Grand opening of southwest Calgary's Alpine Park neighbourhood promises large economic boost
Newly minted Ward 13 Councillor Dan McLean says the grand opening of Alpine Park, located in Calgary’s deep southwest will provide a greater selection for thousands of home buyers and spark an economic boost for the area.
“You can hop on the new southwest ring road and be anywhere, you’ve got Shawnessy shopping centre close by, over in Legacy there’s a new development and a big large mall, as well as a rec centre being developed in Pine Creek, so everything is right here,“ McLean said.
“The developers are paying for the infrastructure for these communities to be built so the more residents, the larger we have the tax base and it’s good for our economy.”
The new $2.5 billion greenfield development is promising to create 1,700 direct and indirect jobs per year, for a total of more than 20,000 new jobs over a 15-year lifespan of the project.
Toronto-based developer, Dream Unlimited, revealed the first seven of 13 show homes in Alpine Park on Saturday. The 646-acre mixed-use area was designed in partnership with San Francisco-based urban planner Peter Calthorpe.
General manager of Dream Calgary’s land division Tara Steell says 4,500 homes aim to be built in the area over the course of the next 10 to 15 years.
She adds that Alpine Park will be home to 12,000 new residents in the build out and a projected 4,000 jobs throughout the commercial, retail, and industrial areas integrated in the neighbourhood.
“We also intend to have a new village centre that was recently approved by city council and looking to develop that in the years to come,” Steell said.
“The great thing about this community as well is that it’s much closer to the city, you can make it downtown in 20 minutes and you can be in Kananaskis in 30 minutes so it’s a great opportunity for not only the urban centre and beyond.”
Alpine Park also has city council approval to build a naturalized stormwater wetland and a proposed sports and wellness campus.
CONCERNS OVER SUBURBAN SPRAWL
Ward 13 stretches all the way from the neighbourhoods of Woodbine to Silverado and covers several developing communities, but it also includes eight undeveloped communities.
Calgary’s outgoing council approved 14 new suburban communities citywide in 2018 before rejecting an additional 11 developments last year, but the issue will be back at council in 2022.
This expansion has been concerning for the Calgary Fire Department that has said the suburban sprawl will increase response times for emergencies and that the pace of growth is outpacing the city services currently available.
"What we're finding is that as the city is getting bigger, the fire department has been stretching thinner and thinner," said Matt Osborne, a spokesperson for the Calgary Firefighters' Association.
"Firefighters aren't against development, all we're asking for is just to have the tools to do our job."