Calgary’s first modern office-to-residential building is now open

Calgary-based Strategic Group transformed an aging office building into inner-city apartments.

Today, Strategic Group CEO Riaz Mamdani joined with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Calgary Economic Development to officially open Cube, the first office-turned-residential rental building in the city’s recent history. A year ago, the building was an aging office space. Now it is 65 new one- and two-bedroom rental residences with street-level retail in Calgary’s vibrant Beltline community.

Transforming underused office space into homes for Calgarians is a creative and unconventional response to Calgary’s slow economic recovery. Current analysis suggests a 12 to 16-year period before the office real estate market in Albert stabilizes. In contrast, the market is seeing a growing demand for new, high quality rental apartments. Repurposing projects take empty office space off the market while replacing it with more active, revenue-generating uses.

“Repurposing simply makes good sense,” said Mr. Mamdani. “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.”

With 60 per cent of residences already spoken for, Calgarians were moving into Cube even before it was completed. The large, street-level retail space is being prepared for a new, soon-to-be-announced tenant, and the provincial constituency office that was in the original building has returned. Cube is conveniently located across from Co-op and other amenities, while also being adjacent to 11th Street and 12th Avenue bikeways.

“This project is an exciting next step for innovative development in our city,” said Mayor 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.”

In recent years, The City of Calgary and Calgary Economic Development have taken steps to improve the downtown economy. This includes the creation of a City Centre Enterprise Area that was instrumental in expediting the Cube project.

“Through the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, we’re working to create more vibrancy in downtown in an attempt to attract more people and business while strengthening the businesses that are already here,” said Mary Moran, President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “Calgary is adapting to become even more business-friendly, and the speed at which Cube was able to develop is an example of that.”

In addition to the economic, community, and business motivations behind an office-to-residential repurposing project such as Cube, there are also environmental benefits. By repurposing an existing building rather than demolishing it for another building, Strategic Group saved nearly 8,000 tons of material from going to Calgary landfills. The repurposed building is also constructed to meet Built Green environmental standards.

“We are leaders in repurposing projects in Alberta,” said Mr. Mamdani. “Seeing these buildings revitalized as rental homes for Calgarians is very satisfying.”

In Calgary, Strategic Group is also repurposing the historic Barron Building to become the first residential building to be connected to the +15 system. It will be completed in the summer of 2020.  In downtown Edmonton, the company’s e11even and Capital office-to-residential repurposing projects will be completed later this year. Strategic Group is also building One in Calgary—a 41-storey residential rental building located in Victoria Park that will be completed in 2020.

Above photo: Strategic Group CEO Riaz Mamdani and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.


Read More

Sustaining Sponsor Strategic Group joins festivities of Lougheed House Garden Festival in the Beltline community

Strategic Group is pleased to be the Sustaining Sponsor for the Lougheed Garden Festival in the Beltline community. On Saturday, July 20, Strategic Group helped kick-start the free week-long festival.

We are proud of our involvement and investment in the Beltline community, with many properties, tenants, and residents in the area. Our partnership with Lougheed House is a celebration of what makes the Beltline great, and we share a sense of pride to those that live and work in the area.

During the festival, Strategic Group team member volunteers are helping to share the message of our pet-friendly and bicycle-friendly apartments, including Cube, a seven-storey residential building that is just a few blocks away from Lougheed House.

Visit the Strategic Group booth during Family Fun Day on Saturday, July 27 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm to visit with our team and learn more about our rental communities. Then step back in time by visiting Lougheed House located at 707 13 Avenue SW. The Lougheed House Garden Festival runs all week long.

Read More

Live your best life in a Strategic Group building

Strategic Group is more than bricks and mortar. When a resident chooses to live in a building owned, operated, and managed by Strategic Group, they are choosing to live in a community complete with amenities, business, and lifestyle options.

Strategic Group is focused on creating great spaces where people can live their best lives. In our award–winning residential buildings, residents enjoy amenity-rich environments ideally located in the midst of thriving neighbourhoods. From the moment they sign their lease, our residents know they are in good hands with an owner and professional manager who treats them with gratitude and a spirit of service in every interaction.

Common areas such as rooftop patios or café-style lounges celebrate the multi-family lifestyle and encourages a vibrant, active environment for everyone. Our mixed-use developments bring some of the best retail options right to a resident’s doorstep, while also welcoming the surrounding community. Creative live-work arrangements give entrepreneurs the chance to build their dreams, while living right next door.

To further serve our residents, in July 2018 Strategic Fix underwent a complete facelift, making it a more valuable and beneficial issue-reporting tool for both our residents and tenants. With a self-login portal, residents and tenants can submit a service request, reserve a room, and receive building announcements and event notices from their Property Management team all on one screen. Our Building Operations team is now able to monitor and receive service tickets instantly by using a simple app on their mobile phones. This quick and simple process ensures every resident receives efficient and professional service whenever they discover something that needs to be fixed.

Strategic Group demonstrates Customer Service Excellence by:

  • Majority of our residents and tenants use Strategic Fix as a reliable tool
  • 225 positive residential service ratings, almost 80 per cent of these are five-star ratings
  • More than half of all service tickets received are addressed within 48 hours“From setting an appointment for a viewing to signing my lease, it was all very easy. All of my questions were answered, and the Strategic Group team is very professional and prompt. There was fresh paint upon move-in and my apartment was very clean. It’s also very easy to get in touch with someone on the management team regarding maintenance requests using their online submission form. Aura is a well-maintained and managed building!”— April McMillan, Resident, Aura

Strategic Group was honoured to receive the award for ‘Retail/Mixed-use Development of the Year’ at the 2018 NAIOP Calgary REX Awards. The Awards celebrated the achievements of the real estate industry in Calgary, and the selection criteria focused on quality and performance, teamwork, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community and environmental awareness.

One6 is a Strategic Group property that is recognized for its innovative approach to mixed-use retail and residential in a unique location. Creative leasing strategies, efficient designs, a rooftop amenity deck, and a social lounge all contribute to the property’s success and award-winning status.

Thanks to our unconventional ideas and enhancements of Strategic Fix, Strategic Group has created value in spaces that helps our current and future residents to live better!

For more information, please refer to the 2018 Annual Review.

Above photo: One6, 1528 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB.

Read More