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West Campus ready for development

By Fabian Mayer, May 21 2015 —

More details about the planned West Campus development have been released.

The West Campus Development Trust (WCDT) is in charge of designing and planning the new community, which will be built on the vacant land west of campus. The area is bound by Shaganappi Trail, 16th Avenue and 32nd Avenue. WCDT proposes calling the community “University District” and naming streets after former University of Calgary Chancellors.

WCDT CEO James Robertson said they envision the development as an urban village similar to Kensington or Inglewood.

“It’s designed for everybody. It’s intended to be a true mixed-use community. From young students, to young professionals, to couples and to seniors,” Robertson said.

Both the U of C Board of Governors and the City of Calgary have approved the development plans. Construction could begin as early as late 2016, with the first residents moving in by 2018.

There are no plans to include student-specific dwellings in the area, but Robertson claims housing will be accessible to students.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure that the housing that’s released is suitable to not just a wide demographic in terms of lifestyle, but also a wide demographic in terms of income level,” Robertson said.

He believes the development’s contribution to the university will be more than just financial. 

“It creates a much more exciting experience when you’re at campus with coffee shops, restaurants and places to go,” Robertson said.

As a subsidiary of the U of C, WCDT will return all profits from the development to the university. According to the WCDT’s website, it seeks to “maximize the return on the land for the benefit of the university.”

Seven of the board’s 15 directors are affiliated with the U of C, seven are involved in the development industry and there is one community representative.

Students’ Union president Levi Nilson sits on the WCDT board of directors as a student representative, but was unable to comment on the development at this time.

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