Source: Strategic Group
At the cornerstone of our strategy for growth and diversification, are six office-to-residential conversion projects. Higher than normal vacancy rates in downtown office buildings require creative and unconventional thinking to find the right solution for our economy, community, and environment. Market demand for residential rental is increasing as Alberta’s population continues to grow and consumers turn more to home rental than home ownership. There is a proven demand for new, high quality rental apartment homes in dynamic inner-city communities.
We currently have four amenity-rich, environmentally advanced, and architecturally unique conversion projects under construction in Calgary and Edmonton – with another two projects in the design stages. Through thoughtful conversions, we are also supporting the environment and the local community. By choosing to repurpose rather than demolish buildings, our current projects are keeping an estimated 55,965 tons of material from going to landfills in Edmonton and Calgary. With each new residence and retail space in the inner city, we are helping create the vibrant streetscapes that encourage even more growth and vitality downtown.
Not every underused office building is right for converting into residential homes. Poor location and challenging floor plates can make certain buildings uneconomical choices for conversions. However, Strategic Group has the expertise and the right buildings in its portfolio to make conversions a good choice for underused office buildings. Some of our office-to-residential conversion projects include Cube and the Barron Building.
Cube is a seven-storey, 51,733 square foot former office building now featuring 65 new rental residences. It is in Calgary’s inner-city Beltline neighbourhood and surrounded by valuable community amenities including a supermarket across the street, a dog park one block away, and the Bow River and downtown just minutes away by foot or bike. With outstanding support from the City of Calgary, we were able to turn the Cube conversion from idea to occupancy in just over one year.
Strategic Group is proudly bringing the iconic Barron Building back to life with our office-to-residential conversion in downtown Calgary. When it opened in 1951, it was Calgary’s first high rise at 12 storeys. It marked a significant turning point in the oil and gas industry and was a symbol of Calgary’s economic, social, and political growth. The 85,223 square foot office building is being repurposed into a mixed-use space with retail and 94 rental residences.
Honouring the legacy of the building is an important component of this conversion project. We will preserve the art deco-styled exterior along with some interior details. Sitting on the corner of 5th Street and 8th Avenue SW, the Barron Building will return to its place of prominence in the heart of downtown Calgary. It will also be the first residential building in Calgary to be connected to Calgary’s famous +15 walkway. The Barron Building is scheduled to open to residents in 2020.
Above photo: Artist concept of the Barron Building repurposed.