Building Magazine


Despite Calgary’s ailing economy, East Village redevelopment still on track


With oil prices plummeting and the Canadian dollar dangling at a 13-year low, one could reasonably expect Calgary developers to slow right down on construction spending and put the brakes on project starts. “Instead, our developer partners in East Village are keeping the pedal to the metal on all their planned projects for 2016,” says Michael Brown, president and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).

According to Brown, construction will get underway on four major projects in the coming year, including two commercial developments and two multi-family residential towers:

  • RioCan’s Shops at East Village – an urban mixed use retail and residential development, 830,000 sq. ft., anchored by Loblaws City Market
  • Alt Hotel by Le Germain – developed by Groupe Germain Hotels and Homes by Avi – 155 rooms, 11 storeys
  • The Hat by Cidex Developments – a 28-storey residential tower with 221 rental apartments
  • FRAM+Slokker’s Verve (Phase 1) – a residential mixed-use project with 271 units

Meanwhile, construction will forge full steam ahead on Calgary’s New Central Library and on Studio Bell, Canada’s new National Music Centre, both located in East Village.

Collectively, these programs will inject $320 million of construction spending (resulting in an economic impact of $560 million) into the local economy while employing upwards of 1,600 tradespeople. Build-out time for the four new projects varies from 14 months to four years.

“As a result of all this new construction coming on-stream in the midst of other ongoing projects, the neighbourhood of East Village is about to experience its most intensive year of vertical construction to date,” Brown notes. “With that in mind, CMLC is undertaking a year-long communications program to keep Calgarians apprised of disruptions due to construction activity and well informed about the best routes into and out of the neighbourhood.”

“During times of economic slowdown, developers who have permitted projects in hand, are able to realize efficiencies in contract pricing and access to trades,” noted Hugo Germain, director of development of Groupe Germain Hotels, which will break ground later this spring on the 155-room, 11-storey Alt Hotel Calgary, co-developed by Groupe Germain Hotels & Homes by Avi.

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