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January 01, 2019

Hope at Large - Atlantic Avenue rocks

Calgary’s iconic thoroughfare is changing with the times

Marty Hope

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Seems to me Inglewood has been reshaping itself, putting on different faces, since way back in the horse-and-buggy days, since the fort was built in 1875.

Whether it’s new businesses joining the eclectic mix, retail renovations and relocations, or new or refurbished residential elements, the oldest community in Calgary just keeps getting better.

Going by either East Calgary or Brewery Flats back then, the neighbourhood’s Atlantic Avenue (9th Avenue) was, arguably, the first so-called main street in Calgary — and has been pretty much a people street since then.

Now 144 years later, the announced Green Line extension of the city’s LRT system has the opportunity to bring with it more revitalization, development, and redevelopment to the popular sidewalk-oriented neighbourhood on the shoulder of the downtown core.

It was announced in May that the federal government had committed $1.5 billion to the 46-kilometre rail system. The City of Calgary’s share will be $1.56 billion with another $1.53 billion coming from the provincial government coffers.

For Inglewood, the Inglewood-Ramsey LRT station being designed for 11th Street S.E. will be a crossroads for those who live there but work elsewhere, and for those who enjoy spending leisure time in the shops, craft breweries, open spaces, and restaurants.

“The new infrastructure plan is an excellent initiative for Inglewood, and Calgary in general. LRT creates new commuting and visiting patterns, especially as the Green Line will feature interchange points along the route and an eventual link to the airport,” says Brian Kernick, president of Greenview
Developments, the developer of AVLI on Atlantic, a $36-million, seven-storey glass and steel building with 65 high-end condos that include live-work units and penthouses. As well, it will have more than $5 million worth of street-level retail space.

Residences start in the low $300,000 range. The majority of AVLI’s floor plans are custom and measure from 545 to 2,200 square-feet — with a blend of one- and two-bedroom (plus den) floor plans.

“We have a lot of homeowners who are downtown working professionals, so the LRT will be a great option to commute to work without the hassle that driving downtown presents,” Kernick adds.

To date, approximately 75 per cent of the residences in AVLI have been scooped up — mostly by “high net worth” people who enjoy the Inglewood atmosphere and the opportunity to live close to, but not be in the downtown core, he says.

Research results penned by Statistics Canada says 1.9 million Canadians live in condos — 20 per cent of which are Calgarians — looking for a different kind of “urban, environmentally-aware lifestyle that values the benefits of transit.”

Visit Inglewood, better yet take a casual walk along Atlantic Avenue and look around at the construction taking place, the new retail spaces opening, and the people on the street soaking up the atmosphere.

And don’t forget to check out the growing arts scene.

“Our brief on the design for AVLI on Atlantic was that it needed to be a work of art itself in order to fit with Inglewood’s arts scene,” says Kernick.”We are achieving that and it’s proving popular with buyers.”

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