City council decided no parking is no problem as it approved a proposed downtown condo tower Wednesday, one that will come without a parkade.
Located just east of the St. Louis Hotel building in the East Village, N3 would normally require about 100 stalls on-site. However, city council voted 13-0 to relax its rules and allow the project to go ahead with no underground parkade.
Several councillors said during the debate there's no better place in the city to try a project like this. It's expected to appeal to younger people who don't own cars.
The N3 site is one block away from the City Hall LRT station and downtown and Beltline attractions are a short walk away. Not having an underground parkade means the units will be priced $70,000 less than comparable ones in a building with parking.
Joe Starkman, with Knightsbridge Homes, said he was surprised council approved the 167 unit project unanimously, given that some councillors had expressed reservations earlier.
"Very pleased that council could see the vision and I think a lot of support goes to CMLC [Calgary Municipal Land Corporation] for creating what they've created in East Village and allowing the opportunity for a younger demographic to move into the community," said Starkman.
Construction could start in 2015
He said the units will be priced between $199,000 and $400,000. More than 600 people have expressed interest. With Wednesday's approval, deposits will soon be taken.
Once 70 per cent are sold, Knightsbridge would start construction — possibly before the end of 2015.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he was also surprised council backed the project, but he notes council is changing.
"This council has gone through an evolution, matching the evolution of the city since about 2008," said the mayor.
Nenshi points to council's commitment to the Municipal Development Plan that will lead to what he calls a new kind of city than what had been previously developed.
Besides a lower price for a downtown condo, N3 buyers will also find their units come furnished with a bicycle and free bike parking, as well as a $500 credit with car-sharing service Car2Go.