Urban Strategies are the master planning consultants for Claridge Homes’ ‘East Flats’ development, which comprises 1,650 units, including a 55-storey condo tower.
Excerpt from CBC News article dated January 9, 2017, announcing the public open house held that evening:
“On Monday, we’re going to look at three years’ worth of work we’ve been doing to re-imagine what we’re calling ‘The East Flats’,” said George Dark, a partner at Urban Strategies.
“The original master plan on this is now probably over 20 years old, but also, when the original master plan was done, there wasn’t an LRT station right there … And so, this particular piece of land needs to be updated to meet the aspirations of the city.”
As well as increasing the density of the site, the plan calls for cycling and pedestrian walkways that would help residents get around the new neighbourhood — and possibly help people get from Pimisi Station to the new central library, which is being proposed for a piece of city-owned property adjacent to the Claridge lands.
“There won’t just be a condominium neighbourhood,” said Dark. “It will have condominiums, yes, but it will also have seniors’ housing, it’ll have affordable housing, it’ll have rental housing. We’re looking at how we can supply housing in what we’re calling ‘west downtown’ for families, as well.”
The plan also calls for retail on the site and Claridge officials have said they are specifically looking to attract a grocer to the area. And there’s a wider array of uses being planned, including rental and seniors’ residences, and affordable housing.
“I’m encouraged by the plans,” said Coun. Catherine McKenney, who represents the area. “I think that if what we’re seeing here is implemented, it certainly would be great. They’re looking at establishing a complete neighbourhood … where people will be able to spend their day. They’ll have a grocery store, there will be the amenities people need to be able to stay in their neighbourhood.”
McKenney also gave a shout-out to the streetscape plans, especially on Booth. The Claridge plans call for three tall buildings to have entrances on Booth, which McKenney said will help provide “an active frontage” on the currently vacant, elevated street.