Calgary Council gives first reading on Eau Claire redevelopment
Debate lasted most of the day
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Council spent the better part of the day discussing the possible redevelopment of Eau Claire Market on Monday.
And when they were done, there was still some confusion about what could happen at the site.
Harvard Property Management Inc. is proposing a new collection of five towers at Eau Claire, although all that was up for discussion was land use amendments – the broad strokes of what might be built at the site.
While most councillors and project supporters agreed that the development as proposed is beautiful, many residents were worried about a proposed office tower, which the developer says is necessary to make the site feasible.
Jim Hughes, president of the Eau Clarie Community Association, said the area is meant to be primarily residential, and that the city cannot have a vibrant downtown core without residents and shops.
“There is one aspect of the proposal we cannot support and that is the incorporation of the large office block in the project – space that could be used alternately as further residential. “
The other item of concern is the smokestack, which is a designated heritage structure.
The developer assured council that the iconic smokestack will be preserved, but moved in one piece from its current location.
Heritage advocates, such as Scott Jolliffe, chair of the Calgary Heritage Authority, would rather see development take place around the smokestack, even if it ends up inside an atrium.
At the end of the debate, council gave first reading to the bylaw amendments the developer needed to start moving forward with the project.