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Calgary multi-use parkade, Platform innovation centre closes up top; on target for spring 2021 opening

The president and CEO of an upcoming tech and innovation hub in Calgary’s East Village said project like this are needed for Calgary to continue its economy transition.

This week, crews topped off the new 9 Avenue Parkade and Platform Innovation Centre at 3 Street SE. Concrete was being poured on the seventh and final floor of the building. It’s now prepped for electrical and mechanical work.

The $80 million dual-use structure, spearheaded by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), will have 500+ parking stalls to serve the area. It will also be home to 50,000 square feet of public access space.

Platform Calgary, the owner/operator of the two-floor innovation centre, will bring together entrepreneurs, programming, partners and investors to advance Calgary’s burgeoning tech industry.

“We think it’s really important to have this kind of activity happening. Our province needs to find new ways of growing the economy,” said Terry Rock, president and CEO of Platform Calgary.

“Cities around the world that have embraced technology innovation are some of the fastest growing economies in the world.”

The building’s exterior has taken on a new look since original designs. New renderings have been put out with a change in screen material. The new design and material are locally fabricated and provide a much better long-term durability.

Artistic rendering of the finished project. CONTRIBUTED

East Village infrastructure

The building has a spring 2021 completion target. It will bring much-needed parking to an area that already boasts Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, and the Central Library.

East Village continues its revitalization with projects like this. Rock said being in this hub will be great for movers and shakers.

“We’re part of a network. We’re part of a community,” he said.

“That’s just going to be a great place for people who are creative and who are trying to make things happen in your community.”

The parkade also allows for further conversion into office or residential space, according to Glen Furtado, general manager for the CPA.

“We really wanted to reimagine how a parking structure could be designed, to integrate into its surroundings and be a dynamic part of an urban mosaic,” he said.  

“9th Avenue Parkade provided just that; it is designed, developed and built to address the evolving transportation needs of the community.”

That’s the perfect fit for the area vision developed by the CMLC.

“This building is unique for Calgary but is exactly in line with the forward-looking approach that’s guided development in East Village from the outset,” said Kate Thompson, CMLC president and CEO.

“Its flexibility means it’s responsive to the evolving needs of the neighbourhood and is built with an approach that is mindful of our communities’ needs—present and future.”