Is East Village the template for future Calgary community revitalization?

Even for the man who would eventually inherit the agency behind the city’s quarter-billion dollar facelift of the once-blighted East Village, it was hard not to be skeptical.

Despite being used successfully as a redevelopment tool in the United States for more than half a century, the decision to pour millions of dollars in loans into an area known primarily as a hangout for prostitutes and drug users in hopes of sparking urban renewal seemed risky for then-developer Michael Brown.

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