April 27, 2012 | Cody Stuart
From Brownfield to Brownstone
When browsing through the list of Calgary communities, envisioning how many of them were named isn't the easiest of endeavors. Rarely tying back to any physical idea or origin, the names are normally as pleasant as they are intangible.
However, for one Calgary community, that name couldn't be any more concrete. Located along the banks of the Bow River in southeast Calgary, Quarry Park is a former gravel site that has been transformed into an innovative community by Remington Development Corporation.
"It was a blighted site, that the city and a lot of developers looked at and couldn't figure out what to do with and how to make it work," said Jamie Cooper, senior VP of Land Development & Construction for Remington Development Corporation.
"Remington historically has been a commercial builder, whether it's been warehouses or suburban offices. This was our first venture into residential, so we wanted to do a true mixed-use development with office buildings integrating residential."
In addition to having a relationship with Lafarge, the quarry's former owner, much of the allure for taking on a project situated on a brownfield site was where the site was located.
"To have 800 metres of frontage onto the Bow River and to have proximity to the future southeast LRT – which is pretty much on the east boundary of Quarry Park – it's pretty unique," said Cooper, who cited the company's long history of brownfield redevelopment as a reason they were able to take on such a project.
Some of the ways that Remington was able to further enhance the environmentally friendly aspects of developing a brownfield infill site include the use of demolished asphalt, concrete and aggregate from roads and parking lots that were demolished during construction of the community.
In addition, Quarry Park features LEED certified buildings in its market area, which serves as a central plaza for the community. Completed before the residential component of the project, the area highlights the community's walkability with landscaping and wide sidewalks.
The notion of walkability and reducing residents' reliance on cars is in fitting with the fact that Quarry Park connects to Calgary extensive pathway system, and will eventually be served by it's own LRT station. With approximately 700 km of pathways connecting along the Bow & Elbow Rivers and Fish Creek Provincial Park, Quarry Park residents will have plenty of options to get out and about without resorting to driving.
Part of the pathway throughout Quarry Park runs alongside the community's rather innovative stormwater system, which includes canals along with a pond to help transport and clean the water before it flows back into the river.
"It all speaks to corporate responsibility," said Cooper. "We've got several kilometres of pathway that go throughout Quarry Park, and it gives people an opportunity to get fit, and to use these things as an alternative to jumping in their car."