The man behind a major construction company that has big plans for Calgary’s Red Mile shared a bit of his vision for the area on Thursday.

Frank Lonardelli, founder and CEO of Arlington Street Developments, says he wants to add a number of condo units and retail stores in a building called ‘The Fifth’.

Located at the corner of 17 Avenue and 5 Street S.W., the building will have 48 condos ranging in price from $250,000 to about $600,000 and retail all along on the ground level.

Lonardelli says it will change the look of the avenue.

“It’s the first mixed-use retail residential condo on 17 Avenue corridor in history. We think it’s going to be the first of several development projects we have that all interact and play with each other.”

Arlington has bought up over 40 properties along the Red Mile to achieve that vision, something that will see the end of a number of small businesses to make way for multi-storey condos, stores and even art galleries.

Lonardelli says that it’s all part of the plan to change how people see 17 Avenue.

“We would like to see more things than just food and beverage.”

Tahir Khan, the owner of Philosofy Cafe on 17 Avenue, welcomes the idea of more residential development along the route.

“I think the residential development would definitely be beneficial to the businesses on 17 Avenue. The more people that live on the avenue, the more traffic and the more business we will get.”

He also doesn’t mind the modern look that the new development will bring to the area.

“We definitely need to keep our heritage but you can’t help to modernize with time. While keeping our heritage in the heritage buildings and building something that’s more contemporary so a mixture of old and new would be good for the avenue.”

The Calgary Heritage Initiative says it is keeping a close eye on the development along 17 Avenue and doesn’t want to sacrifice the character of the Red Mile.

The city is continuing to upgrade infrastructure along 17 Avenue and that work will continue until mid-November.

(With files from Shaun Frenette)