No Room at the Inn

Combined Class A and B commercial vacancy in Calgary is at a nationwide low of 1.9 per cent said a report from Newmark Knight Frank Devencore.

The report tags Calgary’s Class A vacancy rates at one per cent (followed by Vancouver at 1.5 per cent) while the city’s Class B vacancy rate is 4.9 per cent, the third lowest in the country behind Ottawa, and Vancouver.

The combination of Class A and B space makes up 18.01 per cent of Canada’s office space distribution with more than 38 million square feet of office space. Toronto has the most office space distribution with 29.22 per cent or more than 61 million square feet.

“Calgary has been leading the way in terms of real estate activity, with the oil and gas sectors fuelling a strong post-recession growth cycle,” stated the report. “Combined Class A and B vacancy rates are at a nationwide low of 1.9 per cent, even though almost three million square feet of new office space has been delivered over the past two years.”

That new office space includes the Bow Building at 1.9 million sq. ft. and since August has been filling with employees of both Cenovus Energy and Encana. Currently Calgary’s tallest building, The 236-metre Bow won’t hold the title for long once construction is complete on a new 56-storey, 247-metre tower, to be built on the old Herald Building site downtown.

Once constructed, Calgary’s tallest tower will consist of 2.8 million sq. ft. and will neighbour another tower (42 storeys), the two joined by a three storey, 50,000 sq. ft. glass pavilion.

“The pavilion touches the site lightly and sets itself away from the towers, while enclosing an internal civic square, which will be programmed year round,” stated Brookfield Office Properties, developer for the project. “The plaza, at over one-half acre, promises to be a significant addition to the evolving downtown public realm. Creating a dramatic arrival experience for those working in and visiting the new office towers, the proposed plaza will see a steady stream of foot traffic, much of it headed to and from the LRT on 7th Avenue SW.”

225 Sixth will be designed to achieve LEED® Gold Core certification including features such as energy efficient lighting, low flow washroom fixtures, storm water retention and use of recycled materials. The towers are expected to be completed within the next five years.

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