Calgary

Community prepares for sale of CBC Calgary building, and what comes next

The Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association is collecting feedback from residents about the future of the CBC Calgary site after the building was put up for sale this fall, leaving almost a hectare open for redevelopment.

Departure of CBC opens nearly a hectare of land for redevelopment along Memorial Drive

Hans Verwijs said he'd like to see a building no taller than six storeys on the old CBC Calgary site if it's redeveloped. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

The Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association is collecting feedback from residents about the future of the CBC Calgary site after the building was put up for sale this fall, leaving almost a hectare open for redevelopment.

It hosted an open house on Tuesday night. 

"We wanted to start the process early in getting feedback from the community and get engagement as early as possible in the process with the city," said the association's executive director Quentin Sinclair.

He said the association isn't taking a stance on what it wants to see on the site at this point as it gathers resident feedback, but he did say they'll work to ensure it fits within the established area redevelopment plan. 

Concerns over density

Residents on hand on Tuesday expressed concern over potential high-density development, pointing to the nearby Kensington Legion building that will be eight storeys. 

Traffic, blocking of the sun and noise were all cited as major concerns if that were to take place.

Hans Verwijs lives just east of the building on Westmount Blvd. and said he hopes to see a mixed-use development that's no more than six storeys. 

"You know, I've studied architecture and one of the principles that seem to work in Europe very well is that these shorter buildings of up to six floors, they work well in terms of integrating people into the neighbourhood," he said. 

"It's an effect you do not see in tall highrises. So the current building that you see going in the Legion, to my view, is too tall and out of character."

No buyer, no plans

The current zoning of the site allows for office space as well as radio and television studio or single and semi-detached houses, but the association wants to be prepared if there are applications to change the zoning for higher-density development. 

There is no buyer or redevelopment plans in place at this time.

Roger Macleod, who lives on nearby Broadview Road, doesn't really want to see anything change. 

"I'd like to see you guys stay there for another 20 years. Move back in. Just the way it is right now," he told a CBC reporter. 

The community association plans to post the information it gathers to its online portals and will share the information it gathers with stakeholders in the process.

With files from Justin Pennell

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