Calgary

Pair of 28-storey towers and a hotel proposed for Chinatown parking lot

A proposed development in Calgary's Chinatown is facing resistance from the head of the community's business sector.

'We're in favour of development but it's got to fit the character, the size and the ambience of what we want'

The proposed development on First Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue S.W. includes a pair of 28-storey residential towers and a 12-storey hotel. (Hive Developments)

A proposed development in Calgary's Chinatown is facing resistance from the head of the community's business sector.

The proposed development includes two public plazas, street level retail stores and a pair of 28-storey residential towers, all of which have been built with an eye toward incorporating the project into the community, said Lourdes Juan, a consultant with Hive Developments.

"We don't want this to be a foreign object, we want it to integrate and compliment Chinatown really well," Juan said in an interview with CBC News Saturday.

The proposed development would replace this surface parking lot. (Google Earth)

A revised version of the project was presented Saturday at an open house held at the Chinese Cultural Centre.

The proposed development would take place on First Street S.W., between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. It would replace a large parking lot.

It's a do-over of the design first put forward in 2016.

Juan says the proposal now includes more public amenities, a pedestrian pathway and a 12-storey hotel.

But Terry Wong with the Chinatown District Business Improvement Area still wasn't convinced it's the right fit for the community.

"Having a 150-room hotel, while it may benefit the city, it doesn't necessarily benefit the residents because they don't participate in the hotel," Wong said.

Consultant Lourdes Juan talks about a proposed new development for Chinatown in Calgary. (CBC)

Concerns about project

Among other concerns are the height of the project and the loss of parking in the area, although Wong added that his organization would be in favour of the right sized project.

"We're in favour of development but it's got to fit the character, the size and the ambience of what we want," he said. 

Juan says they're open to all forms of feedback. 

"We're hoping this garners a bit more support," she said.

The permit will go before the Calgary planning commission in September and then city council in December.

Terry Wong, executive director of the Chinatown District Business Improvement Area, says he still has concerns about the project. (CBC)

With files from Anis Heydari, Terri Trembath