MainStreet Program

Page 1

Main Streets - Research Project

Commissioned by: Harvey Russell, CBRE Chris Dobbin, The Dobbin Group Prepared by: Jennifer Dobbin



The Study

About the Main Streets Program................................. 3

This study was commissioned to research the City of Calgary Main Streets program in the following areas: 4th Street SW; 14 Street SW & 33 Avenue SW; 17th Avenue SW; 37th Street SW; 50th Avenue SW; Kensington Road NW; and Richmond Road SW.

Summary Insights......................................................... 4 Target Areas Map........................................................... 5 4th Street SW................................................................... 6

Each corridor within the program includes several Community Associations (CA) which have been identified on the corridor maps. Wherever possible contact with the CA was made at the open houses to request information on the appetite for development in the corridor and nearby areas.

14th Street SW................................................................. 8 17th Avenue SW............................................................ 10 33rd Avenue SW (Marda Loop).................................. 12 Kensington Road NW ................................................ 13

The study seeks to identify areas that will be accepting of re-development in the form of multi-family residential and/or mixed use residential & commercial developments ahead of blanket city-initiated rezoning for the identified areas.

37th Street SW............................................................... 14 Richmond Road SW................................................... 16

Further, the study seeks to identify additional development areas adjacent to the ARP and Main Streets corridors that will be likely to accept density intensification arguments based on proximity to the Main Streets corridors and/or TOD areas.

Networking Beyond the research aspects of the study, a significant aspect of this study was to make in-roads with City officials and, where available, Community Association volunteers in the targeted areas to begin to understand the Community appetites and concerns surrounding re-development that would impact re-development applications within the area.


About the Main Streets Program Boundaries and Built-forms

Initially this program was known as the City of Calgary Corridors Project, however at start-up of the engagement process the name was changed to the Main Streets Program under the nextCITY program and outcome of the Municipal Development Plan to explore growth and development management across the City.

The Main Streets corridor boundaries extend 1.5, sometimes 2 blocks on either side of each corridor. The intention is to create a ‘transitional’ change from 6-8 storey buildings that face the primary corridor, backed by 4 storey buildings to transition down to residential. In some areas (such as 17th Avenue, this transitional area should not be overlooked as it presents new opportunities.

Currently still in the engagement process, this program seeks to complete community engagement on targeted corridors in established and inner-city communities in all quadrants of Calgary. Over three years, the engagement will result in high-level policy change and city-initiated re-zonings that will change the zoning along many of the corridors. It is anticipated that where these new zones conflict with existing Area Redevelopment Plans (ARPs), that the City will override the zoning and ‘remove’ the corridor from the ARP boundaries.

Tran s


The report on the engagement will go to Council in September. In that report will be a recommendation as to which Main Streets should targeted for City-initiated rezoning (10 to 15 of them). Thereafter the process for how to re-zone will be created and then the funding to do all that work and amend all the ARPs will have to be budgeted (est. re-zonings in late 2017 or 2018). However, the identification of the targeted areas and understanding that City-initiated re-zonings may be coming in those areas has already made an impact on Planning & Development considerations for developments, presenting the opportunity to ‘get ahead of the curve’ and purchase in these corridors for re-development.

to R e



Where Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policies are in place heights will be higher closer to CTrain stations and reduced in a circular pattern around the station.


Summary Insights Although all of the areas identified in the Main Streets program are being assessed by the City of Calgary for intensification, many areas won’t be subject to Cityinitiated re-zonings. The areas to be targeted for the rezoning outcome will be identified to Council in a report due in September 2016 (10-15 in total).

costs are higher. An example of this developable area is immediately south of Westbrook Mall in the 37th Street SW corridor that is currently entirely residential. Having recently created an ARP for the shopping area, this CA can draw upon this recent ARP experience to review and approve re-development on the 37th Street corridor.

The process for implementing the new City zoning policies for the areas will trigger changes to many Area Re-development Plans (ARPs). In some areas those ARP’s are quite old, in others they are fairly new. Newer ARPs will be ‘honored’ in most cases (i.e. the Hillhurst/ Sunnyside ARP TOD areas has not been included in the study and won’t be overridden with any rezoning outcomes of the Program.

