Some investors still have confidence in the Calgary office market, which has suffered since oil prices fell sharply six years ago.
Aspen Properties, which is based in Calgary and is a major owner of commercial properties in the city, is proceeding with a multimillion-dollar renovation of the downtown Sun Life Plaza office and retail centre, which Aspen bought two years ago for $225 million.
Sun Life Plaza is a Class-A complex featuring three 28-storey towers with more than 1.1 million square feet of space between them at 112 4th Avenue SW. Amenities include a conference centre, fitness centre and tenant lounge.
A complete lobby redevelopment and food hall are already complete. The total renovation will total about $25 million and includes a new name for the complex, with rebranding to be announced this spring.
Rob Blackwell, Aspen’s chief operating officer, told the Real Estate News Exchange the redevelopment of Sun Life Plaza comes on the heels of the success of a similar downtown Calgary office tower, which Aspen completely redeveloped a few years ago.
“When complete, Sun Life Plaza will stand as a shining example of the amenity-rich and positive office environments in such high demand by today’s workforce,” according to an Aspen statement.
Sun Life office space has a vacancy rate of around 25 per cent, about average for Calgary downtown office towers, which have the highest vacancy rate in Canada.
Aspen Properties, with partners, owns and manages approximately 3.8 million square feet of office space in Calgary and Edmonton. Current assets comprise 14 buildings– 11 in Calgary and three in Edmonton – and development sites in each city.