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A New East Village Tower, With a Twist

Embassy Bosa 3D renderingCalgary Municipal Land Corporation The planned tower — in another East Village.

It’s a familiar story in the East Village — the once-grungy neighborhood made cool attracts new investment marked by glittering glass condo towers. Here’s the latest project by developer Embassy Bosa: a 700,000 sq. ft. mixed-use development. The deal was done in late 2010 and sales are expected to begin early next year.

Before you take to the comments in a paroxysm of anti-yuppie fervor, I should let you know something. These three towers will rise not in The East Village, New York, New York but in East Village (no The), Calgary, Alberta. Yes, there’s a shadowy doppelganger of our neighborhood stirring to life in Western Canada.

The neighborhood’s boosters are not shy about playing up to the reputation of its New Yorker sister. This week a competition to name the Embassy Bosa condos came to a close and the winner will be whisked down to The East Village, New York for a vacation.

“The East Village started in a similar way: a rough derelict area that needed a bit of love and care,” said Susan Veres a spokeswoman for the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, referring to our neighborhood. The hope is the prize will link the two neighborhoods in the minds of Calgarians and show them what their East Village could be like in the future.

The irony, though, is that the sorts of buildings going up in Calgary — multifamily, mixed-use, to use the language of developers — are the sorts of things that would no doubt be the subject of multi-hour, mixed-opinion Community Board 3 debates were they to appear here. In Calgary, the rejuvenation of the neighborhood has been greeted with near-universal acclaim.
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