Program Acceleration

Many levels of policy and governance impact the zoning of any piece of land. The Main Streets program will add another layer, in some cases overriding the older ARPs. In situations where additional City considerations for intensification can impact the outcome of re-zoning attempts, such as Transit Oriented Development areas (TODs) within 600m of a LRT stop, those zones are also noted as having the potential to override the ARP guidelines designed before TOD guides were created. Currently TOD policies guide City policy and development decisions in these areas.

All of these corridors are on the Primary Transit Network backbone and Transportation supports the intensification of these areas with plans for increased transit support as the population in these corridors grows. However, this also presents an interesting opportunity. It is possible that the newly elected NDP government may increase transportation funding to Cities in the Province. If this occurs, the Main Streets identified for intensification may be accelerated for re-development shortening the time line and providing funding for the re-zoning and ARP amendment work needed for the completion of the Main Streets program.

MDP TOD Main Streets

Levy Considerations Most of these areas do not currently have a Developer’s levy in place. The Hillhurst/Sunnyside area does, and a new levy is being contemplated for presentation to Council in June. Should that program be expanded to all inner-city corridors (possibly through the re-zonings), then the appetite for development may be bolstered by the cash contributions to CA targeted projects.

ARP Re-Zoning Process Re-Zoning Outcome

Hot Areas Outside of this Study Discussions with City officials have noted that the areas of Bridgeland and Montgomery are both highly engaged and supportive of development in their areas.

In many cases the existing ARPs were created before the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) was created to manage growth. The MDP overrides those ARPs as well. With all of these policies in place, it can be arduous to understand how/when the City will support significant re-development in an area. Generally though, the City has recognized the need for significant policy change to achieve greater inner-city and established area redevelopment for increased density.

Additionally, the creation of the Greenline connecting the North and South East of Calgary (be it by BRT or CTrain) will create many more TOD areas at major transit nodes and subsequent intensification around those nodes, it is possible that new corridors will naturally occur in those areas. Savvy Developers will be considering these long-term impacts when developing in the areas around the Greenline.

The best locations for re-development are those located in single-family residential areas that are under consideration for conversion to mixed-use development with retail and commercial uses on the main and second floors. The potential to maximize profits on these rezonings is higher than where re-development is attempted in partially or wholly under-developed areas as land 4

Target Areas Map Generally the closer-in to the downtown area the more receptive to development the CAs area. However, as each of the Main Streets corridors encompass multiple Communities, some areas are difficult to uniformly assess. Where redevelopment is new, for example, in Marda Loop, recent exchanges with Developers have left the area ‘smarting’ over re-development. Good development, engagement and negotiation can overcome these attitudes however it makes the re-zoning process longer until trust is built-up. Areas that have experienced sustained, intense re-development, such as 17th Avenue SW are generally more supportive of re-development that is done well.

Once the City formally identifies the specific Main Streets corridors that it will target for re-zoning, we will have a clearer idea of City support for density in some areas. In the meantime, the overall affect of the originally identified corridors has been to increase Community engagement and understanding of planning policies as well as to introduce the idea of significant growth into some areas.

The “hottest” areas identified by this study offer the highest ROI: singlefamily home areas with the potential for significant up-zoning: 37 Street SW, the lower end of 14th Street SW and Eastern end of 33rd Avenue SW shown in Red on the map.

Highest ROI Hot Development Areas Additional Target Areas Warm Development Areas Cool To Development.


4th Street SW 17th Avenue Main Street Boundary

Overview: City appetite....................... High CA engagement................ Good Development levy..................No City Work/Pop rating..........46% Adjacent target areas............ Yes Overall rating................... Warm

Main Street Boundary

Cliff Bungalow

4th Street SW


A Mission ARP Info


Cliff Bungalow Created: 2002 Last amended: 2013 Mission Created: 2007 Last amended: 2013


Community Appetites

The 4 Street SW Main Streets corridor runs from 17 Avenue SW to the Elbow River, located between the communities of Mission and Cliff Bungalow.

