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ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
- What is the West Campus?
- Where will the community be located?
- What is the current status of development?
- How do the proposed new name and street name concepts support the vision for the community?
- When can I move in, set-up a business or find an employer in the new community?
- What if I simply want to receive news updates about the community?
- Can I give the Trust a deposit to pre-purchase a home?
- Are seniors' and/or long-term care facilities included in the master plan?
- Will there be community gardens and adequate public green space?
- How will I be able to cross Shaganappi Trail?
- Will there be safe and active transportation within and around the development including bike and pedestrian paths?
- Will the development limit the University of Calgary's ability to expand academic programming in the future?
ABOUT THE TRUST
- Who is the Trust?
- What is the primary goal of developing the lands?
- How will you achieve your goals?
- Why did the Trust create an updated Master Plan?
What is the West Campus?
It is a comprehensive 200-acre mindfully master planned community that marks the evolution of northwest Calgary. The community will offer a complete city life, with diverse housing and office space, abundant retail, plentiful outdoor space, and community amenities. The result is a sustainable, inspiring, human-focused community – a neighbourhood for changing values and changing times, with a strong view to the future.
The community will be an enviable, globally relevant neighbourhood that fosters healthy and active lifestyles, builds on the character and strengths of the surrounding neighbourhoods, and supports a conscious urban culture.
Where will the community be located?
The land consists of 200 acres of land bounded by the University of Calgary main campus to the east, 32nd Avenue on the north, Shaganappi Trail on the west, and 16th Avenue (TransCanada Highway) on the south. It incorporates the majority of the land west of the Olympic Oval.
What is the current status of development?
The project achieved land use designation in September of 2014. This approval from City Council has allowed the WCDT to begin several new processes towards development:
- Begin detailed design (includes engineering of roads and utilities, along with landscape design, streetscape and public art).
- Prepare the site for future stripping and grading in conjunction with the university (tree strategy).
- Qualify builder/developers to start formation of the built environment (homes, retail and office spaces).
- Create a branded identity to market the new community to real estate buyers.
All of these activities are underway or will proceed in 2016.
- Securing builder/developer partners through Request for Proposals.
- Beginning construction (includes municipal permitting).
- Telling the community brand story.
When can I move in, set-up a business or find an employer in the new community?
Many people have expressed a desire to live or do business in the new community. It is possible to register your interest now, and specify your needs on our registration form.
The University District plan is a long-term vision with implementation over the next 20 years.
We expect the pre-sales for homes may start in 2016, with occupancy in 2018. (Note this is dependent on market and other variables.)
How does the new name and street name concepts support the vision for the community?
To ensure that the community was branded strategically, the Trust began a place-branding process in January 2014. The process tested the pre-existing name (West Campus) for alignment with the vision, potential and appeal. After comprehensive research and analysis, the Trust determined that a new name for the community would offer the most value in establishing the new community.
The new name supports the vision to create a destination for the city that also enhances the University experience. The name ‘district’ is distinctive of the city and of a place rich in character, with famous precedents worldwide. The term further encapsulates the intended sense of place as a neighbourhood of diversity and density.
The name also aligns with a street naming concept that links the University of Calgary’s past and future.
As we are nearing the University's 50th anniversary in 2016, we have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to pay tribute to 50-years of chancellors through street names. In the proposal, each former chancellor, dating back to when the university was established in 1966, will have a street name in the new community. As elected volunteers who use their time to promote and connect the University with the rest of the province, there is no better tribute than for chancellors' names to serve as the symbolic beacon for all who navigate within the new community. The vision for the community is similar to the chancellor’s role in that it will strengthen the contribution that the University makes to the city.
What if I simply want to receive news updates about the community?
You can sign-up on our website to receive e-newsletters. (If you registered, you are automatically subscribed for e-newsletters).
Can I give the Trust a deposit to pre-purchase a home?
No. Once builder/developer partners are selected and established, pre-sales will begin. Opportunities to purchase homes will be widely publicized and shared directly with our email subscribers.
Are seniors' and/or long-term care facilities included in the master plan?
There are several zones in the land use plan which will allow for assisted living facilities. Our Request for Qualified Assisted Living Providers was issued in January of 2015. While the results of this qualification process are not final the Trust is hopeful that these facilities will become a reality in the community.
University District strives to be a complete development that welcomes people of all stages of life.
Will there be community gardens and adequate public green space?
