New Holy Cross plan unveiled

An open house on a proposal to redevelop the former Holy Cross hospital site in Mission drew more than 60 area residents and a mixed-bag of opinions on the revamped plan.

Howard Zarvie, who has lived across the street from Holy Cross for nearly three decades, said he’s concerned about the construction and intensified traffic tied to the development.

Zarvie said he’d like to see stronger mixed use, including more emphasis on bringing families into the community.

Geoff Granville, who lives in nearby Erlton, said he was pleased the developer was consulting with the community. “I believe we need a stronger inner city development,” he said.

The city held the open house Saturday for residents to view the long-awaited concept plan to turn the former public hospital property into a bustling mixed commercial and residential community.

The developer revamped the concept plan after the Calgary planning commission recommended this summer that city council turn down the proposal to re-designate land use at the site.

The new plan includes the preservation of the historical McNab Wing and changes to allow more sunlight on neighbouring properties.

“We’d like to see a fairly vi-brant mixed-use community with live/work, restaurants, retail, as part of the base of the building,”Ron Poon of Poon McKenzie architects said.

“I think this is a move to intensify the inner-city neighbourhood to actually prevent anymore urban sprawl.”

Cliff Bungalow Community Association president Rick Williams said the proposed height of the towers, access to the river and parking are some of the main concerns voiced by local residents.

Holy Cross has been controversial since the government sold the hospital to private investors during sweeping public sector cuts in the 1990s.

Poon said the developer will work on incorporating the community input “as much as possible.”

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