Block on 4th brings bold design to Mission

Thursday, October 24, 2019   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Block on 4th brings bold design to Mission

Known as Calgary’s restaurant row, boasting dining establishments from countries around the world in its 13 short blocks, 4th Street in Mission district features restaurants, shopping, entertainment, art, medical and business services, and lots of energy.

It’s a walkable area with many of its shoppers living in the neighbourhood; a benefit to businesses and great for residents who can do their shopping, eat out and wander the attractive street without having to start the car.

A “new kid on the block” will offer apartment living for young professionals to rent in an area where they can enjoy all those benefits while being able to walk or cycle to the office.

The Block on 4th is a project of InDevelopments that will provide 24 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom rental units above 8,700 square feet of new retail space at the corner of 4th Street and 19th Avenue S.W., where the Peking Dragon restaurant was located for the past 30 years.

The InDevelopments office is steps away on 21st Avenue, and CEO Reto Steiner says as soon as he heard of the possibility of the land coming up for sale, he jumped at the chance to negotiate a deal to allow him to build more residential units in the area.

The bold frontage is designed to attract younger tenants, four storeys of bright yellow and white exterior above a solid brick façade around the retail spaces that are already 80 per cent leased, set back over a wide sidewalk. The rooftop has been designed with an outdoor patio for use as a common area for residents.

The Block will offer two levels of underground parking with 40 stalls, but no doubt a number of the residents will opt to manage their lives without owning a vehicle.

The highly energy-efficient building is scheduled to open next fall. That’s in a third of the time expected by traditional construction methods. The parking and retail levels will use customary methods but the four storeys of residential units are being constructed off-site.

Modular construction is becoming the norm for remote developments where climatic conditions and labour are restrictive, but Steiner says modular has also been proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way of building within cities.

The Alt Hotel in East Village used modular construction of its classy suites that were built in Poland and shipped to Calgary. The Block on 4th will be built by a Calgary manufacturer, delivered and hoisted up at the rate of one floor per week. Then it’s just a case of ‘plug and play’ and the furnished suites are ready to welcome tenants.

Steiner and his team will also reduce energy and material consumption by using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), rigid foam core insulation bonded between two structurally rated skins of OSB sheathing. This technologically advanced building system has become an ideal component for residential and light commercial construction, typically used in the creation of walls, roofing and flooring.

SIPs are manufactured in a controlled factory environment in the 23,000-square-foot Ingreen Systems plant in Red Deer, owned by InDevelopments, where they are engineered and built to exceed all national, provincial and local codes. Their superior structural strength and energy efficiency, plus reducing construction times by up to 30 per cent, means they are outperforming the conventional site-built framing method.

Ingreen panels are being shipped from the plant to construction sites across the province, as well as into the Okanagan and Manitoba.

Steiner has a master’s degree in architecture but enjoys the business of development, having completed 15 years of successful projects including Eagle Ranch Resort and the Akisqnuk First Nations Sports Centre in Invermere, and a number of warehousing and bay industrial buildings in the city. InDevelopments is also building 90,000 square feet of industrial bays in Jacksonport east of the airport, but Steiner is looking forward to watching the progress of The Block on 4th from his Mission office.