CREB - (Michelle Hofer Photography) Photo contact: Joline Utri (new Renfrew condominium homeowner), 403-803-1990, Story context: Renfrew/Regal Terrace is just one example of an established community in the midst of a housing renaissance thanks to a maturing city and evolving buyer needs. With more than 50 years under its belt, the inner-city neighbourhood is seeing renewed interest from custom homebuilders and homebuyers alike, looking to combine the benefits of new or renovated homes with the beauty of a historic community. ( For Jamie Zachary)

Historic community offers compelling combinations

The northeast community of Renfrew is steeped in history; built on the remnants of an Air Force training base and Calgary’s first airport, Renfrew is experiencing a surge in interest from homebuilders and homebuyers, equally enticed by the neighbourhood’s charm and potential.

Surrounded by an abundance of parks, trees and playgrounds, Renfrew is bordered by 16th avenue to the north, Centre Street to the west, and Deerfoot Trail to the west, allowing for quick access to many parts of the city.

“I work in the southeast and it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work,” said Renfrew resident Rosi Hey. Hey has lived in the community for 20 years and currently lives with her family in a house on Renfrew Drive. She appreciates the abundance of schools in the area.

“My youngest daughter went to Stanley Jones from K to 9, and she just graduated from Crescent Heights and never had to take buses,” said Hey.

In addition to schools, Renfrew boasts a handful of convenient community amenities, including a neighbourhood Boys and Girls Club. At the Stew Hendry and Henry Viney Arenas, public skating and hockey are great ways to escape the summer heat; also, the Renfrew Aquatic & Recreation Centre offers weight lifting, day camps, and fitness classes.

As of the 2014 civic census, Renfrew had a population of 6,045 people in 3,231 dwellings. A drive through the 60-year-old community reveals that the neighbourhood is in the midst of a housing revival; several renovations and new builds are taking place, including luxury custom built homes and stylish condominium projects.

Nan Robinson, sales manager for LiFTT, Vericon Real Estate’s latest Renfrew condo project, said that many of her customers are young professionals and mature homeowners with established careers, and they appreciate Renfrew’s urban/suburban fusion.

“They like that Renfrew is in walking distance to downtown, so it’s near the action but not in the core,” said Robinson.

LiFTT’s boutique condominiums are 50 per cent sold, and with construction beginning this summer, the condos may sell out just like Vericon’s first Renfrew project 43Park— located across the street from Bridgeland Park.

Location and affordability were top priorities for Joline Utri when she was searching for a new home. She found both five months ago, in her newly finished two-bedroom two-bathroom 43Park condo. Utri works in the far northeast as a teacher with the Calgary Catholic School Board, and she loves that her commute to and from work is traffic free. Although Utri considered other neighbourhoods, Renfrew’s “homey small town feel” won her over.

“I got a good feeling seeing people out in the morning walking their dogs and taking their children to school,” said 30-year-old Utri.

Adding to the small town feeling, the area is home to the Renfrew Community Association which hosts several events, including a stampede breakfast, pub nights and Bingo. Nearby, Renfrew Athletic Park is an ideal place to be on a summer afternoon to play game of baseball or soccer and enjoy a barbeque with friends and family.

A truly “beautiful” community, Utri said she enjoys Renfrew’s walkable proximity to nearby areas, such as Memorial Drive’s tree-lined path. She also takes advantage of the area’s various dining options — and there are lots to choose from —Italian, Indian and even Japanese tapas.

And her advice to others considering making Renfrew home: “Do it!”