downtown plan

Calgary approves $200M for downtown plan

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The City of Calgary has approved an investment of $200 million for the Greater Downtown Plan.

The plan, developed through extensive engagement with citizens, the downtown business community, and community associations, is the vision, roadmap and commitment to build a more thriving, future-focused downtown.

“We need to create an even-more thriving downtown community that moves beyond the traditional office-based downtown central business district and instead is a dynamic, vibrant 24/7 centre of our city,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “This means taking bold action and making intentional investments in public spaces, supporting vibrant neighbourhoods, and ensuring we continue to create a downtown that people want to live and work in.”

The initial investment of $200 million is earmarked for actions that will address office vacancy, improve downtown vibrancy, and support the development of thriving neighbourhoods.

  • $45 million in financial incentives for office conversion, office replacement and new residential development.
  • $5 million in financial incentives to offset +15 Fund contributions for residential development.
  • $55 million for impactful capital projects to improve public spaces, improve vibrancy and support complete neighbourhoods.
  • $5 million to activate downtown public spaces with festivals, events and community spaces to build vibrancy.
  • $80 million for Arts Commons Transformation Phase 1.
  • $10 million over four years for a dedicated City of Calgary Downtown team.

The 10-year implementation of Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan will require a collaborative approach to enhance Calgary’s downtown. The city has been working with its downtown strategy partners (Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the University of Calgary, and the downtown business improvement areas) along with members of the real estate and business community to create an investment package that will have an impact on downtown’s greatest concerns.

The investment in Calgary’s downtown required from 2021 to 2031 is estimated at $1 billion. The initial investment package represents only 20 per cent of the overall need over the next decade. The city will require support from all levels of government to help address this 80 per cent funding gap.

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