WebStamp April 21, 2021
Viable Downtown Living
Back in December, there was a bold notion of motion presented to the Calgary city council to convert existing downtown commercial buildings into residences. Ward 6 Councillor Jeff Davison stated; “Encouraging an active and vibrant population base in the downtown is critical for the success of long-term city infrastructure investments, for preserving property values, and for providing the city with a more stable stream of tax revenue.” With Calgary’s 29.5% vacancy rate of office buildings in the downtown, it could be a plan to help bring back a vigorous city centre.
With more than a ¼ of downtown Calgary office buildings currently sitting empty conversion of office space into condos or apartments would reduce the vacancy rate. Ken Towes mentioned that the Strategic Group is looking to uplift downtown Calgary as Toronto and Vancouver have done with their large residential downtown populations. Back in 2018 the Strategic Group already saw the decline in the need for office space and decided to convert the historic and iconic Baron Building on 8th Ave SW into 97 rental suites with street-level retail.
Back in the 1990’s, there were several commercial warehouse spaces flipped to condos and lofts to add more residential to the downtown core. The Lewis Stationary building, the Imperial Lofts, and the Refinery building have helped revitalize the Warehouse District. A project completed several years ago is the Cube where a repurposed commercial building was converted to 67 apartments.
Several tech companies are moving into the downtown taking advantage of the lowered rent allowing for future expansion with extra space to attract new employees. Those working in the tech sector are a younger generation and usually prefer to work, live, and play in a central district. It would make sense to increase the residential units available in the downtown core to accommodate the new demographics in a new self-sustaining pulsating central core.
Articles in this Issue
WebStamp April 21, 2021
Calgary council to consider downtown office redevelopment -Adam Toy, 770 CHQR
Office buildings turn to apartments, bring downtown Calgary back to life – Stephen Hunt, CBC News
Iconic Calgary building can be read like a swanky and hopeful history of our city -David Bell CBC News
Calgary turning downtown office towers into condos and apartments -David Bell CBC News
Tech companies moving into the downtown, taking up empty oil and gas space -Amanda Stephenson Calgary Herald
Tech company plans to double staff as it moves HQ to Calgary - Natalie Valleau CBC News
City councillor looks to convert vacant, downtown offices into residential spaces -Raynaldo Suarez 660 News
Affordable Housing Project Proposed for Downtown Calgary - Kevin Cappis , Skyrise Calgary
East Village Master Plan -PDF East Village
East Village Projects -CMLC
Future Plans - East Village
CALGARY'S COMMUNITY-Downtown projects -City of Calgary
Downtown Strategy -City of Calgary
11 New Development Trends In Calgary Avenue Magazine Calgary
Calgary In Crisis: Rethink Our Future! -Everday Tourist