They paved paradise, and put in a Platform Parkade
The Platform Parkade, a combination of parking lot, innovation centre and community space, is home to a number of tech startups
CALGARY -- A parking lot that wants to be more than a parking lot opened Wednesday in Calgary's East Village.
Located on 9th Avenue S.E., a block from the south end of the Calgary Library, the Platform Parkade threw open its architecturally-unique doors Wednesday, showcasing a facility that aims to combine traditional parking with an atrium, a community event space and an innovation hub.
The parkade features 503 parking stalls, six electric vehicle chargers, and 99 bicycle spots (60 reserved and 39 first -come, first-served).
The project was a collaborative effort between Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), Platform Calgary and the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA).
“CMLC is very proud to be marking the completion of this project today with our partners at CPA and Platform Calgary”, said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of CMLC. “Over the past two and a half years, it has been a collaborative effort to realize a vision that blends two very different uses into a dynamic facility that both serves community parking needs and creates a hub for Calgary’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem. The Platform Innovation Centre and Parkade is a symbol of the ongoing growth in Calgary’s east end.”
On the first two floors of the seven-storey structure, there's a 50,000 square foot innovation hub, where the hope is that great minds filled with dynamic ideas will cross paths with well-heeled wallets looking for an idea to bet on.
“The Platform Innovation Centre will bring together over 50 tech and innovation partners under one roof, providing a single point of access to resources, supports, programming and events for startups and entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey,” said Terry Rock, President and CEO of Platform Calgary. “Our collective focus is on making Calgary a global hub for startups and innovation. The East Village neighbourhood is a vibrant emerging innovation district – a natural fit for our vision.”
That's not all, either.
On the main floor, there's a publicly-accessible 'sport court', while the seventh floor roof will be available as a rental space for events once the pandemic is over.
“The East Village community is multi-faceted and dynamic, and so are the mobility needs of its residents and guests,” said Moe Houssaini, acting general manager of CPA. “Platform Parkade was designed, developed, and built to integrate into and evolve with the neighbourhood and those who love it.”
The striking building, which looks like something straight out of Blade Runner 2049, features a unique design by Kasian and 5468796 Architecture that includes high ceilings in the parkade, an atrium that incorporates heaps of natural light and an ability to convert the space, if need be, into residential and/or commercial space.
“Today’s opening demonstrates the impact partnership and collaboration have in building a better future for our city,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It marks a tremendous milestone for CMLC and the continued revitalization in East Village, along with Calgary Parking Authority and the reimagination of what parking structures can be in the 21st century. It also brings us one day closer to the opening of Platform Innovation Centre, a place where all startups, entrepreneurs and their ideas are welcome, building on the momentum we are seeing in Calgary's innovation ecosystem."
Work continues on the innovation hub, which is expected to open in the fall.