CMLC x RNDSQR: A Partnership for City-building

Yesterday we announced our partnership with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) for an exciting new development to reimagine the David D. Oughton School Site in Calgary's South East. 

 

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The Site & History

Just off International Avenue in Albert Park/Radisson Heights—a neighbourhood of multi-cultural families and mom and pop shops—sits 8.77 acres of potential known as the David D Oughton (DDO) school site. The site was home to a public elementary school for more than a half-century until the Calgary Board of Education declared it surplus and closed its doors in 2006. In 2008, the City of Calgary purchased the DDO site. In 2015, The City demolished the building and remediation work at the site was completed in 2017.

In 2018, after receiving its expanded mandate to work outside the Rivers District, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) purchased the David D. Oughton land parcel. CMLC recognized the untapped potential for future development at the DDO site and its surroundings, and knew that it was primed to start its next life as both a residential development and as a catalyst for economic development in a Calgary neighbourhood that’s vibrant but has often been overlooked.

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RNDSQR Co-Founder Alkarim Devani Speaking at the Launch with RNDSQR's CEO Afshin Devani, CMLC's President & CEO Michael Brown, and Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the front row.

The Announcement

We heard from Michael Brown, CMLC’s President & CEO, “RNDSQR is an ideal partner in the next chapter of CMLC’s work to bring new energy to old neighbourhoods, create credibility and confidence, and inspire communities.

“Collaboration is the foundation of our city-building efforts. For more than 10 years in East Village, we’ve worked with world-shaping architects, bold and forward-thinking developers, culinary entrepreneurs, innovative educators, local and international artists and many more. RNDSQR, our newest partner, has pioneered a concept called ‘competitive affordability’—a residential style that adapts to homeowners’ needs over a lifetime and enables families of all kinds to enjoy inner-city home ownership.

“I’m excited about this development partnership because locally made, affordability-focused solutions offer hope to a much broader mix of Calgarians while meeting the City of Calgary’s goals of urban densification and revitalization.”

Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra said, “The new meshes seamlessly with the well-established. As a family firm with roots just down the way, RNDSQR understands the culture of this diverse part of the city as few do, and they’ve got ideas about how to accommodate this diversity of residents.”

Our Co-founder Alkarim Devani also spoke, “We both understand and value complete, compact communities where walking is a smart way to get around. We know that authentic community grows in places where people of many ages—intergenerational families—and with varied needs can feel like they belong. We share an appreciation for the power of programming and public art to enrich communities, and we both value having—and being involved in creating—places where people can meet and where innovation and creativity flourish.

“We make homes that enable people and families—in all their various shapes and sizes—to feel at home. And we’re thrilled to be working with CMLC to spark new thinking and new living in Albert Park/Radisson Heights.”

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CMLC's Clare LePan and Mayor Naheed Nenshi holding a community mosaic made by attendees.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said, “This partnership and the development they’re creating complements The City’s ongoing commitment to and investment in the area, including the opening of the MAX Purple rapid transit service last year.

“Both organizations are experienced in leveraging the potential of place, and they understand how this type of development can spur economic opportunities that give communities confidence in their future.”

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From left to right: CMLC's Michael Brown, an Oughton relative, Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, International Avenue representative, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Afshin Devani and Alkarim Devani.

The Partnership

What our firms have in common is a desire to create places that make a difference. We both understand and value complete, compact communities where walking is a viable way to get around. We both know that authentic community grows in places where people of many ages—intergenerational families—and with varied needs can feel like they belong. We share an appreciation for the power of programming and public art to enrich communities, and we both value places where people can meet and thoughts can collide. We measure success by how many people we can include in our community and how much neighbourhood entrepreneurialism we can spark. Both our organizations are experienced in leveraging the potential of place, and we understand how development is a tool of economic development that can give communities confidence in their future.

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Coming Soon

Phase 1 of the new development is projected to break ground in 2021. Our team is excited to work alonside CMLC and community members to build in Calgary's SE. Read the full press release here and follow along with progress and updates here!

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