Eric Carlson believes in Calgary. In particular, he is bullish on the Bow River and the opportunities to build residential properties along its banks, where he has three projects in various stages of development.
The CEO and core founder of Anthem Properties says he has been investing in this city for many years and is a frequent visitor to his Calgary office that employs a staff of about 40 people.
The largest of the river developments is Waterfront in Eau Claire, the downtown site of the former Greyhound building, where a 10-building, 1,000-unit residential complex will be completed by the early part of next year.
Well under construction are 93 condominium units west of Hotel Arts Kensington on the north side of the Bow along Memorial Drive. The one-acre site formerly housed 13 older single-family houses, but on completion will be home to many more people along the 300 feet of river view.
Designed by well-known coast architect Bryce Rositch, who has completed several projects in Calgary, each of the units on the ground floor of the five-storey building is designed with direct access to the paved lane, or a front door leading through a small, landscaped terraced area with wrought-iron railings to the sidewalk along Memorial Drive.
The interior will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, with seven larger units on the top floor that command great views across the river to the city skyline. Jaydan Tait, Anthem’s director of development in Calgary, is enthusiastic about the location next door to the trendy Kensington shopping district and a short walk to downtown, plus the use of the riverfront walking/cycling path.
No pre-sales have been sought; it is being built on spec with marketing set to begin in January and expects to welcome owners by mid-2019.
Much discussion has evolved around the future of the former CBC building farther west along Memorial Drive. The 2.4-acre site has also been bought by Anthem, which is planning to build a three-storey development on it, offering 84 condo units of either 1,200 or 1,550 square feet.
Care has been taken by Calgary architect McKinley Burkart to blend into the existing community with pitched roof, older-style units backing onto the small city park at the rear.
Those fronting onto Memorial Drive and along 16th and 17th streets will have a more modern look, each with a rooftop deck and front doors. They all back onto an interior landscaped walkway.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring, pending approval of land use and development permits from the city.
Carlson has confidence in the Calgary market, one of the cities Anthem operates in along with Vancouver, Edmonton and Sacramento, Calif.
In Calgary, it owns several retail centres, including Heritage Hill on Macleod Trail, and has purchased close to 200,000 square feet of industrial-warehouse, revenue producing properties. Anthem owns the two blocks along Macleod Trail south of the Repsol Sport Centre, where it has a development permit to build 874 residential units plus retail spaces in a four-building complex called Crosstown, has partnered with Walton International Group to develop the 1,000-acre, master-planned community of Cornerstone, and is in consultation over the purchase of four more infill urban sites.
Anthem Properties owns five million square feet of income property and currently has 68 projects in various stages of development — seven of those in Calgary.
Calgary’s Beltline district continues to attract investors who have confidence in the area for quality residential development. The latest sale is the 1.79-acre site between 11th and 10th avenues on 10th Street, across from Vintage Towers and the adjacent popular Midtown Co-op. Owner ATCO Investments contracted the listing to the Avison Young Capital Markets Group, which also represents the new owner Cidex Group. Avison Young principal Kevin Morgans says developers believe there is a need for new residential product able to offer a wide range of amenities, including high ceilings and wider corridors; Cidex plans a mixed-use commercial/residential development for the site.
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