With two Calgary-based development partners at the helm, University District is led by an independent team of community builders. What makes our two inaugural builders tick, and why are they so passionate about this unique project? This week we're talking to one of them, Truman, to hear why University District was such a good fit for their team.
It’s a family business, and for the past 30 years, the Trutina clan have been building properties of exceptional quality and distinguished craftsmanship throughout Calgary. From country estates to contemporary condos, the Master Builders value individual customer relations and community.
“We’re hands-on. We touch every project and go to each site that we work on. I open drawers. I test cupboards, and I make sure each place we build is a home that I would want to live in,” says Vice President of Truman, Oliver Trutina.
“The ‘secret sauce’ to success, put simply, is hard work. When you believe in what you’re doing and the work that you can accomplish as a builder in your community, that’s when you will be successful.”
As Truman has grown into the successful Master Builder they are today; the Trutina family have committed to giving back to their city. Truman has provided affordable home ownership to as many Albertans as possible through partnerships that have enabled them to pledge up to 25 per cent of all the product they produce in Alberta to organizations helping to close the affordability gap.
Oliver Trutina, vice president Truman homes, reflects on what he feels the University District will bring to his very own hometown of Calgary.
Q: Truman have a 30-year-legacy in Alberta, built on a firm foundation of a family run business. Historically, have you ever seen anything like the University District attempted in Calgary?
A: It’s an entirely new and innovative approach, and that’s what we thrive on at Truman. We’re not afraid to jump into something pioneering and groundbreaking, and be part of that inaugural mix. When you stick your head out and say: ‘We don’t care if it’s never been done before. We’re here to make it happen.’ That’s when you get to be part of history in the making and help change your community for the better.
Q: What makes the University District stand out?
A: Everything you would not only need, but everything that you might want or wish for, is already there. You’re close to downtown, and you’re close to amenities such as hospitals, the UofC, parks, even the mountains are even relatively close. There’s sports arenas nearby and entertainment areas. It’s a once-and-a-lifetime project to be a part of and something I truly believe we will never do again.
My brothers and I are alumni of the University of Calgary — so what excites us most is helping to evolve and elevate something already ingrained in us. It’s a way that we as alumni can help further the University and the city. How cool is that? It means that for us as alumni of the UofC and Calgarians, we get to come back full circle and help build this area. It’s pretty awesome!
Q: We know the University District will add incredible infrastructure, architecture and enterprise to the city. But it will also have a tremendous impact on culture and community. How do you think the University District will progressively contribute to the culture of our ever-evolving city?
A: It’s absolutely going to be another layer to Calgary’s cultural typology. It’s going to be well-done and well-planned, and I believe that it will be a prime example of Canadian place-making. Imagine living in a place where when people talk about their home they will be able to tell people from all over the globe: “I live right beside the Olympic oval.”
That’s a prime example of place-making and master planning. It feeds into Truman’s core philosophy and values; community and place-making are one of the most important things we can do in cities to further not only our infrastructure but our cultural evolution. It all goes hand-in-hand. If you build it…
Q: Why is 2016 the right time to make this ambitious project happen in Calgary?
A: We know that, unfortunately, Calgary is in the midst of an economic downturn. Right now, it’s more important than ever for the innovators, entrepreneurs and industry leaders in this city to come together and show our community that great things can still happen in downturns. Innovative, exceptional projects can still come to fruition and those projects, led by local industry, will thrive while creating excitement and job opportunities, as well as active inertia for Calgary.
Truman is proud to be part of that, and we’re also excited to see Calgary take a leadership role in creating what we think will be one of Canada’s leading place-making communities.