‘Transformational’ projects leading to revitalization of Calgary’s 16 Avenue

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‘Transformational’ projects leading to revitalization of 16 Avenue N. in Calgary
WATCH: It’s being called a transformational project expected to help revitalize 16 Avenue N. in Calgary. Work will get underway soon on a new Calgary Co-op and residential complex at the North Hill site. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports on why redevelopment of 16 Avenue has had such slow progress. – Oct 17, 2022

A large new development will get started at the North Hill Co-op location next year.

It’s a 60-year-old store filled with many long-time loyal customers but it’s soon to be replaced with a new Co-op and a large residential development.

“When we build the new one, it’s going to be night and day. We think it can revitalize not just the neighbourhood but 16 Avenue,” said Ken Keelor, Calgary Co-op CEO.

Read more: Residents of northwest Calgary ask for delay in council decision on North Hill Area Plan

The two-phase $100 million project is in partnership with local developer Royop Development Corporation.

Calgary Co-op originally planned to develop the project itself but decided to sell the property and lease it back through Royop to help pump cash into the project.

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The existing store will remain open until the new store is open. Construction is expected to start early 2023.

Read more: Calgary’s North Hill Communities Local Area Plan: How did we get here?

“We really hope this is going to breathe new life into 16 Ave.,” Keelor said. “It’s a very familiar supermarket to many and we think that this really pushes the transformation of 16 Ave. and that neighborhood. It’s so transformational.”

Royop said up to 180 rental units will be built.

“In this part of Calgary, there’s not a lot of formal purpose-built rental, so we are really looking to add apartment based amenity focused, purpose-built, professionally managed residential to this part of the city,” said Jacob Weber, senior vice-president of development at Royop.

“I think it’s going to be a huge benefit.”

Calgary Co-op purchased the land from the nearby credit union a few years ago which Keelor said was key to this development.

Weber says 16 Ave. has much potential but has been held back because of the small parcels of land available.

“A lot of the other land ownership along 16 Ave. is very stratified. There’s a lot of smaller parcels and it takes time but it will still happen,” Weber said. “I do believe that and the city has put in a lot of the regulatory environment to make it happen — so we will get there.

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“I think there is more potential. It’s a challenging area from a redevelopment perspective just because the land ownership is quite patchworked through there.

“One of the things that worked out really well for us in this opportunity with Co-op was that they owned a decent-sized site,” Weber added.

Read more: Midfield Heights land use design set to go before council this spring

A few blocks to the east, work continues on preparing Midfield Heights. The former mobile home park will also be a mix of retail and housing for up to 2,500 people.

Slope stability work is expected to be completed next month which will allow the regional pathway to re-open and a new intersection will be built on 16 Ave. that will be the main access point to Midfield Heights.

The location of the new signalized intersection will be at the current entrance to the Midfield Heights site.

The current earth works onsite will soon pause for the winter season and the city anticipates a continuation in the late spring of 2023.

A city spokesperson said it’s uncertain when people could move into Midfield Heights but it’s expected vertical construction of buildings to begin in 2025.


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