From McKenzie Towne and Rosemont to Auburn Bay and University Heights, Brookfield Residential has helped build this city with their vibrant and established communities popping up in YYC since 1989.
"We’ve built over 60 master planned communities in Calgary and are proud to associate ourselves with this modern take on a master-planned community in the heart of our city and University District,” says Gisele Danis, Brookfield Residential, Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
“It’s also great to return to this area of the city as we built nearby in Varsity and Varsity Acres, both award-winning communities.”
Gisele Danis, Brookfield Residential vice president of Marketing and Communications reflects on what she feels the University District will bring to Calgary’s literal and metaphorical landscape.
Q: You represent a developer that has a 60-year history with deep roots in Alberta. Historically, have you ever seen anything like the University District attempted in Calgary?
A: The University District is incredibly unique within Calgary. The area speaks to our Brookfield values; we are about creating human connections and improving people’s quality of life through thoughtfully designed communities. This project indeed delivers that through its design, rigorous planning, choices of retail and amenities and allows residents walkable access to work, live and play all within the community. University District, over time, will be a central hub in our city and no doubt will become known for providing a new and healthier way to live, engage and enjoy life in one of the greatest cities in Canada.
Q: What makes the University District stand out to you as such an innovative and exciting project?
A: The University District’s overall plan is exciting with a large emphasis on sustainability. Very few developers have such a focus on sustainability, but this development has thought about keeping the community green in several facets, which adds to the beauty. With a network of pathways and an abundance of local amenities and businesses nearby, residents can walk and bike to everything they need without relying on a vehicle.
Q: What kind of community vibe can residents of the UD expect to experience?
A: We see the University District as being incredibly active. There will be great energy throughout the community with the abundance of public spaces, pathways and neighbourhood facilities. We also feel that residents will feel a deep connection to their neighbours and neighbourhood through all of the programs and facilities that this community offers.
Q: This will be one of the most eco-minded and advanced communities in Canada. If you had to pick your favourite sustainability design aspect of the University District, what would it be and why?
A: The site drainage and eco-friendly design are incredible, but the standards that all builders and businesses within the community have to agree to meet for energy and water efficiencies is the most exciting for us. The commitment that every partner must make to West Campus Development Trust shows an unwavering support for a sustainable future and brings us closer to a collective goal.
Q: If you were to paint a picture for potential residents of what their typical Saturday exploring their community might look like, what would you include?
A: We feel the typical Saturday would start with opening up your front door to grab the newspaper and chatting with your neighbour. All of Brookfield’s designs were mindfully made so that residents can see their neighbours and connect. Every unit has a front door that opens to an open space or a vibrant public street, engaging community members in daily activities and ensuring there is an active presence of people at various times of the day.
We could imagine neighbours scheduling time to meet up to go for a jog along the “Green Spine” or meeting in one of the many parks to do some light yoga. Lunch could include taking the family to a café for sandwiches and then spending the afternoon getting groceries and running errands on Main Street. The evening consists of neighbours getting together for dinner and walking over to a concert in the urban plaza in central park.
Q: Why is 2016 the right time to make this ambitious project happen in Calgary?
A: Calgary is always growing and as the economy continues to diversify, people want more choice in terms of their home and community. We are at a moment of shift, where the youthfulness of the city and determination to be different has culminated in the drive for distinctive, diverse and sustainable communities to the preferred place to live. The University District is very unique and we believe that it will be very appealing to both existing and new Calgarians.