Calgary

Shape-shifting parkade announced for Calgary's East Village

The $80-million structure, announced by the city-owned Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, will initially provide 500 parking stalls across five levels on a desolate stretch of land sandwiched between Ninth Avenue and the CP rail tracks off Third Street S.E.

Structure will provide 500 parking stalls but is designed to be converted if car dependency dwindles

The newly announced parkade in Calgary's East Village is designed to become something else when, and if, car dependency dwindles. (Calgary Municipal Land Corporation)

When is a parkade not a parkade? Sometime in the future when autonomous vehicles take over, according to a new project planned for Calgary's East Village. 

The $80-million structure, announced by the city-owned Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, will initially provide 500 parking stalls across five levels on a desolate stretch of land sandwiched between Ninth Avenue and the CP tracks, off Third Street S.E.

Also housed in the modern-looking structure will be a creative space "for innovators" called Platform. It will partially occupy the first floor and the entirety of the second.

"The 9th Avenue Parkade is an innovation in the design of structure parking," said Shelley Trigg, the acting general manager of the Calgary Parking Authority, in a news release. 

"Our business model is changing rapidly and we need to be open and responsive as the demand for parking shifts."

The parking authority is a partner in the project. 

Conversion possible

The whole structure can be converted to a residential, commercial or mixed-use building if an anticipated reduction in driving brought on by increased autonomous vehicle use occurs, according to the CMLC.

The design includes increased ceiling heights and a central atrium space that will facilitate the changeover. 

"The 9th Avenue Parkade together with Platform is an example of the forward-thinking projects for which East Village is now synonymous," said Michael Brown, president and CEO of CMLC in a news release.

"The inclusion of Platform into the parkade design creates a home base for a concentration of smart, creative Calgarians living, working and creating in the community. This is exactly the type of energy we have imagined for East Village when we started the redevelopment program 10 years ago."

CMLC plans to break ground on the 250,000-square-foot project in 2019. 

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