Calgary council approves plan to revamp downtown with $200M initial investment

Calgary council has approved a plan, and an initial investment of $200 million, to revamp the struggling downtown core. (Image credit - AceYYC)

With approximately 32 per cent of downtown office space sitting vacant, Calgary city council has approved a revitalization plan for the core that involves an initial investment of $200 million.

Council voted 12-1 in favour of the plan on Monday, with only Coun. Jeromy Farkas opposed. The vote was 10-3 in favour of the $200-million investment, with Farkas as well as Coun. Sean Chu and Coun. Joe Magliocca opposed.

It’s believed a total of $1 billion will be needed to fund the plan over the next decade, some of which the city hopes will come from other levels of government.

The downtown strategy is a guiding document that will attempt to retool the core from being a business district that is often empty at night to one with more amenities, more pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, better connections to green space, more housing and more life beyond the work week.

The city plan will include:

$45 million for incentives for existing office space to convert to residential, redevelop or look at “adaptive use.”

$5 million to offset contributions to the Plus-15 fund for residential developments.

$55 million for a “downtown vibrancy capital program.”

$5 million for programming events.

$10 million for a “dedicated downtown team” to oversee implementation.

$80 million for the previously announced Arts Commons transformation.

Learn more here.