Eau Claire

Waterfront condo development launching new phase with Parkside

302 units in four buildings on Eau Claire site along Bow River

A growing appetite for the condo lifestyle in Calgary has a major development launching its next phase of construction in the Eau Claire neighbourhood along the Bow River.
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Anthem Properties Group will open sales to the public on November 15 for its Parkside project, encompassing four buildings and 302 units, in the Waterfront development, the Herald has learned.
“The biggest thing is obviously location. That’s a huge help. You look around us and we’re set right against a vibrant downtown, with plenty of successful people seeing the value of living and working close by. And you continue to see more amenities show up in the neighbourhood,” said Greg Zayadi, vice-president of sales and marketing for Anthem Properties Group based out of Vancouver, with properties and operations throughout Western Canada, and sister company to United Communities.
He said a growing number of restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores coming to the downtown of Calgary will support that growing condo lifestyle in the heart of the city.
The Parkside phase will be directly adjacent to Sien Lok Park and consist of four buildings of 17, nine, nine and six storeys. Prices range from $289,900 to $2.3 million.
The company bought the current land just east of the Eau Claire Market in 2004 and started construction on the first building in 2007.
The first two buildings of Waterfront, 22 and 24 storeys, brought to the market 450 condo units. All are sold and occupied today with the exception of five penthouses still for sale.
“We fought through what was the tough market in the downturn and got it completed,” said Zayadi.
“Because of the amount of inventory we’ve already sold, the amount of owners we have in the buildings, we have huge demand from our existing owners.”
He said construction on Parkside will begin in the spring 2015 and all four buildings will be built at once with spring/summer 2018 completion.
Waterfront is also building its Outlook phase of 175 condo units in two buildings of 16 and four storeys. All units have been sold with completion expected in April 2015.
Zayadi said the final phase of the overall Waterfront project will probably launch next year. It will be located directly at the entrance to Prince’s Island Park, on the north side of the site, and consist of a nine and a four storey building with another 77 units.
A coffee shop and liquor store have opened on the site and a new Brazilian steakhouse is under construction.
When fully complete by 2018, Waterfront will have just over 1,000 condo units.
Zayadi said the market for condos is getting more robust in Calgary and that is evident in both the resale and new condo sectors this year.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, year-to-date until Wednesday, there have been 4,248 MLS condo apartment sales in the city, up 20.14 per cent from the same period a year ago. The median price has risen by 9.09 per cent to $285,000 while the average sale price is up by 8.37 per cent to $324,405.
In the Eau Claire neighbourhood, there have been 64 condo apartment sales this year until the end of October with the median price of $519,950 and the average sale price of $724,886. Last year, for the entire year, there were 81 condo apartment sales in the neighbourhood with a median price of $561,750 and an average sale price of $738,906.
“Parkside is the newest addition to the hugely successful Waterfront project which is located in one of the best locations in Calgary,” said Cody Battershill, a realtor with RE/MAX House of Real Estate in Calgary. “Sales in the previous towers have been strong, a testament to the desirability of the location and the overall strong demand for condominiums in Eau Claire and downtown Calgary.
“This new project has a variety of floor plans and price points for all buyers. This is another exciting new addition to the skyline and I’m very excited for my clients that are purchasing in the building. The Eau Claire area commands a lot of interest along with some of the highest priced condo sales in Calgary.”
A report by the Altus Group said standing inventories of condo apartment units have been low in Calgary for some time, in both the new and existing stock. This has resulted in buoyant pre-sales of new condo apartment starts here in the first nine months of this year which were almost 3.5 times that of last year and 2014 is on track to surpass the previous record set in 2008. While apartment sales are expected to moderate only slightly next year, starts are expected to post a more significant decline after the heady 2014 level.
Condo starts from January to September of 5,250 were up from 1,537 a year ago. Those under construction of 6,986 are up from 4,237 and sales of 2,225 have increased from 1,939.

Council OKs sale of part of 5th Street S.W. to developer…

Council has given final approval to a developer’s bid to buy a block of 5th Street S.W. in Eau Claire as part of its six-tower residential project on the two blocks straddling that quiet road.
The site owner plans to keep the roadway between 2nd Avenue and Eau Claire Avenue as a publicly accessible road, but give it a curvy redesign that complements its massive project and is more pedestrian-friendly than other blocks, planners have told council.
“They had a much higher quality of street in their mind than we would normally put in,” said Druh Farrell, councillor for Eau Claire.
It’s highly unusual for city hall to sell active public roadway to a private developer. The city will disclose terms of the roadway sale once it has closed, council records show. Farrell, who calls the sale “exceptional,” said the company will cover maintenance costs for the street.
The project will rise on two of the last remaining block-long surface parking lots in Eau Claire. Developer GWL Realty is planning 1,000 dwelling units in the towers, plus retail, including a proposed grocery store.
“It will finally complete a community that has been in transition for decades,” the councillor said.
By Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald September 9, 2014

