Parker: Massive West District development attracts wealth of new quality retailers

West District is in the highly sought after west side of the city close to the Stoney Trail ring road

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A walk along Broadcast Avenue is a real eye-opener as to the enormity of the West District development. Beginning at 85th Street S.W., the stroll is along eight planned blocks of retail, a showpiece within a 95-acre planned community that will be home to more than 7,000 residents.

It’s a huge, master-planned development — the largest in the city — that has long been a vision of George Trutina, president of Truman Homes.

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The family-owned enterprise led by George and his sons — COO Tony, vice-president Oliver and vice-president of land development Peter — has been recognized over the past 35 years for its exceptional quality and distinguished craftsmanship in Calgary and surrounding areas. The family is involved in every stage of the Truman legacy project through planning, community engagement, design and construction, to handing over to tenants and commercial lessors.

West District is in the highly sought after west side of the city close to the Stoney Trail ring road, giving easy access to the Calgary International Airport, yet only 15 minutes from downtown, the Foothills Hospital and University of Calgary.

It redefines urban living with its focus on pedestrians, and there will be a huge boost to retailers along Broadcast Avenue and in other mixed-use buildings within West District, along with those living in the surrounding area that promises an affluent and robust consumer base with a high number of high-earning households.

John Moss, senior vice-president of CBRE, and his team of retail specialists are responsible for leasing the community’s million square feet of commercial space. Moss says interest is exceptional. Gateway at the entrance to the community is fully leased, housing the first suburban location for Una Pizza that is already a destination restaurant.

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And directly across the avenue the Oak & Olive will offer 216 residential units above 23,000 square feet of commercial, and the CBRE team reports action is strong for the 21,000 square feet of retail on the main floor with a signing of Oriental Phoenix, which will relocate from its home in Gulf Canada Square for the past 23 years.

Immediately to the north of Oak & Olive, a 40,000-square-foot Sobeys store is under construction, facing on to 85th Street.

On the south side of the next block along Broadcast Avenue, under construction is the Plaza, 265 residential units over two eight-storey concrete buildings atop 13,000 square feet of classy retail spaces, accentuated by state-of-the-art exterior façades paired with stunning common gathering places under an elevated walkway.

The Plaza and The Mondrian being built opposite as a mixed-use development, comprising two six-storey buildings, are enjoying strong interest from other quality retail, restaurants and service providers. The 166 residential units in The Mondrian are already sold out.

Retailers are quick to recognize the potential benefits of a large number of people able to walk to any store. Development is running at a fast clip and the district continues to attract residents won over not only by the quality of the design and workmanship of the suites, but also by unique amenities that include the $40-million, 8.4-acre Radio Park that includes year-round programming with an amphitheatre overlooking a reflecting pool, spray park, skate park and basketball court, natural areas, a generosity of public art and much more.

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The Truman family is naturally excited about West District and is moving its headquarters into several floors of Truman HQ across from the park, which will also offer 80 residential units and office above 15,000 square feet of retail units.

On the other side of the park, Radio Block will offer 14,000 square feet of commercial space where a prime restaurant opportunity is available, with a patio looking out onto what will be a very busy gathering space.

Notes:

Walton Global, founded in Calgary and now headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., has completed the sale of four parcels of land in Alberta totalling more than 540 acres. Of that, 298 acres are in Edmonton and 242 in Calgary, immediately south of Stoney Trail and west of 88th Street S.E. The parcels were sold to Multivesco, a residential real estate developer headquartered in Gatineau, Que.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622.

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