In November 2018, JEMM Properties invited Bridgeland-Riverside residents to join in an open discussion about a new development planned for the community. The event, coordinated with the support of the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association, provided interested neighbours with an opportunity to hear more about JEMM’s vision for land located at 950 Mcpherson Square NE. The property is bordered by 9th Street NE, McDougall Road and McPherson Road within The Bridges district of Bridgeland.
JEMM is currently applying for a Land Use amendment that would enable development of a mixed-use building on the site. The preliminary vision for the site includes commercial uses at street level topped by leasable living spaces, which together would animate this currently vacant section of the community.
Building in The Bridges
“One of the most exciting things about this site is its location within the context of The Bridges,” explained Martin Langlois, Director of Operations and Business Development for JEMM Properties. “The vision for a downtown community that emphasizes walkability, diversity and sustainability is exactly aligned with JEMM’s values as a creative urban builder.”
Planning for The Bridges was completed in 1999 as part of a direction set by the City of Calgary to strategically densify and enliven the underused 37-acre area parcel adjacent to the Bridgeland-Memorial LRT station. Over the last two decades, numerous mid and higher density projects have been developed and now give form to the principles of Transit-Oriented Design (TOD) that were key to the initial master plan.
JEMM Properties, in developing 950 Mcpherson Square, will bring residents to one of the final vacant sites in The Bridges and contribute to the evolution of this award-winning community.
Participants in the open house event heard that JEMM has initiated re-zoning of the site through an application to the City for Land Use re-designation. By updating the Land Use, JEMM’s goal is to gain flexibility in design that fosters innovation and brings value to the community.
JEMM’s project team from Zeidler Architecture and O2 Planning + Design provided information to community members about the Land Use change that would see the site changed from Direct Control (DC 41z2002) to a Direct Control based on the Mixed Use General District (MU-1 f5.5h50). This would allow development of a building up to 50m in height, introduce retail and restaurants at street level and minimize vehicle parking in favour of promoting alternate modes of transportation.
Starting a Community Conversation
“Bridgeland is a wonderfully diverse community with some residents having lived here for decades while others are part of a new wave of urbanites attracted to the energy of The Bridges,” says Edan Lindenbach, Director of Development for JEMM. “We want our project to earn a warm welcome here, and through this open house and our ongoing community engagement process we are working to ensure our plans for this site reflect an authentic connection to community.”
During the open house, some community members expressed concerns about the potential for increased parking congestion in areas surrounding the future building. JEMM, in response to those concerns and in keeping with TOD principles, committed to include a variety of transportation strategies that would foster the use of dedicated car shares, bike use and transit as part of future design. Short-term angled parking will be added on 9th Street for retail shoppers and a new flashing crossing beacon will make it safer for pedestrians crossing 9th to and from the LRT.
Ways to Engage
Community members are invited to learn more about JEMM’s proposed Land Use Amendment at jemm.ca and click on the “Ask a Question” link to ask questions or share comments with JEMM and their project team.
Following the Land Use Amendment process, a Development Permit application process will begin in the spring of 2019 and JEMM will continue to create new community engagement events and opportunities.