It is apparent from both the ARP and build-forms in recent years that the Cliff Bungalow CA is not as supportive of intensive development as the Mission CA is (although they share a Planning Committee). To some degree, ability to assemble may have impacted these outcomes, however the Mission ARP clearly identifies areas of the community for significant intensification whereas the Cliff Bungalow ARP only identifies the fringe areas along 17th Avenue SW and 4th Street SW for mixed and/or commercial use.

Additional Target Areas All areas identified within this Main Streets corridor are identified in each ARP as targeted for density increases and changes of use to mixed-use and commercial. Workshop feedback noted an imbalance of development between Cliff Bungalow (the West side of the street) and the East side of 4th Street (Mission). Overall height is lower on the West side and some community members feel it should be more balanced (requiring more height and density on the Cliff Bungalow/West side of the street). This is likely a reflection of the different community approaches to development scale.

Main Streets Workshop Feedback The primary concerns brought forward at the open houses to-date were: Streetscape & Urban Design; Transportation Infrastructure & Parking; and Redevelopment of Buildings and Spaces.

Additional target areas outside the corridor for redevelopment include: A. The Mission ARP identifies these areas as “institutional and high density residential”. B. The Mission ARP identifies these areas as “high density residential”. Several large condo/apt complexes are already developed in this area however some lower residential still remains for assembly.

Recent Developments Extensive development has happened along the 4th Street SW corridor in the last 10 years. Mixed use buildings of six-eight storeys have been built along the East side of 4th Street. It is likely that ‘matching’ development on the West side will be strongly supported by the City. The strong re-development of the area has ‘burnt out’ the shared CA Planning Committee to some degree. Coupled with the lack of a developer’s levy, many conversations with residents and CA members at the open houses focused on the ‘what’s in it for us’ conversation when it comes to development. Without a formal levy system in place the answer is ‘very little’. In this area Developers are left to negotiate CA improvements during the re-zoning phase on a one-off basis.


14th Street SW A



ry da

TOD 60 0m

Bo un

Kensington Road Main Streets




ARP Information

17th Ave Main Streets

Beltline Created: 2014 Seeks significant height and density along this corridor of the Main Streets area. Sunalta Created: 1992 Last amended: 2010 Lower Mt. Royal Created: 1988 Last amended: 2013 Bankview Created: 1982 Last amended: 2014 South Calgary/Altadore Created: 1993 Last amended: 2015


14th Street Main Streets Project Boundary

Hillhurst/Sunnyside Created: 1999 Last amended: 2012



South Calgary 33rd Ave Main Streets


Lower Mount Royal

Upper Mount Royal

(no ARP)

Overview City appetite....................... High CA engagement................ Good Development levy..................No City Work/Pop rating........121% Adjacent target areas............ Yes Overall rating....................... Hot

Recent Developments

14 Street West is a Main Street that reaches from 6 Avenue NW to 33 Street SW It’s a varied Main Street that spans over the Bow River through several historic communities. It functions as an important link to Memorial Drive, Bow Trail, 9 Avenue and 17 Avenue.

Very little re-development is occurring along this corridor, high rents in both residential and commercially leased buildings reflect acceptable threshold development, although the area is under utilized. Additional incentives of height and density may be implemented through the Main Streets program and achieved through City-initiated re-zonings.

Of note, the Northern end of this corridor was not included in engagement. In areas where the ARP is quite new, for example Hillhurst/Sunnyside (HSCA), the CA already acknowledges that there are missed areas for intensification that could be corrected through a review of the ARP. In the case of upper 14th Street NW between Memorial Drive and 5th Avenue NW, the Main Streets program won’t be utilized to correct the underincentivization of the area, instead the CA will have to increase their incentives through an ARP review and amendment if they wish to stimulate growth on that corridor.

Several multi-family permits on the lower end of the Main Streets area (on the West side of 14th Street) and the revival of a car wash on the East side of 14th Street North of 5th Avenue NW. Little re-development has occurred on this strip as established long-term owners refuse to sell. Many heritage homes are located on this corridor, complicated assembly and re-development. At the corner of 14th Street and 17th Avenue the Condon Building has recently sold, but no Development Application is currently listed at the City. This property is included in the 17th Avenue Main Streets corridor.

ARP Areas • Seven ARPs intersect with the 14th Street Main Street boundaries as shown on the map.

