Calgary’s best shopping district is in a tough spot.
It is struggling to keep pace with the growth of its core downtown and the demand for parking and shopping downtown.
But there are signs the area is making progress.
“The downtown core is really strong,” said Paul Wertz, president of the Downtown Calgary Business Improvement District.
“People want to walk downtown, they want to go downtown, and they want shopping downtown.”
The downtown core has seen an influx of people, many of whom are looking to move downtown.
“There’s a lot of young people who want to live in downtown,” said Werts.
“They’re not going to stay in the city centre, but they want downtown to be part of the city.”
Calgary’s Downtown Calgary has seen a surge in activity downtown in the past few years.
The area has been hit hard by the economic downturn.
A downtown shopping district that includes the iconic Bank of Canada building is now one of the busiest in the province.
Wertt said he’s hopeful the city will make more inroads in the area by using its resources to promote retail in the core, particularly to young people.
He said it’s also important to keep the core focused on downtown, which will help keep the city stable.
“We have to be in that downtown,” he said.
“If we’re going to do that, we have to get there in a very strategic way.”
Calgary residents may be surprised to learn there are no vacancies in the downtown core.
The Downtown Calgary Improvement District is currently working on a strategic plan that will make Calgary’s core downtown more attractive for businesses and residents.
In an effort to attract more downtown businesses, Wertst said he and other downtown officials are also exploring ways to open up the core.
He’s hoping to see more retail on the main street and more office space.
Wartz said he thinks the downtown area will become one of Calgary’s strongest areas in the future.
“I think the downtown is going to be really strong, and that’s because it’s a strong core,” he explained.
“It’s the downtown that people want to be a part of.”