Currie Barracks updated, denser redevelopment plan unveiled

Currie Barracks could soon look quite different to people passing by on Crowchild Trail.

Canada Lands Company originally envisioned 7K people living there, now they want 11K

Currie Barracks redevelopment plans are being redrawn to be much more dense. 2:17

Currie Barracks redevelopment plans are being redrawn to be much more dense. 

The federal agency overseeing the redevelopment of the former military base originally planned for 7,000 people to live in the mixed-use community.

Now the Canada Lands Company (CLC) envisions that 11,000 people will call the area home.

CLC's Doug Cassidy says it's a recognition the City of Calgary wants to boost densities and that inner-city land is highly valued. 

CLC will ask the city later this year to approve rezoning for the area. 

“We've looked at increasing the density within the community from about 3,200 units to about 5,600 units, and with that have looked to really amplify the amount of open space and park space within the community to really support a wonderful liveable, walkable community," said Cassidy.

Increased density 

Currie Barracks could soon look quite different to people passing by on Crowchild Trail.

Historic military buildings will stay, but Currie Barracks will transform into a high-density mixed-use community.

A rendering of what Currie Barracks' Flanders Avenue could look like. The first multi-family units and retail outlets could be built by 2017. (Canada Land Company)

“What has happened is that we're able to infuse more and different uses in a more concentrated form of development that allows people to stay off the highways in Calgary — live, work, learn, play exactly where they might be,” said Rob Robinson, who is with the design firm working with CLC.

The area's city councillor, Brian Pincott, says he likes the new plan.

“The whole high-street concept, I think, is going to be a great addition too, not only for that development but for the area. when you look right across the street, you've got Mount Royal right across the street.”

Canada Lands wants to build a new interchange on Flanders Ave., crossing over Crowchild Trail.

The project is estimated to cost $28 million. Because the city doesn't have the funds to start the project soon, CLC will design and build the new interchange on its own. It will put up the first $20 million for the project and the city will repay later. 

The interchange will open in 2017, about the same time as the first multi-family units and retail parts of the redevelopment enter use. 

Project concerns 

Marc Doll is the president of the Marda Loop Community Association and sits on the project's advisory board.

Right now about 7,000 people live in Currie Barracks. The Canada Land Company is planning for the area to have 11,000 people living there within the next five to 10 years. (Canada Land Company)

He has some reservations about the project, including the impact on traffic on Crowchild Trail and nearby roads.

Doll says the plan should include a dog park.

"We have one off-leash in the area that is over used already and it's a destination dog park that people come from all over the city go to. Now we throw another 11,000 people plus the extra density that happening naturally inside of in the Marda Loop area and there is going to be some issues with overuse of that park."

With files from Scott Dippel/CBC


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