Unique parkade and innovation centre launched in Calgary

East Village project will feature a fully-integrated 50,000-square-foot innovation centre

Mario ToneguzziA unique parkade and office space in Calgary’s East Village has broken ground for what will be an innovation centre just outside the downtown core.

The $80-million project, which includes the Calgary Parking Authority and Platform (Zinc Ventures), will be located at 9th Avenue and 3rd Street S.E. It will include seven levels with a 500-plus-stall parkade, room for bike parking, and a fully-integrated 50,000-square-foot innovation centre, Platform, which will be operated by Calgary Technologies Inc.

“This is a strategic future-focused development coming to life and just as we embraced the challenge of delivering a landmark Central Library, we embraced CPA’s need for more downtown parking and coupled it with the opportunity to create an innovative community hub,” said Michael Brown, president and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corp., which is the master developer of East Village.

“This project is an opportunity to do what we’ve done from the start in East Village: design and build with place-making and people in mind.”

The structure will also include a ground floor cafe, an outdoor sport court and active public spaces.

The building was designed by architects Kasian and 5468796. The design allows for future conversion of the space into commercial or residential uses.

Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.

“Since 1988, CTI has been located at the University Research Park, and presently houses over 40 companies at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre. Our renewed strategy, aligned with the 10-year economic strategy for Calgary, calls for us to play a stronger role in supporting all elements of Calgary’s innovation ecosystem,” said Terry Rock, CTI’s president and CEO.

In quarter one of 2019, CTI will rebrand to become Platform Calgary. The name change marks the next phase of evolution of CTI, a non-profit agency focused on engaging, activating and globalizing Calgary’s startup and innovation ecosystem.

“The addition of Platform to CTI’s strategy significantly increases our ability to promote the kinds of relationships that characterize the world’s strongest performing innovation ecosystems. These changes mark a new commitment to developing the innovation ecosystem, beginning with the transformation of CTI, largely inspired by the grassroots Rainforest movement in Calgary,” said Rock.

CTI, as it transitions into the Platform brand, has worked with CMLC to secure the 5,300-square-foot Hillier
Block to serve as its interim downtown facility.

“Platform is a key piece of the puzzle as we work towards transforming Calgary into a global innovation hub,” said Zinc Ventures president Brad Zumwalt, who co-founded Platform. Zumwalt also co-founded Rainforest Alberta, an organization created to work together to improve Calgary’s innovation ecosystem.

“By having both space and programming available to technology companies, especially in this new innovation corridor, we can be a catalyst for the ecosystem.”

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