The Master Plan builds on the many natural qualities of the site to create an integrated, environmentally sensitive open space system to serve the community.
Specifically, it responds to topographic features, preserves sensitive areas, celebrates views towards the mountains, and strengthens connections with the surrounding regional open space network and other University destinations. The design of the open space system directly responds to Calgary’s winter climate with amenities and features to encourage year-round use.
The community will have a north south “green spine” and “greenway” to make full use of, and connect, the existing park and south storm pond and smaller green spaces throughout the development.
A central park anchors the open space system to form the iconic heart of the new community. The central park includes pedestrian-oriented spaces and open play areas framed by mid-rise residential and commercial buildings with ground level retail.
Each residential neighbourhood will have a local commons park to be the outdoor focus of the area. These neighbourhood parks will connect to other community parks and open spaces through direct pedestrian connections and bicycle trails. The pedestrian environment in each street right-of-way will also form an important component of the open space network.
Community garden facilities will be an important feature for the development, and the Trust is exploring opportunities within the development area.
How will I be able to cross Shaganappi Trail?
A new intersection at Shaganappi Trail on the north side of the Alberta Children’s Hospital will provide a great opportunity for access into the West Campus community.
There is evidence to suggest that there is a strong desire line for people to cross Shaganappi at this location and this intersection will provide safe convenient access for bikes and pedestrians to cross Shaganappi Trail and join the existing pathway system in Montgomery.
There will be an at-grade (at ground level) signalized intersection, which allows for safe walking and bike access across Shaganappi and allows the movement of vehicles either north or south along Shaganappi Trail. No new vehicular access into Montgomery is being proposed.
New infrastructure will focus on making the community more accessible, convenient, and safe for all modes of travel, whether on foot, wheels or tires.
Will there be safe and active transportation within and around the development including bike and pedestrian paths?
Yes. The West Campus Plan features “complete streets” whereby all modes of travel — walking, biking, driving —are considered and connected. The entire master planned area open space system will blend seamlessly with the surrounding open space network, as bike and pedestrian paths will connect major open space elements to Main Campus and the surrounding communities.
In this approach, cycling and walking take priority over cars, and traffic calming measures include modest block sites working with narrower driving lanes. The community will also include enhanced transit service.
Who is the Trust?
The community developer, West Campus Development Trust, is an independently-operated, subsidiary of the University of Calgary. The Trust was created in 2011 with the sole mandate to develop the lands into a vibrant community over the next 15 to 20 years. The organization employs eight full-time staff who report to a governance board of directors made up of university officials, development industry representatives, and community members.
Will the west campus development limit the University of Calgary's ability to expand academic programming in the future?
No. A University of Calgary Campus Master Plan completed in 2010 confirmed that the lands are not required for core academic facilities.
Approximately 25 hectares of land can still be developed on main campus, which will allow for approximately 301,000 square meters of new academic, administrative, student life, residential, library and study space. Significant open spaces and major vehicular corridors are also available.
The lands will support main campus activity by providing an integrated neighbourhood to help to attract talent – highly qualified personnel – faculty, researchers, and students, who will enhance the University’s reputation on a national and international level. The development will be a showcase for the University’s leadership role in environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
All net income from the development will go directly to future University initiatives.
What is the primary goal of developing the lands?
The WCDT has a unique opportunity to leverage knowledge and entrepreneurship to create a community that is future-focused and that can become a global magnet for faculty, students, and staff.
The WCDT will be a leader in environmental sustainability and social responsibility providing a balanced approach to the financial return to the University.
The Trust will achieve the highest and best use of the land, while maximizing the return on the land for the benefit of the University, the city and the province.
How will you achieve your goals?
- We will collaborate with our stakeholders.
- We will be transparent.
- We will demonstrate leadership in community building.
- We will innovate.
- We will focus on the future.
Why did the Trust create an updated Master Plan?
- The 2007 Master Plan led by the University set forth a vision but did not include the detailed analysis of servicing infrastructure, landscape characteristics, transportation networks and demand management.
- The real estate market has changed dramatically since 2007 and the updated Master Plan applied a much more detailed and strategic approach to ensuring the development will be successful in current and future market conditions.
- The Trust made application to the City of Calgary for necessary land use and development related approvals in summer of 2013; work was required to ensure that the plan met with updated City objectives and incorporated City design standards as appropriate.
- The update process provides an opportunity to incorporate the needs and desires of stakeholders, including the surrounding communities, which may have changed.