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The proud owners of the first land deal in EV in over a decade committed to building about 700,000 sq. ft. of mixed-use residential property. The deal was described as a turning point in East Village history and a transformative moment for EV.
Embassy Bosa, headquartered in Vancouver, is an experienced builder of mid-rise, mixed-use communities internationally. In Calgary, Bosa has built the Riverwest, Marquis, Axxis and Liberté highrises.
“Calgary’s a very energetic town and there’s a lot of optimism here,” says Ryan Bosa, president of Embassy Bosa Inc., the developers of Evolution. “There’s a lot of opportunity.”
Embassy Bosa’s 3-phase East Village project sits adjacent to RiverWalk in the River’s Edge area. It’s called Evolution, a name that emerged from a contest the developer held to engage Calgarians in
their project. More than 200 locals came up with names in a bid to win a trip to New York; Evolution was the brainchild of Lyndsey Skidmore who lives in Victoria Park. “Evolution is ‘a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage,’” Skidmore says. “Calgary is expanding and being developed at an astonishing rate, and I think East Village is about to become the place to be. There are lots of new condo developments around...but this will be the culmination of them all.”
Phase I of Evolution is called Fuse, which Ryan Bosa says speaks both to lighting a fuse and fusing the project to the neighbourhood. Fuse is made up of large – 1,000 sq. ft. average – units with entertainment-sized balconies.
For renowned Vancouver architect James Cheng, who designed both Embassy Bosa’s Evolution project and the EV Experience Centre, what goes on between buildings is just as important as what goes into their design. “The public realm – what I call the space between buildings – is the most important thing in the plan,” says Cheng. “You live inside a building, but you have to go somewhere.” That somewhere – the places you shop, wander or walk your dog – is critical. “The street level has to be conducive to human interaction,” he says. “The top – the roofline – has the responsibility of forming an interesting skyline for the city. With Evolution, we’re in the front row. We’re part of that skyline.”
Cheng says his inspiration for Evolution came from the beloved Italian hill town of San Gimignano. “In the hill town, there’s layers and layers terracing up to the taller towers,” he says. “What we’re trying to do in East Village is maximize the views and have buildings of different heights that step up so it’s not just a series of identical square boxes.”