Another big chunk of Calgary's East Village is going to be redeveloped.
An Ontario company announced plans to build $300 million worth of new retail and residential space in the east end of downtown on Thursday.
Construction on the FRAM Building Group and Slokker Real Estate Group project, which will include 800 new one and two-bedroom units on a four-parcel area along the river's edge near Fort Calgary, is due to start next year.
Frank Giannone, president of FRAM, said the work done by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation to prepare the area for development was a key part of their decision to buy in.
"It's quite easy to look at this property now and … ask the question whether this really was a blighted site," said Giannone.
"What they've done with the roads, what they've done with the sidewalks, the trees, the bicycle standards, the benches that are already in place, there's no doubt that there will be quality development coming in here."
The CMLC, an independent development company the city created to help revitalize the East Village, has spent millions of dollars putting in new roads, sewer and water lines, and streetlights to prepare the area for redevelopment.
Giannone said the now mostly-empty area would become an urban village, "a pedestrian neighbourhood, a place where people can live, work and play without necessarily needing their car to get to work."
Mayor Naheed Nenshi called the announcement "huge."
"They are going to be a jewel for this city," said Nenshi. "The announcement today means that we're really very serious about moving forward with the East Village, and the mechanisms put in place by the previous council to make sure these developments happen are working."
Last fall, a developer announced a $300-million retail and condo project in the East Village.
With the earlier announcement, more than half of the land in the East Village is now spoken for, and a major hotel project is expected to be unveiled in a few weeks.