This blog post is sponsored by East Village/Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Michael Brown the president and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation gets right to the point: “There are certain things you need as a neighbourhood and you need a grocery store.”

With towers quickly sprouting in East Village and the number of future residents climbing the lack of retail designed to serve the needs of the developing community was a lingering concern but the issue was put to bed with the recent announcement of a shopping centre anchored by Loblaws that will form the base of a new mixed-use development.

“In our minds it was never going to just be a retail shopping centre” says Stuart Craig vice-president of planning and development for RioCan the company responsible for the retail portion of the new development.

“We’re looking at truly creating a shopping experience that’s going to serve people living in East Village and Calgary’s east end We’re not seeing this as a specialty or boutique kind of retail” says Craig. “We’re talking to drug stores we’re talking to hardware stores we’ve got Loblaws these are the kinds of things that people want to buy within close proximity to their home. It’s going to be a truly functional urban shopping centre.”

Loblaws will open an “urban format” store that occupies the majority of the shopping centre’s second floor and RioCan is close to securing an anchor tenant that will take up approximately half of the first floor. The rest of the centre will feature smaller retailers as well as restaurants and coffee shops that will ring the exterior providing much-needed street presence and patio space.

Sitting atop this new centre will be one of the tallest residential towers in East Village and the city along with a smaller twin. Embassy BOSA already a major player in the neighbourhood will build a 40-storey and a 23-storey tower on top of the retail podium allowing residents quick access to their daily needs and providing built-in customers for the new development.

“We’re basically doubling our commitment in East Village” says Ryan Bosa president of Embassy BOSA.

“East Village is for me the most satisfaction I think I’m going to get out of any project. To come into a city at the right time in an area at the right time where you understand the village aspiration and you know you can contribute something to it is unbelievable” says Bosa. The announcement of a grocery store and retail centre is just another step forward for Calgary’s newest urban community.

“Every year looks better and better in East Village and every announcement it gets better and better” he says. “When people take the time to see what’s actually been announced and what’s coming and underway it’s almost overwhelming. It’s a whole new city within a city.”