2 more office buildings to be converted to residential spaces in downtown Calgary

A look at downtown Calgary on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. The City of Calgary announced two more buildings will be converted into new residential spaces in the city's downtown core. Global News

The City of Calgary announced two more buildings will be converted into new residential spaces in the city’s downtown core.

United Place on 808 4 Avenue S.W. and Canadian Centre on 833 4 Avenue S.W. will be converted into new homes as part of the city’s Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program.

The program aims to revitalize Calgary’s downtown by turning empty office spaces into mixed-use spaces for residential, office, retail, entertainment and tourism purposes.

The United Place project will convert approximately 88,000 square feet of office space into 81 homes, with a mix of studio to three-bedroom units. The project is near the Eau Claire and Downtown West residential areas with many recreation opportunities within the vicinty.

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The Canadian Centre project will convert around 163,000 square feet of office space into a residential tower. It includes a combination of fully-furnished apartments and short-term rental units with a variety of housing options and amenities.

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“We have the tools at our disposal to create a vibrant Calgary downtown,” Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“People want to live where they feel safe, where things are accessible and where things are happening.”

The city said three other projects are in the final stages of approval and further announcements will be made later this summer. Around $27 million remains from the $100 million fund because three projects initially considered for the grant will no longer be proceeding.

Applications for the grant will re-open on July 15 and will close on Sept. 9 with a continued focus on office-to-residential conversion. A priority will be placed on the downtown core which has the highest office vacancy levels in the city.

“It is important that our downtown be economically vibrant and it is also important to develop cultural vibrancy and a strong sense of place that impacts our residents, workers and visitors,” Wong said.

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“When we think about the issues our downtown is facing, we often think about vacancies but that’s only one part of the picture. Vibrancy is what encapsulates a thriving downtown.”

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