The new downtown?

Quarry Park drawing big companies to its mixed-use community

While Calgary’s downtown is home to some of the biggest companies in the world, Quarry Park in the southeast has become the new kid on the commercial block, and many of those same companies are deciding to call it home instead.

A gravel pit for 50 years, Quarry Park is emerging as one of Calgary’s most up and coming “it” communities. In 2005 it began to form as a vision of Remington Development Corp. The mixed-use community includes homes, retail and commercial offerings.

Encompassing more than 155-hectares, the area, when completed, will be home to more than 2,200 residences, more than four million sq. ft. of office space, 57-hectares of natural spaces and more than 10-kilometres of paved pathways.

Calgary’s commercial market saw a 28 per cent investment increase in the second quarter of 2013 due in part to three Quarry Park developments: the Jacobs building ($171 million), Quarry Professional and Quarry Parkside A&B ($154.84 million) and SMART Technologies ($78 million).

In 2012, Imperial Oil announced they’d be relocating their downtown offices to a 20-acre site in Quarry Park where they’ve constructed five low-rise buildings in a campus-style layout in order to bring together staff from a variety of locations in 800,000 sq. ft. of total space.

“Imperial has embarked on a decade-long period of substantial growth and expansion. This new campus will provide an opportunity to consolidate our Calgary offices in one location, offer additional space for our growing workforce and provide a superior working environment for our people,” said Paul Masschelin, senior vice-president of finance and administration with Imperial Oil.

“The complex will be constructed of high standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, and will promote new opportunities for employee collaboration in their daily work.”

Full occupancy of the site is expected in 2016.

Also relocating to Quarry Park is the offices of Canadian Pacific Railway.

“Momentum is building at Canadian Pacific and the organization is driving to a culture of intense focus on operations. Service will be what drives this organization, by providing a premium, reliable product offering through a lower cost operation” said Hunter Harrison, CP president and CEO in late 2012. “We have initiated a rapid change agenda and have made tremendous progress in my first 160 days, and we are only getting started.”

In a report from Avison Young earlier this month, the asking rate for gross rent in the city was $51.17, a fair increase over the national average of $43.99. There is currently an expected 8.9 million sq. ft. of new projects anticipated in Calgary.

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