Calgary Herald columnist David Parker recently interviewed Chris Plosz and Robert Ollerenshaw for a piece on Section23’s new active seniors’ residence at the cSPACE arts hub in south Calgary.
Calgary-based Section23 Developments is planning an active living residence in south Calgary to provide its residents with an active lifestyle while forming a meaningful relationship with cSPACE, the King Edward Creative Hub & Art Incubator.

To be built on the east side of the King Edward School block on 30th Avenue at 16th Street S.W., the project has been designed by Calgary multi-disciplinary design firm McKinley Burkart, who were selected from a pool of 16 architectural firms.

Chris Plosz, president of Section23 Developments, says the main criteria for selecting the successful architecture and design partner was a team who had a track record of innovative design and who shares his company’s vision for redefining how residential housing is integrated into the community.

The city forecasts a significant increase in the number of seniors who will call Calgary home, Plosz says, “We are planning today to help meet the housing needs of tomorrow’s citizens. And we’re doing so in a way that’s very different than what’s been done in the past.”

cSPACE covers almost an acre of land, the former school in the centre will house the arts hub and an upscale residential development will be built on the west area.

Section23’s 80,000-square-foot seniors’ housing facility has been designed as upscale, fully independent accommodation.

The street side will feature pedestrian-friendly units wrapping around 29th Avenue. The remainder of the 56 units will be housed in five- and four-storey levels with rooftop gardens.

Between the residence and cSPACE, a separate building will feature a restaurant, lounge and library and a commercial kitchen that will serve the dining areas and provide room service to condominium residents.

Space will be provided for cSPACE artists to display their work and it’s hoped they will visit the residents to give presentations.

Section23 Developments is a diversified collective serving architectural design, land development and housing industries. Its land activities include participation in the design and development of award-winning communities in Copperfield and Mahogany in Calgary.

The joint ventures included some of the farmland that formed part of the Ollerenshaw family lands. Section23 executive chairman Robert Ollerenshaw’s grandfather Joe emigrated to Canada in 1911 and learned the business of farming and ranching on the Davidson ranch northeast of the hamlet of Shepard. By 1923, he and his wife were settled in a simple two-storey wooden house on land that is now McKenzie Towne.

There, Joe raised Percheron horses, a passion that proved to be a very lucrative business—pulling threshing machines. His son Fred purchased three quarter sections of land for $500 and later expanded by purchasing Section23 lands in 1958.

Robert, who studied architecture at the University of Calgary, is excited to be planning a huge development on those lands in what he describes as “agricultural urbanism.” Besides residential, retail village and schools it will also feature a large community centre plus a farmers market, petting zoo, community kitchen and an organic, nutritional-based restaurant.