Vacant office building in Calgary Beltline turned into 65 rental homes (PHOTOS)

Aug 15 2019, 8:58 am

An empty, older office building at the southeast corner of the intersection of 11 Avenue SW and 11 Street SW has been gutted and transformed into a rental housing building.

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The seven-storey, 60,000-sq-ft building at 1177 11th Avenue SW in Calgary’s Beltline area officially reopened late last month as the ‘Cube’ following a unique, year-long extensive renovation at a cost of $25 million.

Previous condition as an office building:

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Google Maps)

New condition as rental homes:

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

There are now 65 one- and two-bedroom rental homes in the building, plus street-level retail space that will help activate the growing neighbourhood.

“Repurposing simply makes good sense,” said Riaz Mamdani, the CEO of Strategic Group, the local developer behind the project.

“In projects like Cube, we see a solid opportunity for our business, the larger economy, the environment, and our local community. Projects of this nature are complicated and very risky, but Cube was a perfect candidate.”

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

As downtown office vacancies still extraordinary high, with latest figures indicating vacancies are hovering at around 25%, analysts anticipate it will take 12 to 16 years before the office market sees stabilization. As a result, ageing office buildings, such as this property, are far less competitive for tenants against newer buildings, which have seen their lease rates fall significantly in recent years.

As of late July, 60% of the rental homes were already leased, and the provincial constituency office that was originally in the building prior to renovations has returned. The developer also plans to announce a finalized tenant for the large retail space soon.

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

“This project is an exciting next step for innovative development in our city,” said Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Transforming a previously under-utilized office building into a place that more than a hundred people will call home will lead to great outcomes. This will improve the outlook and opportunity for businesses nearby, will utilize parks and infrastructure that are already in place, and will add to the vibrancy of the neighbourhood.”

Other Strategic Group projects include the renovation of 11-storey Barron office building into a residential building, which will be the first residential building connected to the +15 pathway network. This project is slated for a summer 2020 completion.

The developer is also behind the 41-storey One rental residential building in Calgary’s Victoria Park district and 12-storey e11even in downtown Edmonton, which entails a conversion of 149,000 sq. ft. of office space into 177 rental homes.

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary

Cube at 1177 11th Avenue SW, Calgary. (Strategic Group)

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