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New LRT infill could anchor proposed ‘Midtown Station’ development in Calgary

Click to play video 'Proposed development in Fairview generating discussion amongst residents' Proposed development in Fairview generating discussion amongst residents
A proposed new development in the community of Fairview is envisioned as a urban village of sort. Sarah Offin has details.

A development proposal for the Southeast Calgary community of Fairview is getting some attention.

It’s a massive overhaul for a 30-acre slot of land, currently cut off from the rest of the community by the LRT line.

Midtown Station would take over what is now known as Fisher Park, a commercial warehouse and retail space that was developed in the late 1960s.

“This will be a transformational project. It’s very significant in terms of the total square footage and the magnitude of the development,” said Steve Shawcross, director of urban planning for IBI Group in Calgary, the consultants for the project.

“We see it as a key to transforming the area and the Macleod Trail corridor, in particular.”

The plans include 24 buildings ranging from one storey to 42 storeys. It’s a mix of high-rise residential units, townhouses, retail and commercial space, with a 2,400-square-foot community recreation centre, also as part of the design.

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The planned area for the Midtown Station development.
The planned area for the Midtown Station development. IBI Group
24 buildings ranging from 1 storey to 42 storeys would make up the proposed Midtown Station development.
24 buildings ranging from 1 storey to 42 storeys would make up the proposed Midtown Station development. IBI Group
Midtown Station would be built in phases, taking approximately 25 years to complete.
Midtown Station would be built in phases, taking approximately 25 years to complete. IBI Group
The Midtown Station development would include a water feature and .
The Midtown Station development would include a water feature and . IBI Group
Developers are detailing plans for nearly 6,000 new residential units, 181,000 square feet of retail space and 223,000 square feet of office area as part of the new Midtown Station development.
Developers are detailing plans for nearly 6,000 new residential units, 181,000 square feet of retail space and 223,000 square feet of office area as part of the new Midtown Station development. IBI Group
Some of the proposed buildings on the site could be as high as 42-storeys.
Some of the proposed buildings on the site could be as high as 42-storeys. IBI Group

A focal point in the plans is the creation of what would be a new Midtown Station LRT stop, an infill station between the existing Chinook and Heritage stations.

The station, which in itself comes with a $50-million price tag, would be paid for by the developer. But area Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra also points out the need for an additional train if the station is built.”

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“It’s another $50 million to add another train to the line. Because if you don’t want to blow your current schedule, you’ve got to add another piece of rolling stock.”

Community engagement is in the early stages. If the project gets the go-ahead from city hall, construction could begin as early as 2023. It would be built in stages, taking about 25 years to complete.

“I know they’re doing transportation studies. They’re doing all kinds of other studies, because of course, when you dump a large number of people into a concentrated area, there are downstream effects,” Carra said.

“The argument is, if we’ve already providing transit there, it’s probably a good idea to realize some tax base along that line that we invested in back in the 1980s.”