Community Appetites

• All ARPs seek larger built-form mixed use in each of the ARP-Main Streets area overlaps.

Each of these CAs have had different struggles with development, but generally if the project addresses the primary concerns of the areas, as identified in the open house feedback section, the CAs acknowledge the necessity of re-development along with important corridor.

• Generally all areas within this Main Streets area welcome development.

Additional Target Areas

Main Streets Workshop Feedback

Generally all areas identified within this Main Streets corridor are pro-development. Additional target areas outside the corridor for re-development include:

The primary concerns brought forward at the open houses to-date are: Streetscape & Urban Design; Redevelopment of Buildings & Spaces; and Transportation, Infrastructure & Parking.

A. The upper area in Hillhurst/Sunnyside is recognized as an under-utilized re-development area by the HSCA and development in this area could request increased density and height over the ARP documents for this corridor. B. The proximity to the CTrain station in Sunalta, coupled with lower property values (recently rising) and poor maintenance has already enticed new development into the area, more is available. C. The southern end of 14 street closer to Marda Loop is mostly residential offering increased ROI with lower land purchase values. D. The 26th Ave corridor is prime for multi-residential mid-rise re-development as existing apartment buildings are reaching end-off-life and are interspersed with single family homes and four-plexes. 9


Sunalta Scarboro

14th Street SW

Westbrook Village ARP (TOD Based)

24th Street SW


14th Street SW

17th Avenue SW


17th Avenue SW

Lowe Bankview

The 17 Avenue South Main Street stretches from Macleod Trail to 37 Street SW, surrounded by the communities of Beltline, Lower Mount Royal, Mission, Cliff Bungalow, Bankview, Sunalta, Rosscarrock, Scarboro, Killarney/ Glengarry, Shaganappi and Richmond.

zone of mid-rise density behind the corridor fronting developments would be supported by the City under the Main Streets program and providing opportunities.

Recent Developments Extensive re-development has occurred all along 17th Avenue over the last decade however significant capacity for re-development exists.

ARP Areas • Eleven CAs intersect with the 17th Avenue SW Main Street area as shown on the map, however not all have governing ARPs.

Community Appetites Generally these communities accept re-development along this corridor although several have identified the corridor for specific types of development that don’t always align with the new Main Streets program style of corridor densification. In the case of conflicts it appears that the City is likely to simply remove that portion of the corridor from the CA’s ARP to regain control of the zoning in the areas.

• Existing ARPs seek larger built-form mixed-use or commercial uses in the Main Streets corridor area. • Generally all areas within this Main Streets area welcome development and have already negotiated many approved re-development applications.

Additional Target Areas Generally all areas identified within this Main Streets corridor are pro-development. The Main Streets boundary extends an additional half block beyond the 17th Avenue corridor that all ARP areas address for increased density. It can be concluded that the transitional

Shagannapi Point has the newest ARP and incorporates TOD policies into their development plan. They welcome development that fits within their ARP plans. Richmond supports redevelopment in the corridor according to their 2012 amended ARP. 10

14 St. Main Street


Richmond Crowchild Trail

37 St. Main Street

17th Ave Main Street Boundary

Overview: City appetite.............. Very High CAs engagement............... Good Development levy..................No City Work/Pop rating........122% Adjacent target areas.............All Overall rating....................... Hot


ARP Info Westbrook Village Created: 2009 Last amended: 2014

Bankview Created: 2001 Last amended: 2014

Shagannapi Point Created: 2014

Beltline - Created: 2014

Killarney Created: 1986 Last amended: None

Cliff Bungalow

4th Street SW

er Mount Royal

Scarboro - No ARP Richmond Created: 1995 Last Amended: 2012


Sunalta Created: 1992 Last amended: 2010

Lower Mt. Royal Created: 1988 Last amended: 2013 Cliff Bungalow Created: 2002 Last amended: 2013 Mission Created: 2007 Last amended: 2013

4 St. Main Street

Main Streets Workshop Feedback

Killarney still strongly embraces its 1986 ARP which pre-dates the MDP and does not support the Main Streets policies for the corridor (noting the area for “conservation/infills”). In such a situation the City will move to take annex the area and bring it under the Main Streets program re-zoning areas (removing it from ARP).

