Written by: Cindy Stephen, Calgary Herald
With the city’s high vacancy rate and fewer people moving to Calgary, there are empty rental suites all over town. So when MRU student Alyssa Douglas was looking to relocate from Panorama to the inner city, she had her pick of choice apartment buildings, each offering attractive move-in incentives. But she had specific criteria. The building had to be close to downtown and she wanted to be the very first person to ever occupy the unit.
“I have this obsession with everything having to be new and nice,” says Douglas, one of 47 tenants to move into Strategic Group’s Centro building in Tuxedo on Sept. 1.
When the 20-year-old business student was checking out apartments in the downtown core, they were either over her budget or “the size of a shoebox.”
“I started looking further out and this place came up when I did a search online. My friend and I checked out the show suite and that was it,” she recalls.
Located on the northeast corner of Centre Street and 20th Avenue N.W., Centro is a five-storey building with retail space and one, two and three-bedroom live/work units at street level and one and two-bedroom suites above. Rents range from $1,190 to $2,475 a month and include heat, water and sewer and use of the building’s amenities such as the dog wash, bike storage and roof top patio.
Douglas says her 550-square-foot suite is $1,090 a month with $100 for underground parking. She signed a 12-month lease with free rent for the first month and a free year of cable and internet.
She’s excited about the ultra-modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops and undermount sink. She appreciates that the kitchen is galley-style rather than laid out along one wall.
“It’s one of the better thought-out floor plans that I saw when I was looking,” she explains.
“I also really like the keyless entry system and how you can connect everything to your phone – it’s pretty handy.”
Rosso Coffee Roasters will also be pretty handy on the ground floor, along with nearby favourites like Lina’s Italian Market where Douglas has already discovered fresh cinnamon buns.
The neighbourhood was the primary reason why Strategic Group snapped up the land on Centre Street according to CEO and founder Riaz Mamdani.
“We acquired the site two-and-a-half years ago because of its proximity to the inner city. It’s on good transit routes and is close to amenities like grocery stores and restaurants. It’s a cool and changing neighbourhood,” he explains.
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