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$49 million affordable housing complex redevelopment underway in Rundle

Although construction is already well under way, city officials undertook a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday on one of Calgary’s newest affordable housing projects.

Dipping their shovels into the land just outside of the Rundle Manor construction site, Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Ward 10 Councillor Andre Chabot, and Bo Jiang, vice president for assets and maintenance with the Calgary Housing Company, announced the project was underway.

When complete, the Rundle Manor redevelopment project will provide rental housing for 135 mixed-income families in the north east community of Rundle.

“The City of Calgary is evolving into an organization that recognizes how it can convert existing spaces into more meaningful infrastructure,” said Mayor Gondek.

“Today we’re celebrating a chance for hundreds of Calgarians to live in a neighbourhood that hosts schools public transit, parks, and so many more amenities that make it a complete community.”

The old Rundle Manor was closed in June of 2021, after the city said it was no longer able to make affordable investments into maintaining the property. The previous Rundle Manor was more than 40 years old when it was demolished.

The new design was created to better fit into the character of the existing community. That includes re-designed sloping roof lines, increased window sizes, new courtyard spaces, and direct unit access from sidewalks.

Parking stalls will now match the number of units in the complex, and space has been added for 22 visitor stalls.

The entirety of the project is being funded by the City of Calgary, the Province of Alberta, and the Government of Canada. A total of $49 million is being spent for construction and redevelopment of the new complex. A further $2.4 million was spent to decommission the old Rundle Manor.

Construction is expected to be completed in Q1 of 2024.

Rundle Manor redevelopment site plan. CITY OF CALGARY

New Rundle Manor better suited to meet resident needs

Coun. Chabot said that the new building would better suit the needs, and density of Ward 10 residents.

“Going from 70-odd units to 135 units helps to achieve some of our objectives under the Municipal Development Plan—20 barrier-free units in this facility provide opportunities for people to live, work, and age in place,” Chabot said.

“This is truly a working class community that varies in incomes from low, to moderate, to higher income, and this being a mixed-model type of facility will provide tremendous opportunity for the community as a whole.”

He also said that the new units, located directly across from St. Rupert School and Dr. Gordon Higgins School as increasing support for those schools as the population in Rundle ages out.

“Because most of our older communities have been declining in population, these communities strive to maintain a certain amount of people to support the local businesses, the local schools,” Chabot said.

The Rundle Manor redevelopment will provide between one and four bedroom units for families.

“It is certainly going to be, I believe, a welcome addition to the community, and nice brand new facility that helps to improve the aesthetics of the community,” Chabot said.

A rendering of the Rundle Manor redevelopment courtyard. CITY OF CALGARY

Opportunities for further redevelopment in NE Calgary

Coun. Chabot said that he believes there are further sites located along the major routes in the north east.

“We’re trying to grow a city from the inside out, and we’re looking at trying to increase intensity of use on major corridors, transit corridors, and other corridors that are in close proximity to amenities,” he said.

He said that 26 Avenue NE was a prime example of sites that meet this criteria, but that there are other locations in Ward 10 that could be considered.

“I think there’s going to be tremendous opportunity on a go forward basis, as we move forward on our local area plan policy that we are redeveloping throughout the city,” Chabot said.

Mayor Gondek said that it was likely that council would be making more investments like the one in Rundle over the next decade.

“What you’ll see over the next five to 10 years is council making more and more important moves like this one, to ensure that we’ve got mixed income housing models in the city,” she said.

“This is a great place to put more housing—housing that people can actually move into, either from an existing place or first time homeowner. This school right here is a great opportunity for kids to be educated in play, and It’s just it’s a gorgeous place to live, and we want to do more of this in our established areas.”