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East Village, Calgary Renos Could Mean Big Opportunity

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By : Carlos Montes    99 or more times read
The East Village has long had a less than savoury reputation as the home of the homeless, drug dealers and prostitutes. This does not make it the first place that comes into one’s mind as a possible opportunity for real estate investment, but the master plan that the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) unveiled on September 16, 2009 could mean that this ravaged chunk of the city could see some new life.

Construction in the East Village has been going on for a few years now, with street realignment, wider pedestrian thoroughfares, and lighting installation. 12 blocks are currently under construction and more will undergo redevelopment in the future. However, CMLC’s plans for the area are even grander.

The master plan calls for six “character” areas, gateways at the 4th St. underpass and the northwest corner of the neighborhood, green space along the Bow River, including a riverside pathway, and a pedestrian walkway that runs right through the middle, from the intersection of 4th St. and 8th Ave. to the river. Commercial and residential developments are planned within this framework to create a revitalized live/work community and encourage Calgary’s up-and-coming residents to consider this place as home.

Other plans include work on St. Patrick’s Island with a new bridge and a swimming/skating pool, a new music centre design by the Cantos Music Foundation that will include the King Edward Hotel. There have been many concerns about how best to preserve the condemned heritage building, which were allayed when the Foundation moved in and started plans for revitalizing it. Now those plans are aligned with the CMLC’s bid to transform the entire neighborhood.

Hopes are high that the East Village will follow in the path of Eau Claire, once industrial land, now a thriving mix of condos, businesses, and the famous Eau Claire Market. The Market is home to unique shops and restaurants that draw people from all over Calgary as well as visitors to the city. If the East Village can capture the attention of consumers and businesspeople, chances are that its establishment as the newest live/work neighborhood in Calgary will be successful.

Time will definitely tell whether the latest attempt to reclaim the East Village will be successful. If it is, the people who invest in real estate first will be the winners. The CMLC plans to market the “new” East Village as “the newest oldest coolest warmest neighborhood”. If their plans succeed, the hope is that 11,500 people will call the East Village home by 2020.
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