Major Calgary Chinatown development project gets the go-ahead from the city

Click to play video: 'More on the new Chinatown development in downtown Calgary'
More on the new Chinatown development in downtown Calgary
Hive Development's Lourdes Juan joins Global News Morning Calgary's Doug Vaessen to talk about the new three-building development that was recently approved for Chinatown – Nov 20, 2018

A major project in Calgary’s Chinatown has received the go-ahead from Calgary city council.

El Condor Lands Inc. has received the necessary permits to build a three-tower project at 1st Street S.W. between 2nd and 3rd Avenue S.W.

The project’s architecture includes Asian and Chinese motifs with the aim to make the development fit in with the surrounding community, said Lourdes Juan, a director with Hive Developments.

“When you look at Chinatowns across North America, they do have that small, less than 1,000 square feet Mom and Pop shop feel, and there’s going to be that in the development,” she said.

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Lourdes adds that the aim was to give the community more of a “complete feel,” rather than a place you visit then leave.

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Community groups have been vocal in the past about development proposals in the area, but local Councillor Druh Farrell said the project had to be approved by the end of the year or Chinatown would risk losing new development it needs.

“It has residential, it has hotels, it has an office and it has a base retail, neighbourhood scale retail. But it also has a mews that travels through the central part of the site that is lined with small-scale retail,” she said.

Farrell added that the project is needed in the area, as the neighbourhood is still recovering from the 2013 flood.  She said the development will provide a good mix of retail and housing for the area and provides “those neighbourhood scale retail spaces that we have come to know and love in Chinatown.”

The $350 million investment doesn’t have a firm construction start date yet, but Juan said they’re aiming for 2020 to get going.

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