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New plan for northwest shopping centre sparks worry

People living near the Stadium Shopping Centre in northwest Calgary are worried about the future of their community as the city looks at a major redevelopment of the area.

City working on redevelopment to bring higher density, more focus on transit

The city is consulting residents about a plan to redevelop the Stadium Shopping Centre to bring higher density to the area. (City of Calgary )

People living near the Stadium Shopping Centre in northwest Calgary are worried about the future of their community as the city looks at a major redevelopment of the area.

Preliminary plans call for replacing the 1960s-era plaza with a multi-story facility that could include retail, offices, medical facilities and even a hotel.

Residents got a chance to voice their concerns at a public consultation on Thursday night.

Peter Khu, president of the University Heights Community Association, said locals support some of the ideas, but are alarmed about the scale of the project.

"The amount of density that's being proposed is just far too much. We're looking at 800,000 square feet on a land parcel that's 2.46 hectares," he said.

"So it's like 83 per cent of Market Mall on one-sixth the size."

The community is also concerned about traffic congestion and losing green space, Khu said.

But according to City of Calgary community planner Thomas Mahler, the goal of the redevelopment is to allow people to leave their cars at home.

"Bicycle, pedestrians, a lot of traffic in this area is non-vehicle related as well as the local traffic. Students and employees at Foothills Medical Centre already walk significantly to the site," he said.

The shopping centre is on the primary transit network and is close to major institutions like the Foothills Medical Centre and the University of Calgary, which makes it a great location to redevelop with a mix of land uses … a higher density, and a greater focus on transit," the city’s website says.

The city is hoping to have the preliminary plan fleshed out by late spring.