Sky rising

Is there a glimmer of hope in Calgary’s struggling downtown office market?

A new report by Avison Young suggests the market may be turning the corner following a brutal two years of ploughing through a recession.

The vacancy rate in the core was 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the year, up from 17.6 per cent a year ago, but basically unchanged from year-end 2016.

“The first-quarter 2017 vacancy level actually represented positive news as the market took its first steps in halting its overall downward trend,” said the commercial real estate company.

Todd Throndson, principal and managing director of Avison Young’s Calgary office, says the downtown office market appears to have hit a pause in its rising vacancy.

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Living with the Carbon Tax

Energy panel weighs in on the nuts and bolts of the controversial carbon tax

Alberta’s carbon tax is one of the most important policy changes in the province’s recent history. How Alberta adapts to the tax will undoubtedly shape its economic landscape for years to come.

In effect since January, the $20-a-tonne tax remains a highly contentious topic from both economic and environmental perspectives. Since its implementation, politicians, businesses, and consumers have worried what the additional tax will do to an already fragile Alberta economy and to Albertans.

Some groups, like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, for example, claim the average household could pay more than $2,500 per year as a result of direct costs, such as household energy use, and indirect costs from increased costs to business operations.

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The bounty of Bowness

A town that became a community, Bowness still has an independent vibe all its own

The northwest community of Bowness offers plenty of diversity, thanks to the area’s long and varied history. Just take a stroll along the main street and you will feel as though you have stepped back in time.

“Bownesians have this incredible sense of pride. They are proud that they are a small town in the big city,” said Jacqui Esler, executive director of the Mainstreet Bowness Business Improvement Area and former main street business owner.

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Braeside journeyman

Craig Iseke used his cabinetmaking skills to renovate his ’70s bungalow and is loving the results

High school teacher and journeyman cabinetmaker Craig Iseke has two loves: hanging out in the mountains (doing outdoorsy things like biking, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and fishing ), and designing and crafting wood furniture. So when he decided to sell his Marda Loop home and look for something a little more off the beaten path, but closer to the school that he was teaching at, he had a long list of must-haves. First on that list was space to store all his sporting gear. After searching MLS® System Listings for close to five months, he found an 1,100 square foot bungalow on a 50-foot lot in the southwest community of Braeside. The home, built in 1972, was in need of a renovation, an endeavor right up Iseke’s alley.

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Material insight

Whether building a patio or deck, new materials are expanding creative possibilities

Summer is coming and Calgarians are once again preparing to soak up as much good weather and outdoor living as possible. There’s no better place to enjoy a warm summer day than on your very own deck or patio. So, if you’re thinking about building or enhancing, it’s a good time to consider your options.

Peter Van Seggelen, owner of The Landscape Artist Inc., says a patio or deck should be viewed as part of an overall landscaping plan, which can include benches, pathways, or features like an outdoor fireplace.

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