Calgary office market sees downturn due to slumping oil prices

Vacancy rates in the downtown office market have risen significantly amid declining oil prices, says a new report by commercial real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank Devencore.

The report said the city’s downtown office market recorded negative absorption — the change in occupied space — of 561,700 square feet in the fourth quarter of 2014, the worst negative demand quarter in more than five years.

“As a result of the increase in vacant square footage, the vacancy rate increased by 1.4 per cent quarterly and 1.8 per cent annually,” said Michael Gigliuk, vice-president with the company.

Read full story HERE.


Braid: New cancer centre likely headed to South Health Campus

Health Minister Stephen Mandel says Calgary will get its cancer hospital. He almost guarantees it will be at the new South Health Campus, not the Foothills Hospital.

And he adds that it would be finished before 2020, the scheduled opening date for the now-deferred cancer centre at the Foothills Medical Centre.

Mandel talks conditionally because Premier Jim Prentice has ordered everyone not to release budget details. “I might get fired,” he jokes.

Read this news HERE.

Edmonton now Canada’s 5th largest metro region

The Edmonton area’s surging metro population is now larger than Ottawa-Gatineau, making it the fifth most populous urban region in Canada.

That’s according to the latest population data from Statistics Canada, which showed the Edmonton CMA (census metropolitan area) had 1,328,290 residents as of June 30, 2014, up 3.3 per cent over the previous 12 months.

The Edmonton CMA’s growth rate was the second-fastest in Canada over that period, trailing only Calgary’s 3.6 per cent uptick, and it was three times faster than the national growth rate of 1.1 per cent.

As usual, the Toronto CMA (6,055,724) remains the country’s most populous urban centre by a wide margin.

Read full article HERE.

Demand for Calgary retail space remains high despite slumping economy

Uncertainty related to declining oil prices isn’t affecting the appetite of retailers wanting to set up shop or expand in Calgary.

A report by Barclay Street Real Estate indicates that in the last six months of 2014, retail vacancy rates in the city dropped from 2.7 per cent to 2.2 per cent and nearly 14 million square feet of new retail development is either being proposed or currently under construction.

“For a long time Calgary was in a bubble,” said Jonathan Gheron, a retail associate with Barclay Street. “Our economy has been thriving. There’s competition for current good space and the additions of this space I believe most of it will get absorbed.

Read this great news HERE.

Whole Foods to open store in Calgary in 2017

American grocery giant Whole Foods Market, specializing in natural and organic food, announced Wednesday it will open a store in Calgary in the summer of 2017.

But it did not say exactly where the local store will be located.

Susan Livingston, regional marketing director for the company’s Pacific Northwest region, said Calgary has been in its sight for a number of years.

Read this interesting story HERE.

Calgary airport passenger volumes hit new record

The Calgary International Airport is reporting another year of record-breaking passenger volumes for 2014, but a spokesperson acknowledged the rate of growth could slow in 2015 if Alberta’s economy takes a tumble.

More than 15.6 million passengers passed through YYC in 2014, an increase of 6.6 per cent over 2013 and a figure that allows Calgary to retain its title as the third busiest airport in Canada. Calgary hit that milestone in 2013, when it surpassed Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport for the first time.

Read full story HERE.

GSL land deal fuels speculation of new arena, condo towers

The City of Calgary now officially owns the GSL land on the western outskirts of downtown leading to speculation on what it plans to do with its real estate holdings of more than 12 hectares in the area along Bow Trail.

A new home for the Calgary Flames and perhaps even the Calgary Stampeders? Or a development called West Village similar to the mixed-use project coming out of the ground in East Village now.

The area, bounded by the Bow River to the north and Crowchild Trail to the west, has huge potential development opportunities.

Read more HERE.