Updated Fall 2012...
The project described by David Parker below would presumably result in the loss of the 1912 Union Building (Lido Cafe), and the 'plus size' version of the project being considered could also include buildings on 9A Street and 2nd Street, including the stucco apartment building on the SW corner of 2nd Avenue and 9A Street that is a local landmark.
A rendering of a version of the project from www.skyscraperpage.com
10th Street project promises attractive real estate mix
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
There's great news for shoppers and merchants of the Kensington area of 10th Street N.W. as an exciting development is being planned that will provide a good deal more parking. During the rush-hour periods street parking is not allowed on the busy north/south commuter road, but about a year ago the Calgary Parking Authority bought a surface lot at the corner of 2nd Avenue and the former Ant Hill Fabric store
next door with the idea of building an underground parkade with retail and residential above.
It seemed to have stalled but the time has been taken to negotiate with developers to enter into a joint venture agreement where more properties have been purchased to make the project bigger and provide more parking.
Ritchie and Vincent Fung who have owned and run the Lido Cafe
for many years are investors along with the Dobbin Group and Atlas Development, businesses with a lot of experience and understanding of the area, who are in discussion with the CPA to extend the parking further south under their site. The authority would manage the parking while the new partnership will build retail and office floors topped by a condominium tower.
The initial design will go ahead but the developers are currently seeking arrangements with other property owners in the block to join with them in developing a much larger project.
They would like to see three levels of underground parking -- more than doubling the initial proposal -- stretching from 10th Street to 9A Street using the back alley as a widened pedestrian walkway flanked by two levels of retail. Another two floors of office space would be built on both sides and then spanned with an archway supporting eight floors of residential condo units terraced back from 2nd Avenue.
It's a great location within easy walking or cycling distance of downtown and just a couple of short blocks away from the Sunnyside LRT Station.
The concept is an attractive one that will change the face of 10th Street providing not only much needed parking but a good mixed use of more retail, office and residential that will add a lot of life to the area.
Chris Dobbin of the Dobbin Group and Michael Evans of Atlas Development have a real heart for Kensington. We got into a discussion of potential improvements for the wider Hillhurst/Sunnyside area and spent some time doodling with an idea to convert the red brick former fire station on the north side of the Louise Bridge into a fine restaurant with a large wooden dock over the Bow River that might harbour a boat to take people over to Prince's Island Park. Why not?