Calgary seeking feedback on housing proposal at Franklin LRT station

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Calgary seeking feedback on housing proposal at Franklin LRT Station
The City of Calgary is hoping to hear from residents about a proposal to build more housing near LRT stations, with the first near Franklin Station in the city's southeast. Adam MacVicar reports. – May 8, 2024

The City of Calgary is seeking feedback on a proposal to build housing near an LRT station in the city’s southeast.

Developing city-owned land near LRT stations and bus rapid transit is one of the recommendations in the housing strategy approved by city council last year.

City officials have identified the park-and-ride lot on the south side of Franklin Station as a site suitable for transit oriented development.

“Franklin station is going to be the first of many, many parking lots surrounding our LRT stations that we move from a temporary home for cars to a permanent home for people and businesses,” said Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who represents the area around the station.

According to Carra, the station has parking lots on both sides of Memorial Drive, and the city selected the site on the south side partly due to its proximity to the communities of Albert Park and Raddison Heights.

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“It’ll be a huge enhancement to the neighbourhood,” Carra added.

Engagement on a concept plan for the site is underway, and officials held a pop-up event in the community Wednesday evening.

Four concept designs on the city’s website show up to three mixed-use buildings on the site, with different public realm improvements and options for bus stop locations.

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David Couroux, the planning lead for transit-oriented development with the City of Calgary, said the city is looking for feedback on the redesign of the surrounding area and Radcliffe Drive S.E.

“There’s the onsite redevelopment opportunity for housing, there’s the opportunity to enhance the transit facilities that are there as well,” he told Global News. “And we have the opportunity to invest in greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Radcliffe Drive, and to take a park that doesn’t really function well right now and make some investments there.”

It remains unclear how many units, both market and non-market, would be part of the proposal.

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Couroux said the city is still looking for a development partner to determine what can be built.

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“Once that partner is identified, we’ll start to speak to them about what the opportunities are for the site,” Couroux said. “We’ll better understand what housing we’ll be looking at.”

However, not everyone in the community is warm to the proposal.

Some who attended the community pop-up event told Global News they are concerned about potential spillover effects in the community due to the elimination of parking at the LRT station.

Others who live in the area, including Scott Brandon, like the idea of the proposal and more housing near the station.

“I think it’s a really great idea,” he said. “Maximize the use of space, let’s give people a great place to live.”

The first phase of the city’s public engagement will continue through to May 13, and Couroux said a response to the input will be released in June.

According to the city’s timeline, a concept plan and changes to zoning in the south lot would be ready to be heard by Calgary city council later this year.

However, the timeline provided by the city said construction and improvements to the public space wouldn’t get started until 2026.

Couroux added officials are evaluating sites, both city-owned and private, near LRT stations across the city for the potential of transit-oriented development.


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