The Theodore, Graywood Developments' new Kensington condo development, is scheduled for completion by summer 2022. Courtesy of Graywood Developments

While the COVID-19 pandemic has many Calgary businesses seeing red, Graywood Developments is betting on black ink for its two new condo projects here in the city.

The company recently broke ground on the Theodore, a 10-storey development in Kensington.

“It’s a traditional concrete condo building with units ranging from one-bedroom studios to penthouse units,” said Patrick Briscoe, vice-president of development for Graywood. “We tried to gear it to first-time buyers and investors, and hope to see completion by the summer of 2022.”

Graywood’s latest effort is the Eau Claire Residences. Located steps from the Bow River, the project will feature prime views of the city skyline and river valley.

“We’re trying to make Eau Claire more accessible by providing slightly smaller units than others in the community,” said Briscoe. “Our goal is to launch this building for sale by the end of the year.”

“We feel that making progress and putting shovels in the ground for projects like the Theodore signals some progress and positive news for the Calgary market.” – Patrick Briscoe, Graywood Developments

Some might view investing in Calgary’s condo market as a gamble these days, especially as COVID-19 is prompting many would-be condo dwellers to opt for more spacious homes, but Graywood likes its odds of success.

“Calgary has always presented a great opportunity,” said Briscoe. “The population is entrepreneurial and driven. The city has had a few rough years, but it’s in prime position to bounce back and capitalize on the highly educated workforce.”

Despite the challenges that exist in the inner-city condo sector, Calgary’s rental market has remained strong. The pandemic may be driving some buyers out of the city centre and into less populous areas, but Briscoe says this isn’t the full story.

“We still see young professionals wanting to be close to the downtown core,” said Briscoe.

“They come for the entertainment options, access to transit, and vibrant communities that provide a high-end lifestyle. It may not be the peak of the sales market, but a lot of investors are still attracted to real estate in Calgary, especially in these prime downtown locations. Our Kensington development is very reflective of that, as many investors are loving that location and the chance to have a cash-positive asset.”

In addition to being a good news story for the company, Graywood’s latest forays into the Calgary real estate market and the company’s bullish outlook on the city should be heartening for others, as well.

“We feel that making progress and putting shovels in the ground for projects like the Theodore signals some progress and positive news for the Calgary market,” said Briscoe.

“It shows that people are moving forward in the city, and that’s a welcome sight in times like these.”