The 33 Avenue SW main street runs from Crowchild Trail to 14 Street SW. It is located on the edge of the communities of Richmond and South Calgary, while the community of Altadore borders it to the south.
The interchange at Crowchild Trail has solidified 33 Avenue as a primary thoroughfare, while the coffee shops, yoga studios and retail stores have made the street a popular destination for Calgarians.
Comments were compiled from the Main Streets public engagement activities which took place from November 2014 through May 2015. The top issues, opportunities and outcomes were ranked in order of consensus and ratings from citizens. This input will be analyzed to inform the planning strategy for each main street.
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What we've heard
Top comments (ranked in order of citizen rating)
- Library as more of a community hub
- More shops/restaurants to attract other businesses
- Reduce speed limit to 40 km
- Traffic speed at 33 Avenue SW and 14 Street SW
- Speed limit of 50 km along 33 Avenue SW is too fast, 40 km is preferred
- Car-centric, no pedestrian appeal
- Safe and vibrant main street sidewalk
- High quality public realm elements
- More intensity and mix of uses along 33 Avenue SW
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What we've learned
To start developing solutions which ensure the future success of Calgary’s main street neighbourhoods, City planners listened and learned from main street users, neighbourhood residents, industry experts and economic specialists to understand the unique challenges and opportunities for growth and development in these areas.
View 33 Ave SW key findings
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Local statistics and growth targets
Growth for this main street area is close to the Municipal Development Plan desired target. The most relevant factors that narrow this gap are market desire and consumer preference; there is modest market desire to accommodate development at a level similar to Municipal Development Plan goals. Land use districts (zoning) must be in place to enable redevelopment to reach desired population and employment levels. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and will contribute to the evolution of this main street.
33 Avenue SW has recently seen a significant amount of development at its western end, with redevelopment of the former Canadian Forces lands. The neighbourhood is evolving with more housing options, bringing population growth to the area. This population growth supports services and transportation options.
Approximately 1,412 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020. Additional commercial and retail opportunities may be driven by population growth in this area.
Existing local planning
33 Avenue SW is guided by the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan, approved by City Council in 2014. Public engagement, policy creation and internal City of Calgary review was directed by the goals and objectives of the Municipal Development Plan. The boundary of the Area Redevelopment Plan, however, does not fully align with the Municipal Development Plan boundaries of the main street areas. The plan is mostly limited to parcels that front 33 Avenue SW from Crowchild Trail SW to 18 Street SW. As a result, there is no policy direction to address development transition into the adjacent residential communities which have lower density. The current land use districts from 18 Street SW, east to 14 Street SW remain so residential redevelopment has been underdeveloped and unable to support the redesign of the roadway and a higher quality streetscape.
33 Avenue SW is the heart of Marda Loop. Current zoning does not allow for the achievement of the vision set out in the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan. If fully built out, current zoning would barely allow for population and employment to reach Municipal Development Plan targets for main streets. Current zoning allows for a variety of mixed use development along 33 Avenue itself (west of 19 Street SW) and provides for a mix of apartment housing in the blocks to the south. To the north there is little to no transition from mixed use or apartment housing and on either side there are few opportunities to develop row or townhouses. Rezoning could help implement the vision set out in the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan and allow for more choice and diversity in housing, while enabling more residents and businesses to choose Marda Loop.
33 Avenue SW started as an early transportation route connecting the inner-city neighbourhood of South Calgary to the downtown core. Its growth as a main street started when settlement in South Calgary occurred with the Edwardian boom period of development in Calgary, resulting in the construction of houses, commercial buildings, and institutional buildings in this style. A high number of historic buildings still exist throughout the area, like the King Edward School, for example.
In 1911, the Calgary Municipal Railway streetcar line was established, which ran in a loop from 34 Avenue to 26 Avenue SW. Commercial development aligned with this route forming a central commercial district, now known as Marda Loop.
Today, the area contains a mix of modern, multi-use commercial and residential buildings, mid-century, modern-style commercial buildings, residential to commercial conversions, and historic residential architecture.