Several high rises, including condos and possibly a hotel, will be built as part of long-awaited redevelopment of Eau Claire. 

Calgary city council approved the plan on Monday, which will transform the market that never quite lived up to its promise. 

Harvard Developments will include a grocery store in the project, but a proposed office tower is no longer in the mix. For now. 

"Their thought is that the office, given the economy, the office building — which was the controversial thing — will be delayed for a while and in return for getting a grocery store, there will be some surface parking there for a period of a maximum of 10 years and council thought that was a very good trade-off to get that amenity," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Eau Claire development

The way has been cleared for the long-awaited redevelopment of the Eau Claire market. City council has approved a plan that will see several high-rises on the site, including condos and possibly a new hotel. (Harvard Developments Inc.)

The existing market was built with the hope that it would breathe new life into a rough and tumble corner of Calgary's core that once housed bus barns, parking lots and empty spaces. While the area did improve, the market never really took off.

'A real jewel'

Nenshi said he's excited about the possibilities of a new development in the area. 

"It will bring amenities like a grocery store to the heart of downtown Calgary, it will bring a state of the art movie theatre to downtown Calgary," he said.

"We're one of the few downtown cores that does not have that, so if we actually get built what is being promised, I think that will be a real jewel for the city right on the banks of the Bow River."

As part of the approval, city council removed the heritage designation of the Eau Claire smokestack, a relic from the area's industrial past. That designation, however, will be reinstated once the developers move the stack a few metres from its current location. 

With files from Scott Dippel