The primary concerns brought forward at the open houses to-date are (in order of importance): Streetscape & Urban Design; New/Redevelopment of Building and Spaces; and Walking Features.

Bankview welcomes development that fits within their existing ARP and is well designed. South Calgary is ‘luke warm’ to re-development, encouraging it to only happen along the fringe of the community. Lower Mount Royal welcomes good development but this area is almost fully utilized already. Sunalta recently amended their ARP to include TOD policies, but frustrates re-development during public engagement. Beltline ARP encourages significant re-development in identified areas and throughout the area generally. Cliff Bungalow allows development in specific areas but generally supports lower heights and densities verses it’s neighbouring Mission community with stronger redevelopment targets in specific areas. Both CAs share a single Planning Committee. 11

Crowchild Trail

33rd Avenue SW (Marda Loop) Richmond

South Calgary

Main Streets Project Boundary


Target Areas


A Altadore

14th Avenue

33rd Avenue SW

Marda Loop ARP Area

Existing For Re-Development


The 33 Avenue SW Main Street runs from Crowchild Trail to 14 Street SW. It is located on the edge of the communities of Richmond and South Calgary, while the community of Altadore borders it to the south. One umbrella organization manages Planning in the area under the name of The Marda Loop Communities Association.

ARP Info Marda Loop Communities Association Created: 2014

Target Areas Potential areas for re-development:

City appetite......................High CA engagement................High Development levy................ No City Work/Pop rating........ 74% Adjacent target areas...........Yes Overall rating........ Very Warm

Community Appetite

A. Cross-avenue from the existing ARP area where higher heights are wanted.

The Marda Loop Communities Association has been experiencing ‘growing pains’ recently, however they are generally open to development and identify many areas within their ARP that they wish to see significant increases in density and height over existing retail lowrise development. The appetite for extension of their commercial and BRZ area to the East along 33 Avenue in the Main Streets corridor is low, however commercial development along this corridor will likely spread and be supported by the City.

B. 1-2 storey residential buildings and newer duplexes along 33rd Avenue on the East end of the corridor. C. The small scale retail & restaurant area may represent an untapped re-development area.

Recent Developments The Shopper’s Drug Mart building by RonMor was a contended application that left the community ‘smarting’, it is still mentioned as an example of poor engagement. The recent development directly north, another RonMor development, has been better received. Additionally, a significant re-development on the corner of 22 Street & 34 Avenue was approved last year (commercial & medical).

Main Streets Workshop Feedback The primary concerns brought forward at the open houses to-date are (in order of importance): Streetscape & Urban design; Parks & public spaces; and Transit & Parking. 12

Kensington Road NW



10th Street Main Street


Crowchild Trail NW

West Hillhurst

TOD 600 m Bound ary

Crowchild to 14th Street NW only

H/S TOD Area

Kensington Road NW


Kensington Road Main Street Boundary

14th Street Main Street

West Hillhurst No ARP

The Kensington Road NW Main Street stretches from Crowchild Trail to 10 Street NW through one of Calgary’s oldest community: West Hillhurst. This Main Street corridor intersects with the 14th Street and 10th Street Main Street corridor study areas.

14 Street NW

ARP Info

Overview City appetite......................High CA engagement...............Good Development levy................ No City Work/Pop rating........ 67% Adjacent target areas...........Yes Overall rating..................Warm

yards and garages facing Kensington Road. The CA and City seek to see mixed use and live-work units on this corridor that would reverse this orientation to Kensington Road.

Note: The Eastern end of this corridor between 14th and 10th Streets has not been included in the public engagement portion of the Main Streets program. Engagement and assessment of the Western section between Crowchild Trail and 14th Street has been the focus of the City engagements on this Main Street to-date.

B. The corridor North of 19th Street NW between Kensington Road and 5th Avenue NW currently contains some low-rise retail and commercial buildings, with potential to increase the retail/ commercial elements along this road.

Community Appetite

Recent Developments

The West Hillhurst Community Association Planning Committee is well-educated and can be challenging to deal with as reflected in recent negotiations on commercial builds along Crowchild Trail. Generally this CA supports re-development when they are consulted and well-engaged in the design process.

