Residents excited to see construction underway on ‘pit’

For the better part of a decade, the southwest community of Mission has been stricken with an unsightly construction site right in the heart of the community.

A cavernous hole that stretches along for a block has been the black eye of the trendy area situated between 17th Avenue and Elbow Drive S.W., and extending east and west between the Elbow River and Fifth Street S.W.

Along Fourth Street S.W., between 20th and 21st Avenue, the ‘pit’, as Mission Community Association president Bob Lang calls it, is finally seeing progress with construction crews populating the site.

“The pit has been quite a negative impact on Fourth Street and the merchants there,” Lang said. “There will be a negative impact on the residents during the construction but once that’s over I think everybody will be happy.”The community of Mission in southwest Calgary is going through significant changes as half a dozen construction projects are underway.
Photo by: Derrick Newman

The block-long project, owned by the Strategic Group, was put on hold when the financial markets crashed. Now with optimism on the rise, the site is set to become a “135,000 sq. ft., mixed-use, six-storey development that will serve to enhance the neighbourhood, and fit in nicely with the trendy, eclectic atmosphere that is the Mission district,” according to the Strategic Group’s website.

They also have a live webcam (LINK) for the site that enables the public to view its progress.

Not only is this long-awaited project underway but a number of other projects are either already in progress or preparing to break ground, including:

  • A 82-unit condo building located in the lot directly behind the ‘pit’ on 20th Avenue, in between Second and Fourth Street.
  • A multi-story mixed use building on the corner of Fourth Street and 22nd Avenue.
  • A proposed community garden across from the community centre on Cliff Street
  • A large-scale condo development on 26th Avenue S.W.
  • A restaurant development directly across from the ‘pit’ on Fourth Street S.W.

At your fingertip

Miguel Ferreira, a construction project manager, has lived in the community for two years and is excited for the new developments.

“I’d like to see an increase in density with condos. I think that will really help. The more people, the more restaurants,” said Ferreira, who grew up in northeast Calgary. “You want to go for coffee, you want to go for brunch, for lunch, for dinner, it’s all walking distance.

“You need anything during the week and it’s there. You drive to work and when you get home you park your car and you’re out and about walking everywhere.”

For Janis Bent, a resident of Mission for the past two years, the new developments isn’t earth-shattering for her life, but she is excited to see movement.

“I think it’s nice to see something going on with that hole in the ground,” Bent said. “It’d be nice to have something different.

“We have a lot of bars, lot of restaurants; it’d be nice to have more shopping. It’d be nice not to have to go to Inglewood.”

The ‘pit’ is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2013.

dnewman@cjournal.ca