While the lagging economy has recently slowed Calgary construction, the city’s skyline has been transformed by construction booms of the past.
“I would expect that as our economy goes, so does the construction of both residential and commercial projects. Having said that, we’ve got a number of residential projects that – despite the economy – are still going ahead given that build costs are so low right now,” Calgary Real Estate Board president Cliff Stevenson said.
Calgary real estate prices not as precarious as Vancouver, Toronto: market analysts
20% of Calgary downtown office space vacant, highest level in over 30 years
Real estate search portal Point2 Homes has released a list of 10 downtown real estate developments started and completed in the last few years, including comparison photos using Google Street View.
The sliding images show dramatic changes to Calgary’s skyline, something Stevenson suggests changing attitudes about living and working in Calgary.
“There’s been a shift over the last probably 10 to 15 years in Calgary…not only the revitalization of the East Village, but also the densification with condo development in general and I think that aligns well with the shift in consumer demand – wanting to live a little closer to where they work,” Stevenson said. “With the number of commercial buildings being built in Calgary obviously there’s more office space, there’s more business downtown in the core area and I think the idea for a lot of people of spending 30 to 40 minutes each way in their cars for a commute is waning.”
Here’s a look at how Calgary has transformed in recent years:
- Centre 10
This Beltline property was built on the site of the former Gaslight Square retail strip. Two attempts had been made by others to build condo towers there, but eventually Centron Group of Companies bought the abandoned site, changing the concept. The 10-storey building now hosts a mix of office and retail space.
- Nuera & Alura
Also in the Beltine, Nuera and Alura are twin condo towers spanning several blocks in the city’s historic warehouse district of Victoria Park. One tower arches 34 storeys skyward, while the other sits at 24. They were completed in 2010 and 2015 respectively by Cove Properties. Perhaps another sign of the times, Alura, the latter tower in the development, sold 148 of 277 units in its first day of sales.
- Palliser South, 1010 Centre & The Bow
The northeast edge of the Beltine has been a hot spot for development in recent years. Palliser South, standing in the centre, has 19 storeys of office space, a fitness club and a conference centre as part of its design, completed in 2010. The Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre, meanwhile, is an apartment building providing low-income housing. It opened last year. Another iconic building on the Calgary skyline – The Bow – now stands at 58 storeys. It was completed in 2012.
- Keynote One
In Victoria Park, Keynote in Calgary is a trio of towers. Two of them contain condos, one with 26 storeys and the other with 29. The third lower tower houses retail and class-A office space.
- Eighth Avenue Place
In the downtown commercial core, Eighth Avenue is a set of towers with both office and retail space. The East Tower has 49 floors while the West Tower has 40.
- Jamieson Place
This downtown 38-floor skyscraper is connected to adjacent buildings by the +15 Skywalk and surrounded by three parks and District Griffin sur Peel, a 312-condo tower.
- Centennial Place & Devon Tower
In Eau Claire district, Centennial Place is a complex of two skyscrapers and the 45-storey Devon Tower (formerly known as Canterra Tower).
- Waterfront Parkside
Nestled along the Bow River near Chinatown, Waterfront Parkside is a condo development that was completed in 2015.
Calgary’s Manchester Industrial neighbourhood hosts the Lumino affordable housing project. The subsidized apartment complex of three towers was completed in 2011.
- University City
The bright colours and modern design of the new University City condo/townhouse project is a radical change in Calgary’s Brentwood neighbourhood. Perched not far from the University of Calgary, the development consists of five separate buildings.