Construction begins on Village Commons in Calgary’s East Village
Original article from Calgary Newsroom
This community space is a partnership between Calgary Housing Company, carya, and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation
Calgary Housing Company (CHC), in partnership with carya and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), is excited to announce the start of construction of Village Commons – a brand new community hub that will be located on the second floor of CHC’s East Village Place (610 8th Ave SE).
On September 24th from 11AM – 1PM we will be hosting an event in East Village’s 5th Street Square (712 5th St SE) to provide a taste of what is to come at Village Commons.
After an extensive process to determine the programs and services desired by residents and the community, CHC found the perfect partner in carya – an organization with more than 110 years of creating healthier, more connected communities in Calgary. It was critical to find a strong partner that could operate a sustainable program without subsidies from CHC’s residential operations.
“We are pleased to have found such great partners, and that we are able to be part of developing an important resource for the community,” says Sarah Woodgate, President of Calgary Housing Company.
Village Commons will feature a community kitchen designed by Group2 Architecture Interior Design Ltd, in partnership with their kitchen consultant, Burnstad Consulting, an art studio for classes and self-directed creativity, recreation spaces, a family counselling centre, and common areas for neighbours to get to know each other. All Calgarians will be welcome to learn, cook, create, and access the mental health supports they need to thrive.
“carya got its start in East Village in 1910, so we’re thrilled to be coming full circle with Village Commons,” says carya CEO Monique Auffrey. “After months of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this community gathering space will be more important than ever.”
65% of East Village residents live alone, which means that social isolation is an ongoing concern. Village Commons will join existing landmarks such as the Calgary Public Library, Salvation Army, and Studio Bell as an important place in the neighbourhood to gather, access resources, and build community.
“I am really quite excited about this project,” says area Councilor Druh Farrell. “It’s another piece in the puzzle of a diverse new community coming together. carya does such great work – I know the programs they offer will be a great value to seniors, families and other residents of East Village.”
Through partnerships with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the Calgary Flames Foundation, Farm Credit Canada, and others, carya has already begun to imagine what programming in Village Commons will look like. Alongside new food and nutrition opportunities, many of carya’s existing programs will be offered in the space, all at either no or low cost. Funding and donations, including a grant from the Government of Alberta’s Community Facility Enhancement Program, are helping to make this possible.
carya will connect with an estimated 24,000 people from all ages and stages of life in the first five years of opening the new space. Village Commons will open its doors in early 2021.
CHC is also pleased to be partnering with CMLC who will project manage the construction project. CMLC brings significant project management expertise as well as important perspective as the agency responsible for the implementation of the East Village Master Plan.
“East Village has evolved into a vibrant mixed-use community with a diverse mix of residents. carya’s Village Commons enriches the community and brings an important community space where residents of all ages are welcome,” says Kate Thompson, President and CEO, CMLC.
Additional commercial space on the ground floor of the building is being offered for lease with the goal of locating tenants who will further contribute to the rapidly evolving neighbourhood.
CHC purchased East Village Place in 2016 and currently provides 163 affordable homes in the building.
Read more at CaryaCalgary.ca