Susan Veres is senior vice-president of strategy and business development for Calgary Municipal Land Corp. She spoke with Calgary’s Business about future plans for the Victoria Park neighbourhood near Stampede Park.
Calgary’s Business: Where are you at in the Victoria Park master vision?
Veres: Since January 2017, CMLC and our master planner (CIVITAS of Denver) have been working with a group of community leaders and stakeholders to draft a master plan vision for Victoria Park (east)/ Stampede Park. Thursday we announced that the draft urban plan is ready and so we are jumping off into four months of public engagement. We want to describe our early vision and collect feedback from every ward of the city on how Calgarians view this community.
CB: When do you expect to release your report?
Veres: By September we’ll have received input from Calgarians and will look to incorporate their ideas into the program. We expect to have a full vision compiled by December.
CB: What makes Victoria Park a key neighbourhood for future development?
Veres: Victoria Park is an inner-city neighbourhood of Calgary at a turning point in its history. While sporadic development here and there has helped the community to some degree, it hasn’t been enough to rejuvenate the community. Victoria Park represents a major opportunity for a major vision. For more than a century the area has been home to the renowned Calgary Stampede and for 36 years, the beloved Calgary Flames. It’s a community with entertainment in its DNA. A bold master plan vision for the community is required to convert the area into a 21st century cultural and entertainment district; a mixed-use, entertainment-rich, master planned community that is connected and celebrated. A community in which 8,000 new residents will one day live, work, play and gather.
CB: Will a new hockey arena be part of the Victoria Park vision?
Veres: For the community to achieve its aspiration of being a 21st century cultural and entertainment district, we believe that modernized amenities – arena facility and BMO Centre expansion – are important to attracting new and different forms of development and galvanizing the vision.
CB: Do you see CMLC doing work of a similar nature in other Calgary neighbourhoods going forward and if so which ones might be potentially on your radar?
Veres: Our mandate expanded in 2015 and that change meant that we are no longer restricted to working on Calgary’s east side downtown. We’re studying other opportunities. Of interest to us now is how we may infuse some of our thinking and place-making into Raddison Heights/Albert Park on a former school site known as David D. Oughton School. More to come on that.
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