It’s been an interesting year in Calgary real estate.
On the residential side, sales activity is struggling, as the city continues to recover from recession years in 2015 and 2016. In the downtown core, there’s still an office vacancy rate of about 25 per cent.
I’m thinking of those dynamics as I ponder my Christmas wish list. Of course, I would like a nice bottle of scotch, concert tickets, more paid writing gigs or perhaps a trip somewhere. But as a journalist who tends to focus much of my writing on the world of real estate, I have some special requests.
I’m hoping this coming year will yield some exciting news from the Tsuu T’ina Nation about its ambitious plans for an ambitious, 1,200-acre commercial and residential development called Taza. In the past, officials have said it will eventually include 17 million square feet with a real estate value in the neighbourhood of $4.5 billion. We were supposed to get some news this year, but none came.
I’m also looking forward to the opening of the impressive Telus Sky building in the heart of downtown Calgary. The massive tower will need your help, Santa. Leasing of office space needs a boost, and so does the executive residential rental portion of the building.
Speaking of boosts, can you help the Eau Claire Market along? Harvard Developments has some impressive plans for the site. The market has struggled for years, but I’ve never understood why, given its proximity to downtown and a growing residential population in nearby condos.
Harvard wants to turn the market into an “iconic, vibrant, dense, diverse and primarily residential mixed-use area” that would include a hotel, as well as office and retail space. There are plans for 359,900 square feet of retail, 636,000 square feet of Class A office space and just over one million square feet of “high-quality residential.”
Well, that’s my wish list for this year. I’ve kept it short, as I know you’re a very busy guy. If you can somehow find the time to make those real estate projects happen, I would greatly appreciate it. Our city would thank you.