Back To Magazine

July 01, 2013

Historical heritage

Currie Barracks fulfills urban development promise

Karen Durrie

Article Photo Enlarge

Just beyond the iconic series of whitewashed buildings that once were part of a military base, its namesake neighbourhood, Currie Barracks, is taking shape.

The transformation began in 2008 to turn the historically significant 200 acres in the southwest into a unique urban village that will eventually be home to more than 6,000 people.

Once completed, Currie Barracks will be a veritable town within a city, and a charming destination for all Calgarians to visit for a stroll, a spot of shopping or a nosh.

It’s an incredible opportunity when land so near the city’s core is opened up for new residential development, and if similar past projects are any indication, Currie Barracks will be a resounding success.

The project is the last of three developments built on former CFB land in Calgary’s southwest. Award-winning developments Garrison Woods and Garrison Green were the first two communities developed by Canada Lands Company, a crown corporation that develops federal property no longer required by the government.

Numerous historical buildings will be retained at Currie Barracks — many are designated provincial heritage sites — and incorporated into the fabric of the neighbourhood. The military base was built in the 1930s, and was decommissioned in 1998.

“People are not just buying a home, they’re buying into a planned community. There is something for everyone, too. You can start in apartments, move to townhouses, up to houses, back to apartments, and then over to the seniors’ care centre. You never have to leave,” laughs Carol Wardell, an ambassador at the Currie Barracks Sales Centre, housed in the stately rooms of the former Officers Mess building.

The sales centre includes numerous scale models of the community, information about Currie Barracks history, and interactive touch screens showing what the area will be like when its 10-year development is complete.

Currie Barracks is now nearing completion of its first of many phases, and a perusal of the neighbourhood reveals a picturesque boulevard flanked by Avi Urban’s Victoria Cross townhomes, exuding old-world charm with their distinctive mix of styles and exteriors.

“The goal was to build a collection of luxury inner-city townhomes that not only became a statement within the community of Currie Barracks, but also built a community within a community,” says Joy Syratt, marketing and communications co-ordinator for Avi Urban.

“We’ve already seen this come to fruition as two of the four phases are sold out, with homeowners living in and loving their places.”

The townhomes appeal to working professionals and downsizers, Syratt says, as well as people who enjoy inner-city living with quick access to downtown and local amenities.

The centre of the boulevard features a wide walkway dotted with blooming crabapple trees, benches, and plaques and flags honouring war heroes. A gorgeous expanse of the Rocky Mountains to the west is glimpsed at the end of the boulevard.

The cozy, winding streets are lined with single family homes in a wide array of traditional architectural styles. The approved code includes Tudor, Craftsman, Prairie, Stick, Victorian, Modern Classical, Queen Anne, Colonial, and Richardson Romanesque.

Within those styles is something for everyone, and this extends to housing choices, too. A full gamut of luxury abodes, single-family houses, townhomes, condos and apartments will be found at Currie Barracks, where numerous builders are taking part in the community’s creation. Prices start from $690,000 for multi-family homes and $790,000 for single-family.

New residents are already living in the first phase of the community. People are seen tending to gardens, and parents and small children stroll and bike through the community.

Beautiful landscaping and green spaces are an important aspect of the area, as well.

“There’s been a significant amount of park development in the first phase, and the total development will have over 20 acres of public municipal reserve or park space,” says Doug Cassidy, Canada Lands’ western region vice president.

“Commemoration has been a theme in the projects, with an ongoing emphasis on programming space for residents in the community, tot lots, and park areas to provide amenities for residents of all ages.”

Everywhere in Currie Barracks, the proud legacy of the Canadian military is honoured. Street names include names of Victoria Cross recipients — the highest honour in the Canadian military. And plaques set by corner walkways explain the significance of all street names.

Valour Park and Victoria Cross Park pay tribute to Canadian military branches with bronze statues, and informative storyboards.

The redevelopment of Currie Barracks has earned a gold certification from the LEED for Neighbourhood Development program. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Smart, sustainable development at Currie Barracks includes adapting and reusing heritage buildings, efficient site planning with walkable, mixed-use streets, preservation of mature trees and greenery on site, and having schools, parks and shopping within walking or biking distance.

The future High Street will be one of the most exciting features of Currie Barracks. The European-inspired main street will be lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, services, and possibly a boutique hotel. Many of the three and four-storey High Street buildings will also contain upper-storey residences.

Parade Square, once a ceremonial venue for the military, will be revitalized into the heart of the community, where neighbours can gather for special events and activities. Parade Square is the largest Heritage precinct ever designated in Alberta.

Several show homes are available for viewing at Currie Barracks. These include homes by Birchwood Properties, Crystal Creek Homes, Mission Homes, Greenboro Homes, and Avi Urban.

Over the next month, Canada Lands will announce more details about phase two of Currie Barracks.

“As the community planning process unfolds over the next month, we will be planning a large variety of housing forms and types, including more single-family, semi-detached row townhomes, apartments, condos, and a seniors assisted-living project in order to provide housing for Calgarians of all types and at all affordabilities as we move into phase two,” Cassidy said.

Fast Facts
Community: Currie Barracks
Developer: Canada Lands Company
Single-family — Birchwood Properties, Crystal Creek Homes, Empire Custom Homes, Mission Homes, Greenboro Estate Homes
Multi-family — Avi Urban, Evolution by Greenboro, Jayman Modus (coming soon)
Price: Multi-family starts at $690,000 and single-family from $790,000
Sales Centre: J5, 2953 Battleford Ave. S.W.
Directions: South on Crowchild Tr. and exit on Flanders Ave. S.W. and follow the signs.
Hours: Monday to Thursday 2 to 8 p.m., Fridays, weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m.

Condo Living Insider

Grand Openings, Magazine Previews & More...

May 01, 2019

Section23 acquires Baywest Homes

Section23 Developments announces that it has reached an agreement with Bordeaux Properties to acquire its ownership of… Read more about Section23 acquires¬†Baywest Homes

May 01, 2019

Pet-friendly StreetSide

StreetSide Developments wears its love for pets on its sleeve. Not only are their multi-family developments all… Read more about Pet-friendly StreetSide