There’s a lot to be said for living in a master planned community, especially a modern, urban one. Today, cities find inspiration around the globe, and they can’t leave growth to chance—there is too much tax revenue at stake.
The City of Calgary was the first city in Canada to borrow against such potential tax revenue. The result was the formation of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).
The CMLC’s first order of business was to transform the downtown east side, home to fewer than 3,000 people, and turn it into a vibrant mixed-use community for 12,000 residents.
They enlisted the help of global urban design firm Broadway Malyan, which took a year to produce a master plan for the revitalization of Calgary’s East Village.
The East Village Master Plan won the top award in the Urban Design Plans category of the 2012 National Urban Design Awards. It also won a national “Brownie” award 2011 from the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) for Best Overall Project – Large Scale.
Now complete, the four-kilometre RiverWalk system of pathways that links Chinatown to East Village, Inglewood, and Stampede Park was an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Urban Open Space Award finalist in 2012.
Paths and awards are lovely, but the $108 million spent on infrastructure in the East Village before this summer’s flooding included raising the entire neighbourhood above flood levels. Boy did that pay off.
The newest parts of East Village remained dry. The banks of the Bow River simply didn’t overflow. The flooding that did occur came through the back door from the Elbow River. Everything new held fast.
“The City of Calgary has special provisions for all our East Village condos,” explains Fred Serrafero, VP of development and construction for FRAM Building Group.
“All our condos have mechanical and electrical systems and back-up generators well above grade. All the grades are well above a 100-year storm event.”
FRAM, along with Slokker Real Estate Group (FRAM+Slokker) will be responsible for seven new buildings in East Village, the latest of which is Verve.
Verve is a 25-floor mixed-use condominium. The lower floors will be a combination of retail and office space.
The 195 residential units range in size from one bedroom to two bedrooms plus den units, as well as some unique live-work units featuring apartments above ground-floor shop fronts off The Riff.
The Riff is a pedestrian mews that connects a large portion of East Village diagonally.
Good master-planned communities are designed so you can walk to most things you need, including nature. You are less than a block west of Fort Calgary’s green space, the soon-to-be completed pedestrian bridge to St. Patrick’s Island, its park, and the Calgary Zoo, as well as the RiverWalk promenade and cycling pathway.
You are five minutes west of the C-Train, Bow Valley College, the soon-to-be-constructed Calgary Public Library, and the new 160,000-square-foot National Music Centre around the corner, offering live music seven days a week.
By 2017, RioCan should be finished a shopping centre two blocks away as well.
That’s the magic of infill. You get a brand new home in your vertical suburb, and all the infrastructure you could want outside your lobby door.
Aside from all the tangibles, the CMLC is working hard to make the East Village an increasingly vibrant community.
Well-organized and interesting events are put together weekly. The confluence of the Bow and Elbow is neighbour to an impressive confluence of food trucks, musical acts, and outdoor events in the EV’s community space. Have a look for upcoming events at www.evexperience.com.
Visit www.thenewcalgary.com for more information on the Calgary revitalization project.
Verve Condominiums at East Village
• 1 BR, 1+Den, 2 BR, 2+Den
• 10,000 sq. ft. of retail
• Large balconies
• Lots of storage
• Architects Giannone Petricone
• Interiors Cecconi Simone
• Party room with fireplace, lounge seating, kitchen and dining area, TVs
• Fitness room, hot tub/Jacuzzi, and yoga space
• Outdoor 6th-floor amenity area with lounge seating, barbecue, fire pit
• 25th-floor rooftop lookout terrace
• Parking available