CALGARY — Are we looking at another residential condominium boom in the city?
This weekend two high-profile projects launch sales initiatives on the next phases of their developments to capture the renewed interest in the market.
Keynote Urban Village is opening its doors Saturday to a new show suite for its Residential Tower Two project in the east Beltline area while University City on Saturday and Sunday is having a VIP launch for a select group of people for its Building 3 project at the Brentwood LRT Station.
“Activity in the condo market has been gradually improving. Gains in employment, favourable mortgage rates, and price reductions have attracted buyers to the condo market, especially those looking for their first place. A majority of the condo sales in the city of Calgary were for units less than $300,000,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
“We are also expecting to see more new apartment condominiums break ground in the coming months. There has been an uptick in the number of apartment permits issued, signalling the intention of more activity.”
According to the CMHC August had the highest number of monthly apartment starts since May 2008 with 451 units breaking ground in the Calgary census metropolitan area.
The second Keynote residential tower will be 29 storeys high, and will include 250 suites and a wet spa. Possessions are scheduled for the summer of 2013.
Keynote Urban Village project sales manager Jeannie Elrafie said sales have been surging over the past eight months and that’s “telling us there is an upswing underway in the Calgary real-estate market.”
“We’re getting a lot more demand than we ever were,” she said.
Keynote Urban Village encompasses nearly an entire city block on 1st Street S.E., between 11th and 12th Avenues. The Keynote development already includes the 26-storey Residential Tower One with 179 units, and a 14-storey office tower with featured tenants CH2M Hill and Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc., and about 1,500 employees. It also has 40,000 square feet of retail space, occupied by Sunterra Market, Starbucks, and a full-service RBC Royal Bank branch.
Just last week the city’s subdivision and development appeal board gave the green light for the construction of the first two condo highrises for the University City project.
An invitation for the VIP launch of sales for Building 3 says 400 condos sold in five days for the project’s first two buildings. Sales this weekend are for a select group of clients. A public launch is expected to be announced next week.
The first two towers are 18-storeys each with 216 units in each. The master-planned community will eventually consist of between 600 to 700 residences across from the University of Calgary at the Brentwood LRT station.
The University City website says phases 3 and 4 of the project will consist of 12-14 storey buildings while phase 5 will be four storeys.