MichaelS

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I am creating a thread for the Springbank Hill area of Calgary, to capture a place for all of these suburban projects happening in this neighbourhood, discussed a while ago in the General Construction Thread. Some new DPs have been submitted recently, and there is enough activity going on I figure this area deserves its own thread similar to the West District thread or the Trinity Hills thread. And given they are all suburban, not sure if they each need their own thread. One difference to this area is there isn't a single, overall master planning developer, but the recently updated ASP gives good guidance, and most of the area is seeing development activity happening at the same time. Springbank Hill is a large neighbourhood, and this thread is meant to track the denser hub of it, located between 77th Street and 85th Street SW, south of 17th Ave SW. I will update this first post as new project information comes available, to make it a reference for anyone curious to what is going on in the neighbourhood.

Here is a map with a list of the projects in the area, with their status.
1652303184841.png

1. Arcola Spring Willow - Truman Homes
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2. 85th & Park - Cove Properties
1651855220793.png


3a. Aspen Spring Townhomes - Slokker Homes
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3b. Orion Aspen Spring Condos - Slokker Homes
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4. Spring Hill Estates - Spray Group
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5. The Willows - Truman Homes
1651855793402.png


6. Wildflower Townhomes - Homes by Avi
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7. Springbank Hill District - Ronmor
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8. Ambrose Springbank Hill - Partners
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9. Cobalt Mixed Use - Slokker Homes
1652120076051.png


10. Elkwood in Aspen Springs - Slokker Homes
1652303267141.png
 
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MichaelS

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I drove by yesterday evening, and took a few photos of the construction progress being made.

Here is #2 on the above map, 85th & Park:
1651857311426.png


Here is 3a and 3b (background and foreground respectively), Aspen Spring Townhomes and Orion condos (apologies for photo quality)
1651857379080.png


#5 on the map, The Willows:
1651857431319.png


And #6 on the map, Wildflower Townhomes:
1651857471686.png
 
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MichaelS

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For #9 on the list, the Cobalt Mixed Use, I have heard it is pretty substantial. The description says 4 buildnigs, including multi-residential and office. And I think the ASP and Zoning allows for some pretty significant height here (as in, at least 10 storeys) so I hope we can see a rendering soon.
 

DougB

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Has a tentative LRT station been proposed for the area? I would expect it to be in the vicinity of the Cobalt mixed-use proposal
 

UrbanWarrior

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Crazy how many proposals are coming out the past week.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Yes it’s quite bizarre that they’d put it between an elementary school and a bunch of SFH instead of adjacent to planned high density and existing retail… 🤔
 
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CBBarnett

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Big density happening on the edge of the city in Springbank Hill and West District. I wish they could replicate these type of developments for places like Anderson Station or Saddletown.
I wonder how much of this 85 Street / Springbank Hill density boom is the result of the area absolutely blowing away any comparables on income and housing ownership, combined with an assumed-to-be-soon-limited greenfield land supply in the area?

Springbank just outside the city is one of the wealthiest places in Canada, the inner west edge of Calgary is also in that top 1-5%. With the massive ring road right-of-way, plus the rich-person acreage buffer just beyond, the "easy" land is running out. Seems like that's what Truman and the other developers out here are approaching the area to maximize the potential. Other suburban fringes of the city seem to be no where close in level of density or thinking about how it's designed.
 
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CBBarnett

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Yes it’s quite bizarre that they’d put it between an elementary school and a bunch of SFH instead of adjacent to planned high density and existing retail… 🤔
Id much rather see the station at the intersection of 85th and 17th, trench it below grade just like 69th and you're good.
You can see by the right-of-way they reserved that they just assumed the train would keep extending to the west LRT forever and the sprawl pattern would continue. I don't think that's a realistic assumption anymore.

Any extension is probably years/decades away but they might as well revise the plan for an 85 Street SW terminus at 17th Avenue as that's where the real density and activity will be (except those terribly planned storm ponds :( ). I would also be interested in a 85 Street extension to Truman's development, but even when fully built out it's not likely to be a good value.

An aside on storm ponds, triggered by the 85 Street SW pond:
We have got to starting building these better and build waaay fewer of them. No other province relies so much on storm ponds as we do in suburban areas. It's land consuming madness. Not only does Calgary and Edmonton use these everywhere, we also plan them adjacent the skeletal/arterial transportation network as a "first in" piece of infrastructure. I am sure the water engineers will have their reasons - but every other major city has stormwater issues and water engineers, yet they rarely resort to giant storm ponds the frequency we do next to major intersections. What gives?

Here's the 85 Street and 17 Ave SW intersection in 2003, right before redevelopment began. There was a natural coulee/depression that tracked along the blue line in the aerial image below. Perhaps this could have formed a stormwater stream or series of wetlands? Development completely terraformed the whole area as it is, would it have been too hard to create something that's more of an amenity and less land consuming?

I fully acknowledge that stormwater is important to think about very early in the process, but people/density/transit should be planned for in alignment to major corridors, not ponds. A quick review of the NW, NE and South LRT lines (and their future extensions) and you'll see that sometime around 1990s we decided to make transit-oriented stormponds rather than transit-oriented development.

2003:
1652127608182.png

2021:
1652128002890.png
 

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