Sunday, October 13, 2013

Retail is coming to East Village

Since the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation took over East Village back in 2009, there has been much excitement about what the neighbourhood will be transformed into. With the initial residential projects already underway, it was a matter of time until retail hits the community.

On July 17, 2013 - a day to remember - CMLC hosted a great party in the Simmons Building and Riverwalk Plaza where it announced the first retail businesses to arrive to the rejuvenating community, as well as what the future will hold for two landmarks in the neighbourhood; the Simmons Building and the block where Calgary Police Association club now stands.

Residents and visitors of the neighbourhood will be able to enjoy two different types of retail services; Urban Format - bigger scale services
                Market Format - smaller scale services (boutiques for example...)

The century-old Simmons Building will become a culinary hub, with three local businesses making a truly unique experience "by locals, with locals, for everyone" - as said by Connie DeSousa, Charcut.

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery
# Sidewalk Citizen Bakery - for everyone who adores baked goods


# Charbar (a branch of Charcut) - for those who enjoy the delicacies

Phil and Sebastian

# Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters - for all quality-coffee lovers

Although the building had stood up quite well in the last 100 years, some major infrastructure adjustments will have to be made. But with fixing the building up, there comes an opportunity to modernize it, like say... adding roof terraces? That is definitely in the plans, so hold your breath. The "new" Simmons Building is expected to open for business in Spring 2015, right along the opening of the first residential complex by Embasy Bosa (Evolution of course). CMLC will retain ownership over the building.

Tenants of the Simmons building along with:
Michael Brown (CMLC),  Ald. Druh Farrell and Stuart Craig (RioCan)

Another significant project will be brought to East Village by RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust; in April 2013, the company completed their purchase of the "Gateway Block" which was previously owned by the Calgary Police Association. Located between 5th & 6th avenues and 3rd & 4th streets SE, this 350,000 sq.ft. parcel of land is indeed a gateway into the neighbourhood - connecting Downtown and East Village. This land will be transformed into a shopping centre, which will include dining, retail and office components.

It has taken CMLC two years to conclude the first step in retail services for East Village, which made this past Wednesday a real Milestone.  East Village will become a "Live, Work, Play, Shop and Eat Experience", according to Ald. Druh Farrell with anticipation and excitement reaching new heights.
Again and again East Village, with the devoted support of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, is proving itself to be truly the "Newest Oldest Coolest Warmest" neigbourhood in the City of Calgary.

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