Thursday, July 11, 2013


New Telus Sky tower in downtown Calgary will feature office, retail, residential and arts space
By Jenna McMurray

Calgary Sun, July 04, 2013

Calgary’s skyline is growing up.

On Thursday, Telus announced its plans to construct a $400-million, 58-storey tower on the corner of 7 Ave. and Centre St.

Telus Sky, scheduled for completion in 2017, will be a mixed-use development, with office, retail and residential space.

“We are super excited to announce a new next generation tower that will undoubtedly transform Calgary’s skyline with one of the most beautiful and avant-garde architectural structures in the entire world,” said Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle.

Included in the 750,000 sq.-ft. building will be 430,000 sq.-ft. of office space, with the telecommunications giant occupying 155,000 sq.-ft. of that.

There will also be 341 residential rental units and, with the building overtaking Art Central’s current location, it will include 5,500 sq.-ft. of public gallery space.

The tower will be built to LEED Platinum standards and once complete, is expected to use 80% less energy than some similar-sized developments, said Entwistle.

Sky will be 221 metres tall, shy of Calgary’s tallest tower, The Bow at 236 metres.

The building was designed by Copenhagen and New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Dialog, along with their partners: Developer Westbank and real estate investment trust Allied Properties.

It will incorporate gargyoles from the old Herald building.

Architect Bjarke Ingels said the building’s mixed use dynamic is intended to help Calgary grow the energy in its downtown core.

“I think a lot of North American cities have suffered from the downtown becoming a corporate core where people only work and then they go home to the suburbs,” he said.

“As a result you get empty streets in the evenings and sleepy suburbs during the day and what the Telus Sky is doing is trying to provide a balanced program ... that gives you a much more 24/7 lively city.”
Ingels is hoping the tower will becoming a defining piece for the city.

“Calgary has so many very strong identity-defining elements, but they’re probably more in the landscapes and the culture of the city than they are in the architecture of the city,” he said,

“I think Calgary is maybe at a time right now where the very prosperous economy lends itself to a moment where Calgary can better define what kind of a city it is and wants to be.”

The development is expected to create 250 jobs for Calgarians.

On Thursday, Telus also announced another $250,000 through its Calgary Community Board and Community Action Teams in Alberta for local flood recovery efforts, bringing its total contribution so far to $2 million.



Canada’s new home prices tick up 1%, led by Calgary 
By Greg Quinn
Bloomberg News 13/07/11

Canada’s new home price index rose in May led by Calgary and cities in Ontario, the government statistics agency said.

The 0.1% national gain was led by a 0.9% increase in Calgary, Statistics Canada said Thursday in Ottawa. Prices also rose 0.6% in the Ontario cities of St. Catharines-Niagara, Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

Economists predicted the index would rise 0.2% on the month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey with nine responses. From a year earlier, new home prices increased 1.8% in May.

Other reports this week have shown housing-market strength as officials warn consumers not to become overextended with mortgage debt. Building permits rose a fifth month in May while housing starts fell less than economists predicted in June.

Thursday’s data showed prices in Toronto, the nation’s largest city by population, increased 0.2%. Montreal, the second largest, saw house prices climb 0.3% while those in Vancouver, the third-largest, fell 0.2%.


Calgary sets record with 4 MLS sales over $4 million in one month 
Luxury home market continues to shine
By Mario Toneguzzi 
Calgary Herald July 9, 2013

CALGARY — For the first time ever, four homes priced at more than $4 million on the MLS market have sold in one month in Calgary, the Herald has learned.

The Calgary Real Estate Board has confirmed the record, which eclipsed the previous mark of two homes sold at that price point in June 2008.

In the first week of July, the sales at more than $4 million included homes in Britannia ($4.45 million), Elbow Park/Glencoe ($4 million) and Mount Royal ($4.645 million).

Then on Monday a home in Bel Aire sold for $4.45 million.

It’s another indication that the luxury home market is continuing to shine in Calgary.

According to Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty, there have been 18 homes sold for more than $1 million in the first week of July.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at CREB, said year-to-date luxury home sales represent 3.2 per cent of the total sales, up from last year’s share of 2.5 per cent.

“Consumers have more choice in luxury homes with a rise in the number of new listings in this category, helping support the sales growth,” she said. “However, more choice has contributed to median price growth in the luxury sector to be relatively weaker than city wide price growth. The median value of the sold transactions have trended up from the low of the recession and are slightly higher than levels recorded last year, however, they still remain below levels recorded during the 2007 period.

“Despite some economic setbacks, long-term economic prospects remain relatively strong in our city. Wages continue to rise while mortgage rates remain at low levels — all of which are supporting demand growth. Furthermore, the tight supply levels in the lower price ranges have reduced the time on market and supported relatively stronger price growth in this sector, potentially offering an opportunity for those consumers looking to upgrade.”

Last month, a home in Crescent Heights, listed by John Hripko, a realtor with Royal LePage Foothills, sold for $11.1 million — a new high for the Calgary MLS market. That home was owned by former Shaw executive Jim Shaw.

According to Fotiou, there were 74 luxury home sales in June, setting a record for the most $1-million plus sales for the month of June. The all-time monthly record for luxury home sales was established in May at 84.

Last year was a record of 544 luxury home sales in the city.

According to CREB, there were 394 sales of $1 million or more in the first six months of this year compared with 299 for the same period last year.

The mid-year total so far this year has already surpassed year-end totals for 2010 (365), 2009 (337), and 2008 (369), pointed out Fotiou.

Photo By: s@@m


Low inventory, high demand pushing Calgary house prices upward
Royal LePage forecasts prices to continue to rise
By Mario Toneguzzi 
Calgary Herald July 9, 2013

A combination of low inventory and strong demand has driven prices of all housing types in Calgary higher, according to a report released Tuesday by Royal LePage.

The real estate firm, in its House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast, said that year-over-year in the second quarter detached bungalows increased by 5.9 per cent to $457,889, condominiums were up six per cent, to $261,933, and standard two-storey homes rose by 6.7 per cent to $453,789.

“Inventory is low across all categories right now, and this is driving prices up,” said Ted Zaharko, broker and owner of Royal LePage Foothills, in a news release. “When a listing comes up, there is a swarm of potential buyers, and multiple offers are common. Condominiums are profiting from the spillover effect — buyers who are having difficulty breaking into the tight bungalow market are moving to the condominium market, to the point where inventory is tightening there as well.”

Zaharko said the recent flooding in Calgary may cause some “irregular activity” in the short-term but it won’t have a long-term impact on sales or prices.

He said prices are expected to continue to rise in Calgary as are overall sales.

“Unit sales would be greater if more inventory were available, but until additional inventory comes onto the market, growth in unit sales will be somewhat tempered,” he said.

Nationally, in the second quarter, standard two-storey homes and detached bungalows both showed a year-over-year average price increase of 2.7 per cent to $419,614 and $386,547, respectively. Average prices for standard condominiums rose 1.2 per cent to $248,750.

Royal LePage is forecasting average house prices in Calgary to rise year-over-year by 6.5 per cent this year to $439,000 while sales will increase by 3.3 per cent to 27,500 transactions.

Across the country, the real estate firm is forecasting a three per cent jump in prices to $374,650 with a decline of 5.0 per cent in sales to 430,500 units.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, year-to-date until July 8, there have been 12,763 MLS sales in the city, up 4.71 per cent from the same period last year. The median price has increased by 4.99 per cent to $400,000 while the average price has risen by 6.75 per cent to $458,371.