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Michael Brown, president and CEO of CMLC, believes every Calgarian has an interest in projects CMLC initiates

Michael Brown, president and CEO of CMLC, believes every Calgarian has an interest in projects CMLC initiates. Photo by Wil Andruschak

Every Calgarian is a developer. That might sound a bit outlandish. But it’s in fact a reality thanks to Calgary Municipal Land Corporation — or CMLC, for short.

The organization is a real estate development company owned wholly by the City of Calgary, and is a real estate enterprise for the benefit of all Calgarians.

“The purpose of our organization is to, efficiently and effectively as we can, redevelop city-owned lands to meet the City of Calgary’s long-term goals with respect to densification, diversification of use and other key aspects of leading-edge urban planning,” says Michael Brown, president and CEO of CMLC.

And that in turn means every Calgarian does have an interest in the projects the CMLC takes on.

While the development corporation often works under the radar of most citizens, the projects it takes on are by no means insignificant.

“We are tasked with the development of an area in Calgary called the
‘Rivers District,’ ” he says about a large parcel of land on the east side of downtown, consisting of more than 500 acres.

“It’s basically east of City Hall and bound by the Bow River to the north and the Elbow River to the south.”

CMLC is 10 years into a 20-year master plan for the redevelopment of the East Village. It oversaw key infrastructure upgrades that helped spark more than $3 billion in planned investment to the area, Brown says, adding work still continues in the area with developers building condominium, commercial and hotel projects.

Other high-profile projects include the completion of the redevelopment of St. Patrick’s Island in 2015 and leading the construction delivery of the new Central Library, which is opening Nov. 1.

Both reflect the long term vision of the East Village Master Plan.

“We want to ensure the community assets we develop in challenged areas of the city thrive,” he says, adding unlike private developers, it provides programming for public spaces it develops, like St. Patrick’s Island.

Moreover, CMLC’s reason for being is not just to ultimately develop projects that provide financial benefit for its shareholders — those being the citizens of Calgary, he says.

“It’s also the future tax dollars that are generated as a result of the development and the private sector development that often follows suit.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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