Things may be a little quiet right now with commercial real estate downtown, but there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown in industrial real estate activity.

Fulton Industrial Park is a 210-hectare development east of Calgary off Highway 22X on TWP Road 230 and Range Road 280. It’s 10 minutes from Stoney Trail and fronts the Canadian Pacific main line, within the intermodal switching zone.

Owner Resland Development of Edmonton has sold about 5 hectares to Myshak Crane and Rigging and another 6 hectares to Whissell Contracting. Both companies are moving out of Calgary to take advantage of lower property taxes and no business tax.

Only four lots remain available in the 28-hectare first phase of the 120-hectare Point Trotter Industrial Park  between 68th Street S.E. and Stoney Trail that’s marketed by Walton International Group. The City of Calgary has 24 lots within Phase 1 that will become available but have not yet been released to the market.

Another 54,248 square feet that includes two shops and a 6,500-square-foot office is available along 52nd Street  S.E. Also available is 32,000 square feet on 1.6 hectares, with two floors of office and a 24,000-square-foot shop with two 7.5-ton cranes on 84th Street S.E. and another 19,288 square foot office/warehouse complex on 59th Avenue S.E.

Also in the southeast quadrant, Enerflex has moved back into the building it constructed but sold to Surefire in 2011. The 312,369 square feet became available again and Enerflex made the decision to relocate its three divisions to the attractive building on the prime address that gives good exposure to Peigan Trail and 52nd Street S.E.

Industrial continues to outpace other commercial real estate sectors today.

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Building permit values for the Calgary region soared in March, topping $600 million on the strength of planned multi-family projects and institutional buildings, says Statistics Canada.

Permits in the Calgary census metro area reached $601.1 million, up 66.1 per cent from February and an increase of 34.9 per cent year-over-year.

Residential permits in the Calgary region rose 36.8 per cent from February to $349.1 million. Non-residential permits rose by 140.5 per cent to $252 million — an annual increase of 40.4 per cent. For Alberta, total permits of $1.3 billion were up 11.1 per cent month-over-month and 4.6 per cent year-over-year.

The province saw residential permits of $811.3 million for March which was down 10.7 per cent from the previous month but up 8.6 per cent year-over-year. Non-residential permits rose by 80.4 per cent from February to $515.2 million but were off by 1.1 per cent from a year ago.

Nationally, permits increased for the first time in three months by 11.6 per cent to $6.9 billion. That was also up 13 per cent from a year ago.

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As a homeowner planning a renovation, it’s important to do your due diligence before hiring a contractor.

 

But thanks to a new initiative launched this week by the Alberta New Home Warranty Program, the selection process may have became a little bit easier.

 

The Alberta Renovation Warranty Program empowers renovators and renovation companies that are part of a carefully screened builder group with the ability to offer their customers comprehensive insurance protection. The coverage combines up to $100,000 of deposit protection insurance with warranty insurance that covers materials and labour of up to $100,000. And the coverage spans from the initial engagement to two years after completion of the project.

 

The program is certainly a game changer. A homeowner can now be assured that there is coverage in place if a renovator defaults, doesn’t meet the standards or goes bankrupt.

 

Not every renovation company is covered.

 

It is crucial that homeowners ask if their renovator is part of the Alberta Renovation Warranty Program.

 

The program vets renovators and renovation companies using rigorous screening methods and high standards, with a focus on several elements from quality workmanship to financial stability and a solid management team.

The program has begun reaching out to current builder members of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program that have renovation divisions, generating excitement and interest.

 

Albi Renova, the renovation arm of Albi Homes, a Calgary-based luxury home-builder, has recently earned a string of accolades and awards for its excellent business management and stunning home design, including being named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

 

The company has been renovating in Calgary for more than 27 years.

There is no doubt that home renovation and repair are big business. In Calgary alone, they accounted for $2.4 billion in investment value in 2013.

 

Albi Renova's goal was to bring a greater level of consumer protection to the market.

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Toronto developer Great Gulf is hoping to make its first foray into the Calgary residential real estate market with a proposed two-tower development in East Village, just east of the federal Harry Hays building.

The project, at 304 Macleod Trail S.E., would include 443 units in towers of 22 and 24 storeys.

A development permit application has been submitted to the city.

From a design perspective, the company wanted to bring something different to the marketplace. There are many local and Vancouver-based developers who are very active in Calgary condo development.

Calgary has a very dynamic downtown with respect to office and retail and recreation. However, the company think it is under-served residentially. Calgary is quite a big sprawling city but it’s historically not had a great deal of truly downtown residential development.

The company certainly seeing some good success with East Village and the Beltline has always performed quite well.

Toronto has had much success with residential towers close to the central business district and the company is quite excited about its potential development site in Calgary.

The company is working on a sales and marketing strategy and it hopes to enter the market in late fall of this year or early in 2016.

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