CMLC is Calgary’s urban placemaker

February 27, 2024
Leadership General Business Team Calgary Real Estate & Development
3 CMLC Kate Thompson 1000 x 750

Kate Thompson is president and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

If you haven’t heard of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, you might be familiar with its body of work.

The subsidiary of the City of Calgary is the driving force behind many high-profile urban-renewal projects in the city, from East Village and St. Patrick’s Island to the Central Library, countless public art installations and the soon-to-be-completed BMO Centre expansion.

“Calgary Municipal Land Corporation — or CMLC — has allowed the city to be really innovative in developing successful renewal projects for aging and underutilized areas of Calgary,” says Kate Thompson, CMLC’s president and CEO.

Formed in 2007, CMLC’s raison d’etre was the revitalization of the Rivers District, starting with the redevelopment of East Village, at the time a rundown patch of land on downtown’s northeast edge near where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet.

“With that project, we set an example for urban renewal that helped spur the revitalization of downtown overall.”

Thompson further notes that East Village today is among Calgary’s most vibrant mixed-use central neighbourhoods, featuring retail and multi-family homes, active living pathways and climate-resilient infrastructure made to withstand natural disasters like the 2013 flood.

From that initial success, CMLC expanded its focus and partnered with Calgary Stampede to reimagine the southern half of the Rivers District, envisioned as Calgary’s Culture and Entertainment District.

Many of its projects are high profile: the BMO Centre expansion, the extension of 17th Avenue into Stampede Park and the rebuild of the Victoria Park/Stampede LRT station.

“All of those are set to open for Stampede this year, so there is a huge amount of work we’re facilitating that is coming across the finish line this spring,” Thompson says, adding that CMLC is also working on upcoming transformations of Arts Commons and Olympic Plaza.

Indeed, CMLC’s staff of 37 has been busy — in 2024 CMLC will advance more than $1 billion in project completions and initiations and will continue to work with the private development industry to see increased private investment in the district.

For Thompson and others at the organization, it’s about more than the projects themselves.

“Our mandate today is really about removing barriers for development to create an inspirational vision for what vibrant urban living can be in Calgary,” she says. “CMLC is helping create destinations in the city that Calgarians take pride in.”

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

Subscribe to Our Mailing List