The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is hoping to kick start its master plan by hooking up with a development agency owned by the City of Calgary.
The Stampede has signed an agreement with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) to help build out its properties and new projects, Global News learned Friday.
“It would actually be pieces that support not only the events but support the community,” Warren Connell, the CEO of the Calgary Stampede said.
“We are actually talking about the potential for residential being a part of Stampede Park, including retail, whether that’s restaurants, whether that’s shops, that’s all part of the vision, and that’s one of the reasons CMLC can help the Stampede.”
CMLC president and CEO Michael Brown said it’s taken a year to get to the point of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU), after realizing they have a ‘common vision’ for the east side of downtown.
“The Stampede runs a great park, great activities. What CMLC is really good at is the development side,” Brown said.
“So we’re going to work with the Stampede and some of their partners, saying, ‘how can we actually help them more quickly realize their master plan?’ Things like Stampede Trail, (along the Park’s north entrance) are there things we can do to move that along a little faster? The Ramsay Exchange, Erlton station, there’s all these opportunities within the east side of downtown that we’re going to be working with the Stampede on,” he added.
Brown said part of the master plan for Stampede is also an expansion of the BMO Centre—which he hopes would attract investment.
“Once we can confirm in terms of where that organization is going, in terms of the BMO Centre, I’m going to quickly start talking to hoteliers and talking to other developers, and say, ‘look at the investment the city is making into this property –this is a great opportunity for you.’ I think that’s the kind of thinking by us working together that we can get to.”
Brown said CMLC’s job is to look at the dollars and cents, schedules, and how to build a plan.
“Then we’ll present it to them and they’ll say, ‘this makes sense or it doesn’t make sense,’” he said. “At the end of the day, it is their land, it’s their community. But we think we can be a huge agent for change within that area.”
With files from Global’s Doug Vaessen and Gary Bobrovitz