A Calgary development company has announced plans to convert a downtown Edmonton office building into apartments to cut down on the city’s oversaturation of vacant office space.
CBRE placed Edmonton’s downtown office vacancy for the first quarter of 2017 at 18.6 per cent, while the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation apartment rental vacancy rate is set at a more modest 7.1 per cent. The city has struggled against an increasing office vacancy rate since the oil recession began affecting the Prairie markets. Building owner Strategic Group hopes their $40-million conversion proposal will provide more of a secure cash flow from Harley Court moving forward.
“We have this inventory which is aging and will increasingly be vacant, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because there’s new inventory on hand,” Randy Ferguson, chief operating officer of Strategic Group, told the Edmonton Journal.
Post-renovation Harley Court will consist of 177 one- and two- bedroom suites – some as small as 500 square feet – targeting towards students and young adults.
The City of Edmonton is receptive to the project proposal and construction is expected to commence this fall and complete sometime next year.