Alberta offices converted to rental homes
July 30, 2019
An aging 12-storey office building in Edmonton and a landmark office tower in Calgary are being converted to rental housing by Strategic Group of Calgary.
Strategic has an extensive inventory in Alberta’s high-vacancy office sector. The company has decided that its 40-year old, 150,000-square-foot Harley Court site would be the first in Edmonton selected for residential conversion.
It is being transformed into 177 apartments where rents will range from $1,300 for a studio, $1,400 to $1,500 for one-bedrooms, with two-bedrooms at $1,600 to $1,800 per month.
These are aggressive rents for Edmonton, where the median rent is now $1,250, according to second-quarter 2019 survey by Rental.ca.
Strategic is also converting Calgary’s first high-rise office tower, the 11-storey Barron, which opened in 1951 on now-trendy Stephens Avenue, into residential apartments that are expected to open next year. The conversion is estimated to cost about $44 million.
These are not the first office-to-home conversion for Alberta. A Calgary office building recently completed a year long transformation into 65 units of rental housing.
It may make sense for other Class B or C office tower owners in either Calgary or Edmonton to consider a residential conversion, since the office vacancy rate in Calgary is 24 per cent and it is 15 per cent in Edmonton, both among the highest in Canada, according to Altus Group.