Calgary’s Red Cross building to be renovated for downtown revitalization project

Another Calgary building will be renovated as part of the city's downtown revitalization project. Global News

Another Calgary building will be renovated as part of the city’s downtown revitalization project.

The Red Cross building, located at 737 13 Avenue S.W. in the Beltline area, will be renovated with support from the Alberta government. The government initially built the building in 1978, and the most recent tenant, Canadian Blood Services, moved out in 2020.

The renovation process will begin in early 2023 and take about six months, according to a news release on Thursday.

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“This project is part of Alberta Infrastructure’s goal to effectively use existing spaces, revamping these buildings and getting them in the best shape to serve Albertans for many years to come,” Infrastructure Minister Nicolas Miliken said in a statement.

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“We’re glad to fulfill our government’s commitment to revitalizing downtown Calgary while making the best use of tax dollars.”

The project will fulfill an Alberta government mandate as part of the Calgary Office Revitalization and Expansion (CORE) working group to attract foot traffic and enhance the downtown experience.

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“Calgary is one of the best cities in the world to live, raise a family, and grow a business. These kinds of initiatives are key to boosting our local economy, as they offer clean, modern spaces that will keep business in downtown Calgary and offer new opportunities for expansion in the years to come,” said Deborah Yedlin, Calgary Chamber of Commerce’s president and chief executive officer.

In a statement, municipal affairs critic Joe Ceci said the renovations fails to properly revitalize downtown Calgary.

“Despite high energy prices, Calgary’s downtown continues to struggle with near record-high vacancy rates and rising concerns about public safety,” Ceci said.

“The renovation of one government building by the UCP falls well short of what’s required to revitalize downtown Calgary.”

770 CHQR reached out to Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s office with a request for comment.

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