Exciting new community: University District

New homes in North West Calgary, New homes close to the University of Calgary, University District Calgary

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Exciting new community: University District

Vacant land to the west of the University of Calgary will soon be home to 6,000 new residential units.

Aptly named the “University District”, this 80-hectare high-density inner-city neighbourhood will feature innovative design, vibrant streetscapes and bold urban design.  The neighbourhood will be on the east side of Shaganappi Trail between 16 Ave NW and 32 Ave NW.

It will be a welcome new neighbour to University Heights, St. Andrew’s Heights and Varsity, 50 and 60 year old neighbourhoods mostly comprised of single family homes.  It will add another 15,000 to the population in the vicinity of the U of C.

Who's building it?

This new development from West Campus Development Trust (WCDT) is currently being scraped and graded with roadwork and utility installation to follow shortly thereafter.  It will provide housing options for employees and students of the U of C as well as the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the university research campus.  The location will connect with the Bow River Pathway system and will be an eagerly-sought after location for young professionals who want an urban lifestyle outside of the downtown core.

WCDT spokesman James Robertson told the Calgary Herald that one of the Trust’s goals is to build a neighbourhood that is enticing for Calgarians from every walk of life.

In addition to high-density residential development, The University District will include small scale retail, restaurants, coffee houses and neighbourhood pubs and theatres.  Recreational facilities are as close as the U of C, with the Olympic Oval, pool, Jack Simpson gymnasium and the outdoor rec centre.

The WCDT is an overseeing body created by the university in 1995 when the land was transferred from the Province to the university.  In 2010, land which was not needed for the building of more education buildings was repurposed for residential and commercial development and the University District concept was born.  Funds generated by the trust from the build out of this new neighbourhood will be put back into the University.

This new community is certainly exciting for Calgarians, but it will also enhance the perception of our city and the U of C on the international stage.  A lifestyle community full of energy just next door to the campus could be a key selling feature for potential faculty members, researchers from around the planet and future students.

When will it be ready?

The build-out of University District will be a 20-year process.  It’s hoped that the first 400 town home and condominium units will be ready for occupancy by 2018.  How quickly the build occurs is entirely dependent on current market conditions in Alberta.

The current plan will see street-level homes and condo towers from 12 to 26 storeys. Those buildings will enjoy excellent views of the Bow Valley and mountains to the west.

Commercial plans in the works for land immediately next door to the Children’s Hospital include office and corporate space which will be a buffer zone between the 24-hour activity of the hospital and nearby residents.

The neighbourhood will also have a main street area, with grocery stores, restaurants and cafes, entertainment area and perhaps daycare facilities.  As a nod to the 13 university chancellors at the U of C, 13 streets in the community will be named in their honour.

University District has been approved by the City of Calgary with no opposition presented during public hearings. 

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