Land deal inked for Green Line LRT station at Eau Claire

An artist's conception of what the Green Line LRT station at Eau Claire might look like. (City of Calgary - image credit)
An artist's conception of what the Green Line LRT station at Eau Claire might look like. (City of Calgary - image credit)

The city has made a deal that will see Eau Claire Market torn down to make way for an underground Green Line LRT station and a redevelopment of the site across from Prince's Island Park.

Harvard Developments has reached an agreement with the City of Calgary and the Green Line Board to sell a portion of its land at Eau Claire to accommodate the CTrain station at Second Street S.W., the city said in a release Thursday.

"This is a critically important station along the 46-kilometre future alignment and will bridge the Eau Claire and Chinatown communities and connect Calgarians to a treasured part of the city," said Green Line LRT CEO Darshpreet Bhatti.

The agreement will see Eau Claire Market remain open until mid-2024, after which time it will be turned over to the city for demolition to allow for construction of the station.

Harvard Developments said the company believes the deal puts the final piece in place for it to replace the existing market with a mixed-use, transit-oriented development.

City of Calgary
City of Calgary

"We acquired this property in 2004 not for what it was … but with a vision for what it could be," said the firm's president and CEO, Rosanne Hill Blaisdell.

"We believe this site, with an LRT station, has the potential to be a key component in the transformation of downtown."

The city and the developer met with the market's tenants earlier this week about the plan.

"While we view this as a time of optimism and revitalization, we also understand this infrastructure initiative will require closure and relocation of the 50-plus businesses who call Eau Claire Market home," said Hill Blaisdell.

"We value our relationship with our tenants, so it was important to give them as much notice as possible to ensure a smooth transition for their business."

LISTEN | Rosanne Hill Blaisdell describes what the future of Eau Claire Market could look like:

Last summer, the city determined there were only two teams of companies qualified to bid to build the first section of Calgary's Green Line LRT, an 18-kilometre section from Shepard in the deep southeast to Eau Claire in downtown.

Those two consortiums — Bow City Connectors and City Link Partners — were invited to advance to the request-for-proposal (RFP) stage.

Once those proposals are evaluated early this year, the city says it will name the successful development partner, triggering an approximately 12-month development phase for design, establishing prices and confirming a project schedule for the $5.5-billion megaproject.