary Downtown Association. “Many people that will live in East Village will work in downtown.”
Colin Logiss, who owns Twigs on 8 Avenue, says business in the area has its ups and downs, but would definitely benefit from the city’s plan.
“The disadvantage is the weather. When it’s cold, everyone is in the plus 15s,” he said.
Another idea brought forwards at council would turn Macleod Trail in front of City Hall into a ‘ceremonial boulevard’, from the Elbow River to the Bow River.
“We have some opportunities with some great sites to encourage development. Of course, the market is really soft right now so whether or not we can forward with this, that’s up for discussion,” said Ward 7 councillor Druh Farrell.
Developers say they have guidelines in place, but nothing is set in stone. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for the people who walk there every day.
“In terms of urban exploration, that could really open things up for a lot of new businesses, like restaurants, pubs, music festivals even,” said Casey McMechan.
There is no timeline in place on when it would be possible to extend Stephen Avenue Walk or move forward with the other projects.