The 4 Street NW main street is oriented north-south, and stretches from 16 Avenue to 32 Avenue NW. The main street is located entirely within the mature and established community of Mount Pleasant, which includes a historic community once known as Balmoral.
Development along the 4th Street NW main street varies in age and architectural style, which is common to neighbourhoods with development over several decades. Although demographic trends dating back to 2007 show a decline in the local population of Mount Pleasant, projections from 2014 onwards forecast a surge in the residential population as the area redevelops. This well established main street is primarily used as a commuter route, although commercial activity including restaurants and neighbourhood pubs has increased in recent years.
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)
- Bring more focus to the North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre - maybe a plaza
- Beautification of streetscape
- 2 Street NW is great for bikes but 4 Street NW needs improvement
- Secondary suites across the area
- Retail: we need to revitalize the commercial or add new commercial to make us a walkable, destination area
- Unsafe pedestrian crossing at 4 Street and 26 Avenue NW
- Pedestrian and family-friendly street
- Variety of businesses
- Community gathering
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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 4 Street NW key findings
View full report of what we've learned
Local statistics and growth targets
Growth for this main street area is significantly less than the Municipal Development Plan target. The most relevant factors contributing to this are market desire and consumer preference, which haven’t driven redevelopment. Land use districts (zoning) must be in place to enable redevelopment potential to increase to desired population and employment levels, but strong market interest is a key for fueling new construction. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and will contribute to the evolution of this main street.
Based on the 2011 census, the trade area accounts for about 2,361 homes, or about 0.51% of Calgary’s housing inventory. 4 Street NW has a higher than average share of multifamily units, specifically semi-detached homes. The housing stock is considerably older than the city wide average, with the majority of homes built before 1960. The trade area contains significantly newer development. Given the historic and inner-city nature of this corridor, the overall age of its housing stock aligns with expectations and suggests that many units may be reaching the end of their lifecycle and may be ready for redevelopment. The result is a total of some 900 residential units built over the next 25 years, starting at about 20 units per year between 2016 and 2020. Additional commercial and retail opportunities in the area will be driven by population growth in the immediate area.
4 Street NW is predominantly residential with minimal office real estate. The main street has about 45,000 square feet of office space accounting for about 0.06% of the city wide inventory.
Existing local planning
This main street is primarily low density residential with limited local commercial areas. This commercial area and the low density residential areas along 4 Street NW have area redevelopment plan policies to direction land use planning by the North Hill Area Redevelopment Plan, approved by City Council in 2000. The current North Hill Area Redevelopment Plan does not provide land use policies that support the Municipal Development Plan goals of a mixed use street along 4 Street NW.
4 Street NW is intended to be a neighbourhood main street, serving the community of Mount Pleasant. Current zoning does not allow for development to reach the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan for population and employment. This is currently restricting housing choice to single- and semi-detached homes, with little to no opportunities for mixed use, apartment, or even row or townhouse development. Rezoning could help introduce building forms that work with the scale of the main street neighbourhood while allowing for more housing choice and a greater population. Increased population would help to sustain City services and enhance the viability of local businesses.
All of the public input and discussion with experts throughout the project included one common concept; focus the effort of the Main Streets initiative work on a few key or strategic streets in the short term to maximize chances of success. By analysing local input, economic information and infrastructure investments, the Main Streets team identified which main streets are good candidates for development and growth in the near future.
Once that success has been tested, it will then be applied to main streets across Calgary as the timing for growth makes sense based on the unique needs of each street.
Based on all the information gathered, a series of proposed solutions have been created which would enable growth in main street areas that have been identified as ready for development. To learn more about the areas with rezoning options and Area Development Plan amendments being reviewed and considered for approval in the near future, visit the Main Streets' rezoning information page.
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