Vancouver-based Anthem Properties Group Ltd. has a love affair with the Calgary area these days. The real estate developer is launching an unprecedented number of new projects this year in the region. It’s building 500 new homes while its land team, Anthem United, is unveiling 776 acres of new communities.
This year, Anthem will launch four multi-family residential communities and four master-planned communities in the Calgary area.
Marketing director Ray Dietz says the company has been operating in the Calgary region for a number of years. “It’s one of our core markets. We operate out of Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and also Sacramento,” says Dietz. “Those four cities, or metro areas, are considered our core markets and we’ve been functioning in Calgary from a multi-family standpoint since 2007.
Prior to that, United Communities, which we acquired in 2014, has been operating out of Calgary since the 1930s. So we do have a long history with Calgary not only with land development but also with residential and commercial projects.”
He says the Calgary residential market is relatively affordable compared to the Vancouver and Toronto markets. “Families will continue to move to Calgary and for as long as families will be moving to Calgary we’ll be continuing to offer them residential and commercial opportunities,” adds Dietz.
“We’re excited to continue to show Calgary that we’re passionate about investing into Calgary’s future in a market where we see a lot of other developers and builders scaling back their projects.
Our portfolio is extremely diversified. So we have commercial, we have office space, we have retail, we have land development, we have multi-family, we have single-family homes. Our portfolio is very diverse not only in Calgary but also Edmonton, Sacramento and Vancouver. And because of that diversity we’re able to bring projects to market when other builders and developers are scaling back.” t
Among Anthem United’s communities to launch this spring and summer are: Wedderburn in Okotoks; Pine Creek in South Calgary; Sirocco at Pine Creek in South Calgary; and Chelsea, Anthem United’s first community in Chestermere. They will join Anthem’s three other communities in the Calgary area: Cornerstone in the northeast; Belmont in the south; and D’ARCY in Okotoks.
Anthem is also launching the following:
• Landmark at Waterfront, the final phase of the master-planned
community in Eau Claire;
• A new collection of townhomes and two wood-frame condominium
apartment buildings in the former military barracks of Currie;
• A boutique five-storey condominium building along Memorial Drive in Kensington;
• and Anthem and Anthem United’s first joint foray between their land and multi-family teams, 857 Belmont Drive S.E, which will be a collection of townhomes within their community of Belmont.
Also in the pipeline of Anthem projects is 1724 Westmount Boulevard, an upcoming townhome community in the established neighbourhood of Hillhurst-Sunnyside.
Calgary and area has struggled through a tough time in recent years after oil prices collapsed in the latter half of 2014. That triggered a recession in both 2015 and 2016. Although the economy has seen growth in 2017 and 2018, and continues to do so today, it is still at a slow and cautious pace with lingering concerns. But Dietz says the environment is shifting in a more positive direction.
“Let’s take our Waterfront community which is a 1,000-unit multi-family community in the Eau Claire area of downtown Calgary. We’re closing homes. People are moving into that master-planned community and we see that as a really positive sign that families are still continuing to invest and move into Calgary,” he says.
“That project is really close to our hearts because it was one of our first multi-family endeavours in Calgary and now we’re reaching its completion. I think that’s a really positive sign that the market is not as bad as perhaps some of the media likes to paint it.”
Anthem also has some highly strategic property in the Erlton neighbourhood at 25th Avenue and Macleod Trail — directly across from Stampede Park and the LRT line — which it is calling its Crosstown project. Dietz says the site is a favourite one of the company’s in its portfolio.
“That project was slated to be home to four tall concrete residential towers but we are currently re-evaluating our design direction for that site,” he says. No specific time has been determined as to when Anthem will launch that community.