Continued low borrowing costs and a growing housing stock will boost spending on renovations in Alberta this year and next year, says a report by the Altus Group.

The report said renovation spending, which is defined as the sum of residential alterations, conversions and repairs, reached $7.6 billion in the province in 2014, up 3.7 per cent from 2013. That was the second highest growth rate in the country behind Ontario’s 4.1 per cent.

The Altus Group is forecasting spending to increase by 2.6 per cent this year and by 3.8 per cent next year in the province.

In Canada, renovation spending reached an estimated $67.8 billion last year, up 3.2 per cent from 2013.

The report said the renovation sector accounted for 3.4 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2014 and renovations are the top purpose for Canadians borrowing with home equity lines of credit.

Alterations/improvements is the biggest component of renovations, contributing about three out of every four dollars spent.

The report said that beginning in the 2000s, spending on renovations grew at 8.7 per cent on an average annual rate. But for the last seven years, including the recession and the subsequent recovery, it has been 2.6 per cent as an average annual rate of growth.

Altus Group said this is still “impressive” when it is compared to the overall Canadian economic average annual growth rate of 1.6 per cent during the same period.

Read full post

Arlington Street Investments president and CEO Frank Lonardelli built the four-storey commercial tower on 8th Avenue S.W. just to the west of the Uptown Theatre block where his head office is housed.


Under construction is The Windsor, a five-storey, mixed-use commercial project on the strategic corner of Elbow Drive and 50th Avenue S.W., surrounded by the communities of Elboya, Windsor and Britannia.

Designed by NORR Architects and built by Clark Builders, the structure will house almost 20,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and an additional 5,000 square feet on the second. The remaining 70,000 square feet will be built for offices.

Lonardelli’s new focus is squarely on 17th Avenue between Macleod Trail in the southeast to 14th Street S.W. At the vibrant southwest intersection of 17th Avenue and 14th Street, Arlington Street purchased what many people still refer to as the Bank of Nova Scotia block but was known more recently as a retail outlet for American Apparel.

It has been fully leased to Prema Sai Wholistic Living, a clinic with the goal of transforming health care by a variety of different bodywork sessions including massage, acupuncture and detox services consulting with Calgary’s best practitioners.

Kitty corner to that site, Arlington Street has purchased the 36,000-square-foot Condon Building and Lonardelli has great plans to transform it and the parking area into a new Sentinel Block. He wants to create a village atmosphere with a design of retail that will include a grocery store on the main floor and a high tower of residential rental suites bringing more shoppers to walk the avenue.

The company already owns the block of 17th Avenue at 1st Street S.E. The next piece of land to be redeveloped will be the assembly it has purchased between College Lane and the Bank of Montreal branch at 7th Street S.W.

Designed by McKinley Burkart architects and interior designers, the dramatic High Street project is influenced by a New York Italian market concept.

Preliminary designs show a high-end restaurant on the ground floor. On the second will be a cooking school, bakery, wine boutique and grab-and-go foods. Floors three and four will be for office lease and the fifth floor will house a large 8,000-square-foot retail area connected to the second floor by an open glass stairwell and elevator.

It will be a casual, open area with kitchen for simple pastas, wine and beer, a variety of foods for sale and feature an atrium with retractable roof offering wonderful views of the downtown skyline to the north.

Lonardelli has a vision to see all of 17th Avenue as a destination, not just individual stores, so he is keen on providing space for unique shops. He will be in even more control of his idea as he also is in the final stages of negotiations to buy two more major sites he wants to develop along the avenue.

Read full post

Arlington Street Investments president and CEO Frank Lonardelli built the four-storey commercial tower on 8th Avenue S.W. just to the west of the Uptown Theatre block where his head office is housed.

Under construction is The Windsor, a five-storey, mixed-use commercial project on the strategic corner of Elbow Drive and 50th Avenue S.W., surrounded by the communities of Elboya, Windsor and Britannia.

Designed by NORR Architects and built by Clark Builders, the structure will house almost 20,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and an additional 5,000 square feet on the second. The remaining 70,000 square feet will be built for offices.

Lonardelli’s new focus is squarely on 17th Avenue between Macleod Trail in the southeast to 14th Street S.W. At the vibrant southwest intersection of 17th Avenue and 14th Street, Arlington Street purchased what many people still refer to as the Bank of Nova Scotia block but was known more recently as a retail outlet for American Apparel.

It has been fully leased to Prema Sai Wholistic Living, a clinic with the goal of transforming health care by a variety of different bodywork sessions including massage, acupuncture and detox services consulting with Calgary’s best practitioners.

Kitty corner to that site, Arlington Street has purchased the 36,000-square-foot Condon Building and Lonardelli has great plans to transform it and the parking area into a new Sentinel Block. He wants to create a village atmosphere with a design of retail that will include a grocery store on the main floor and a high tower of residential rental suites bringing more shoppers to walk the avenue.

The company already owns the block of 17th Avenue at 1st Street S.E. The next piece of land to be redeveloped will be the assembly it has purchased between College Lane and the Bank of Montreal branch at 7th Street S.W.

Designed by McKinley Burkart architects and interior designers, the dramatic High Street project is influenced by a New York Italian market concept.

Preliminary designs show a high-end restaurant on the ground floor. On the second will be a cooking school, bakery, wine boutique and grab-and-go foods. Floors three and four will be for office lease and the fifth floor will house a large 8,000-square-foot retail area connected to the second floor by an open glass stairwell and elevator.

It will be a casual, open area with kitchen for simple pastas, wine and beer, a variety of foods for sale and feature an atrium with retractable roof offering wonderful views of the downtown skyline to the north.

Read full post

The vacancy rate for seniors’ residences in the Calgary region is on the rise, along with the average cost of a standard space.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the vacancy for standard retirement spaces in the Calgary metro area has grown to 6.4 per cent from 4.8 per cent last year. Average rents climbed to $3,564 this year from $3,460 last year, it said.

The rise in the vacancy rate for seniors housing was largely due to more supply added to the market. While the number of residents in seniors’ housing also rose from the previous year, it did not keep pace with the additions to supply.

Several factors, including land and construction costs, are behind rent increases. Many of the facilities in Calgary also offer more amenities compared to some of the other residences in Edmonton and in other areas of the province.

In contrast, vacancy throughout Alberta declined to 8.1 per cent in 2015 from 8.5 per cent in 2014 and the Edmonton area saw its vacancy rate drop to 6.3 per cent from 7.1 per cent last year.

The average rental rate for standard spaces in Edmonton rose to $2,538 from $2,402 while provincially it was up to $2,922 from $2,826.

The report said there were 11,143 retirement spaces in the province, up six per cent in 2014. About 40 per cent of those spaces (4,432) are in Edmonton and 33 per cent (3,645) are in Calgary.

Read full post
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.