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East Village: Success, or a long ways away yet?

  • Successful now

    Votes: 10 37.0%
  • Will be successful in 5 years

    Votes: 14 51.9%
  • Will be successful in 10 years

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • Won't ever be successful

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    27

Social Justice

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Calgary Eyeopener talking about businesses in the East Village that are concerned about business. They spoke with the owner of Mari Bakeshop and Sidewalk Citizen, talk about how they have regulars but they need more than that to keep things going and grow the business. Avi with Sidewalk Citizen mentions how most of their traffic seems to come from the Riverwalk side, and less from the village side to the south. Mari Bakeshop owners acknowledge they are in at the beginning, and have put everything into the business so they will continue to tough it out and hope that as more buildings take residency things will get better.

Once residents take up occupancy at the 'Verve', 'Ink' and and 'The Hat' the increase in population should help out the businesses a bit.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Mari has the best fresh bread in the city that I have stumbled upon. Their baguettes are unreal. Support them!

Thanks for the advice! I've got a date coming up soon n I wanna cook up a nice dinner :)


Once residents take up occupancy at the 'Verve', 'Ink' and and 'The Hat' the increase in population should help out the businesses a bit.

Those three towers combined should bring in excess of 1000 people to the village, so I would imagine it will help them out quite a bit!
 

zagox

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Calgary Eyeopener talking about businesses in the East Village that are concerned about business. They spoke with the owner of Mari Bakeshop and Sidewalk Citizen, talk about how they have regulars but they need more than that to keep things going and grow the business. Avi with Sidewalk Citizen mentions how most of their traffic seems to come from the Riverwalk side, and less from the village side to the south. Mari Bakeshop owners acknowledge they are in at the beginning, and have put everything into the business so they will continue to tough it out and hope that as more buildings take residency things will get better.

It doesn’t shock me that most people at Sidewalk Citizen are coming from the pathway rather than EV. Sidewalk Citizen is the only good quality eatery directly facing either side of the Bow pathway all the way from Fish Creek to Bowness. The only other stops are the exceedingly average sausage and ice cream stands opposite the Jaipur bridge, and the also underwhelming Angel's opposite Edworthy Park.

What's the bottleneck to getting at the very least a series of food truck vendors along the pathway?
 

kora

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However I am not sure it will ever overcome the social issues that afflict the area. I don’t know if there are more displaced and struggling people here now than there were five years ago, but those I see on the street now appear to be much more disturbed and aggressive. I had some really distressing encounters this past summer and the one before and I am not sure how that situation improves in the context of the fentanyl crisis. My neighbours curse the names of all the shelters and particularly Alpha House but they aren’t going anywhere and everyone knows it.

As someone who lives in the Beltline a block from the safe injection site, this is a problem afflicting the entire greater downtown area. I can tell you things have gotten a little worse (more addicts) and a little better (more middle income people living in the core) than ever before. I don't know what the end game is, but I think the overall trend has been for improvement. East Village has a bright future if for no other reason than its stellar location on the Bow River and its high property prices. The Beltline looks affordable by comparison.
 

CBBarnett

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It doesn’t shock me that most people at Sidewalk Citizen are coming from the pathway rather than EV. Sidewalk Citizen is the only good quality eatery directly facing either side of the Bow pathway all the way from Fish Creek to Bowness. The only other stops are the exceedingly average sausage and ice cream stands opposite the Jaipur bridge, and the also underwhelming Angel's opposite Edworthy Park.

What's the bottleneck to getting at the very least a series of food truck vendors along the pathway?
There is a bit of a cultural barrier to retail along the river and in river parks. The Parks department - and by extension Councillors/Calgarians in general - had for a long time viewed Park and private retail such as a restaurant as antithetical to each other: the whole "purpose" of a park was to remove yourself from the hustle of commerce and city life. Further to that, private development + park space asks stressful questions of Parks' role; Is it our purpose to provide space for the private sector to profit? What kind of private uses will we allow? Who are we to choose?

The lack of retail/restaurant space in parks is hardly a Calgarian phenomenon, as many cities in North America over the past century held this view that parks are for green, streets are for retail. Fortunately, the cultural tides are turning. Retail is seen as an amenity now as well as a tool to activate spaces for more hours a day (e.g. River Cafe to keep "eyes on the park"). Persistently tight public sector budgets are forcing some innovative thinking of how to do more with less.

Challenges still remain: it's hard to slot retail in after the fact in a green space because you'll be met with "paving-over-paradise" pitchforks, you never planned for utility lines, who handles risk and liability in park space with food service etc. Not to mention the economics of the venture in the first place need to be strong. If Sidewalk Citizen is complaining about a lack of traffic, I can't think of a park/riverfront area that would do better in Calgary.

Partly I think, no one has tried to push through the doubt, restrictions and worry to show Calgarians, the Parks department and councillors that food service can work in a spectacular way along the river (Simmon's building being the obvious exception). The river pathway can be so much more vibrant and active with smart, properly thought-out spots. So I encourage you to petition for a pop-up summertime beer garden near the south end of the Peace Bridge next summer to start the revolution :)
 

Surrealplaces

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Thanks for the advice! I've got a date coming up soon n I wanna cook up a nice dinner :)
Those three towers combined should bring in excess of 1000 people to the village, so I would imagine it will help them out quite a bit!
The new Library may help also. There aren't too many good options right in and around the library, but it should draw a fair amount of people.
 

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