The majority of re-development is currently duplex infills replacing aging bungalow and war-home building. The City acknowledges that this is a loss of density potential, but no assemblies have come forward since Savoy to seek higher heights and density.

Target Areas

Main Streets Feedback

A. The Western end of the corridor is prime for redevelopment, particular interest has been focused on the South side of Kensington Road where the homes currently face Westmount Road, with rear

Over 80% of the concerns on this corridor were focused on (in order of value) Streetscape & Urban Design, Transportation Infrastructure & Parking, Re-development of Buildings, and Walking Features. 13

37th Street SW Overview

Bo w

TOD 6 00 m

Bou nd ar


City appetite........................ Very High CA engagement.........................Good? Development levy............................ No City Work/Pop rating.................... 69% Adjacent target areas.......................Yes Overall rating..................................Hot



il S

W ARP Information


Killarney Created: 1986 Last amended: None Identifies 37 Street SW for “Conservation/Infill� only.

Westbrook Village ARP (TOD Based)

Rosscarrock No ARPs for Rosscarrock, Glendale or Glenbrook,

17th Avenue SW

Westbrook Village TOD Created:

37th Street SW


Main Street Boundary



26th Avenue SW Glenbrook 14

Both the Westbrooke Village (mall area) and the area immediately south along 37 Street SW represent some of the highest potential re-development areas currently available in the SW established community area. Specifically, the single-home ownership in the south area represents a high-profit turn-over area for assembly and speculative re-zoning. Coupled with re-development of the existing mall, this area is very attractive.

Should the City ‘annex’ the corridor from the Killarney ARP (as was recently done with the SE area of the Westbrook Village ARP) then the re-zonings will override the existing ARP guidelines for the area (which seek conservation of the residential homes).

The 37 Street SW Main Street extends from Bow Trail to 26 Avenue SW, adjacent to the communities of Rosscarrock, Glendale and Killarney.

Target Areas There are no additional target areas beyond the boundaries of the Main Street area and Westbrook Village ARP.

Main Streets Workshop Feedback The primary concerns brought forward at the open houses to-date are: Streetscape & Urban Design; Re-development of Buildings & Spaces; and Transportation Infrastructure & Parking.

Recent Developments The Shopper’s Drug Mart building by RonMor was a contended application that left the community ‘smarting’, it is still mentioned as an example of poor engagement. The recent development directly north, another RonMor development, has been better received.

Community Appetite Killarney still strongly embraces its 1986 ARP which pre-dates the MDP and does not support the Main Streets policies for the corridor (noting the area for “conservation/infills”). In such a situation the City will move to take annex the area and bring it under the Main Streets program re-zoning areas (removing it from ARP). Glenbrook is engaging and supports development, specifically they are eagerly seeking a recreational facility and would support a significant development that could meet that need.

City renderings from the Westbrook Village ARP reflect an aggressive redevelopment of the existing mall area with many tall towers of residential. The City is clearly hoping to see significant density increases in this area.


37 Street SW

Sarcee Trail SW

Richmond Road SW



t Bo ts Projec e e r t S in Ma



m ich

d Roa



Overview ARP Info No ARP for either CA

The Richmond Road Main Street corridor lies between Sarcee Trail and 37 Avenue SW within the communities of Glamorgan and Glenbrook.

City appetite................ Moderate CA engagement.................. High Development levy...................No City Work/Pop rating...........69% Adjacent target areas..............No Overall rating.......................Cool

Target Areas None.

Main Streets Workshop Feedback

The primary concerns brought forward at the open houses to-date are: Transportation Infrastructure & Parking; New/Re-development of Buildings & Spaces; and Population Growth.

Recent Developments None.

Community Appetite The Glamorgan CA appears to be very hostile to development. Most issues they wish to address are with regard to Transportation. As they do not have an ARP in place they assess each development on it’s own merits without an overall plan. The incumbent, longstanding planning committee chair is set in her ways and determined to control development and see the singlefamily and duplexes along the south side of the road remain unchanged indefinitely. Glenbrook is engaging and supports development, specifically they are eagerly seeking a recreational facility and would support a significant development that could meet that need. 16

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