Planned Eau Claire twin ultra-luxury condo towers include $13 million penthouse

Development near Peace Bridge includes more than 200 units

Calgary’s latest luxury condo development project in Eau Claire, along the Bow River, will be the best engineered flood and emergency prepared residential building ever designed in Canada, says the Vancouver-based developer of The Concord.
Concord Pacific announced plans for the development on Tuesday, which has more than 200 luxury homes on two towers, including a $13-million penthouse, at 6th Street and 1st Avenue S.W. near the Peace Bridge.
“The Concord will be the first uncompromised answer to luxury single family living in Calgary,” said Peter Webb, senior vice-president of development for Concord Pacific, adding the site is the best in Canada and one of the best in the world. “It’s everything we could imagine. A water feature in summer to a skating rink in winter, five star amenities, Porsche kitchens designed by the world’s oldest kitchen brand, Poggenpohl, and oversized garages. The high level of detail that has gone into every area of this project is unparalleled to any development in Calgary’s history.
“In the world, there isn’t very many places that you really get sites like this. You’re right on the edge of the city. So there’s an urban backdrop to the development. And the riverfront right in front with Prince’s Island and the (Peace) Bridge. These are world-scale landmarks and features that the City of Calgary has managed to develop on their riverfront. So to actually have a property that was right on the edge to take advantage of that natural landscape is really kind of something you only come across once in awhile.”
Webb did not disclose the total cost of the project but confirmed it would be Concord Pacific’s most expensive project per square foot to build.
Concord Pacific is Canada’s largest urban community developer with more than 20,000 residential units built or currently under development in Canada. This is the privately-held company’s first development in Calgary.
The developer said the site was not affected by last summer’s devastating flood but The Concord will voluntarily put in “robust” infrastructure designed by flood mitigation experts, Associated Engineering.
That includes: a building design engineered to withstand an high waters twice as significant as the 2013 flood; a perimeter system which includes special linked piles that surround the foundation and above-grade fortification walls with floodgates for pedestrian access; waterproof foundation with self-sealing capabilities to prevent underground water seepage; stormwater backup prevention management; and uninterruptable emergency backup power for building and suite systems.
Councillor Druh Farrell said The Concord is inspired by one of Canada’s most celebrated architects Arthur Erickson who did the original design.
“This parcel of vacant land with Prince’s Island just next door and a view of our beautiful river and Peace Bridge is one of the finest in the country,” said Farrell. “Eau Claire is one of Calgary’s most beautiful communities and with a bright future. A complete Eau Claire will be true a mixed-use community with retail and services right next to the downtown.”
She said the flood mitigation by the project will set a benchmark for the rest of Calgary.
The Concord will be a two-tower multi-family luxury development with more than 200 luxury homes.

The project is designed by Nick Milkovich, who worked with Erickson for over 40 years. Their iconic projects include the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, The Erickson Tower in Vancouver and the Creekside Community Centre and Canada House for the Vancouver 2010 Games.
The Concord’s 105-suite West Tower will be 14 storeys and will be completed by the fall of 2017.
Suites range from 1,061 square feet to 6,161 square feet.
Prices start at $1 million to $2 million with the top Estate Penthouse close to $13 million. There will be a limited selection of two-bedroom premium suites starting from the $700,000’s.
“We do have a perception that Calgary is capable of absorbing this kind of product,” said Webb. “I think what we’ve seen in the past is Calgary can be cyclical. But when Calgary goes in real estate, it goes hard. Prices go up. People aggressively buy. It’s kind of that frontier sort of mentality when people feel good about something they move more aggressively on it.
“Our feeling is that in the last market uptick prior to the fall of 2008 when the market changed, the market went very strong, very quickly and prices went up, and up and up . . . We really believe that the Calgary market is poised right now to take off. When any market moves up, it’s the premier product that escalates in value more rapidly than the rest. We believe the market will be moving and people are very quickly going to be attracted to this project.”
Webb said construction is planned to start on Phase I in about a year’s time. He said both phases are built on top of the same parkade.
“So in all likelihood the project will proceed as one all the way through,” he said. “When we market the second phase, I’m not really certain. That will depend on how quickly the first phase is bought up. But they will be just going in an orderly fashion one right after the other.”
Exterior amenities include a central water garden situated between the two buildings which will act as a pond in the summer and a skating rink in the winter; a fire pit lounge, an outdoor kitchen and a seating area surrounding the water garden; and hose and gas bibs for all terraces and balconies (where applicable)
Interior amenities: include the Grand Room featuring a gourmet kitchen, indoor/outdoor dining area and a bar and lounge; a meeting room; a luxury parkade featuring a heated entrance ramp, automated under-carriage and tire carwash bay, automatic car wash and area, a dedicated manual car wash bay and multiple hose bibs to facilitate parkade cleaning; direct elevator access to all Private Residences and Estate Penthouses; oversized garages ranging from double to double plus storage or extra parking; swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room; and state-of-the-art fitness facility, yoga room and golf simulator.
Gary Beres, executive vice-president for commercial real estate firm CBRE in Calgary, has purchased with his wife a 2,000-square-foot, Private Residence unit for an undisclosed amount.
“We needed a larger unit and we love living down here so this is a natural extension of that,” said Beres, who currently lives next-door to The Concord site at the Princeton condo tower. “I know the Concord Pacific people really well. I deal with them in my business and I just know them because I travel back and forth from Toronto and Vancouver and I see what they’re doing in both those two cities.
“It’s phenomenal. They’re truly world-class developers. So a combination of loving the area, wanting to stay in the area and wanting to move into a project that obviously has a lot of quality and a lot of amenities.”
The Concord is the latest condo development in the current housing boom.
It is reminiscent of the condo boom of a few years ago but today’s real estate construction frenzy has one Nearly half of all proposed or under construction developments in the downtown area are for rental use.
Figures supplied to the Herald from the Altus Group Limited indicate there are 2,184 proposed condo units, 2,038 in the pre-construction stage and 1,762 under construction for a total of 5,984 in the combined area of Eau Claire, West End, East Village, Downtown and the Beltline.
Proposed developments include those publicly announced but not having submitted an application for development approval. Pre-construction consists of projects with development approval submissions.
And under construction refers to projects with a building permit in place and site excavation started.
Planned Eau Claire twin ultra-luxury condo towers include $13 million penthouse

Rendering of The Concord luxury condo development to be built along the Bow River in Calgary’s Eau Claire neighbourhood.

By MARIO TONEGUZZI, Calgary Herald June 3, 2014