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Strategic Group leads the industry in office-to-residential conversion

Updated: May 5, 2023

Source: Strategic Group

As Calgary’s downtown continues to struggle through a slow economic recovery, Strategic Group is doing its part by reinventing existing downtown buildings to create new rental homes for Calgarians. Between its current Calgary-based projects of the iconic Barron Building and Cube, Strategic Group is creating 159 new homes for Calgarians—part of more than 1,000 new multi-family rental homes Strategic Group is currently developing.

“We know that commercial-to-residential conversions will help reinvigorate our economy and add vitality to our downtown community,” says Riaz Mamdani, CEO of Strategic Group. “We also know that it makes good business sense.”

Market demand for residential rental is increasing as Alberta’s population continues to grow and consumers turn more to home rental than home ownership.

“We see a lot of value and opportunity in the residential rental market,” says Mamdani. “In particular, there is demand for new, high quality rental homes in dynamic inner-city communities.”

Strategic Group is leading the industry in office-to-residential conversions. It currently has four amenity-rich, environmentally conscious, and architecturally unique developments in construction in Calgary and Edmonton—with another two projects in the design stages.

Strategic Group has seven active or recently completed office conversions in its portfolio. Conversion projects are also an innovative way to reduce office vacancy—these particular projects reduce office space in Calgary and Edmonton by 760,000 square feet.

Cube, located in Calgary’s inner-city Beltline neighbourhood, is a 7-storey 65,157 square foot across the street from the Midtown Co-op. Development on the building started in spring 2018 making it Strategic Group’s first office-to-residential conversion project. When complete, it will feature 65 one- and two-bedroom units, 99 parking stalls, unique retail spaces at street level, and a rooftop patio for residents. It is well-connected to a walkable, bike-able, and amenity-rich community. Cube is opening in early March 2019.

Strategic Group is also proudly re-developing the iconic Barron Building in downtown Calgary. When it opened in 1951, the building marked a significant turning point in the oil and gas industry and was a symbol representing Calgary’s economic, social and political growth. The building is being re-purposed into a fully mixed-use building with office, retail and 94 residential rental units over 99,202 square feet.

“Honouring the historical legacy of the Barron Building is critical for us,” says Mamdani. “We are preserving the art deco-styled exterior and some of the interior details that make this such a special place.”

Sitting on the corner of 5th street and Stephen Avenue, 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. Barron is scheduled to open to residents in 2020.

In Edmonton, Strategic Group is converting two buildings in the city’s downtown: e11even and Capital.

  • e11even is a 12-storey, 148,855 square foot space that is being converted into a mix of 177 one- and two-bedroom residential rental suites. It will also include 141 underground parking stalls plus parking for 140 bikes, main floor apartments with large terraces, a lounge, gym and rooftop patio. e11even is opening in the summer of 2019.

  • Capital is also a 12-storey office-to-residential building. Its 169,096 square feet is being converted into 154 residential units plus a new 6-storey building of an additional 60 rental homes. Capital will feature balconies, 215 underground parking stalls, main floor lounge, and a gym facility. This first phase of Capital is opening in the summer of 2019.

Photo above: render of Cube and Barron Building.

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