Building Magazine


Survey predicts a boom market for Calgary commercial real estate

A public opinion survey done earlier this March of local businesspeople showed that 92 per cent predict that the Calgary commercial real estate market would experience growth — 49 per cent predicted “Booming, Busy Growth Or Boom Market” and 43 per cent predicted “Continued, Steady Or Stable Growth,” reports Bart Hribar, president at City Core Commercial Contracting, who commissioned the independent survey.

Only 2 per cent thought there would be no change and 1 per cent surveyed predicted that the market “will be tight.” 4 per cent just didn’t have any prediction.

Participants included over 100 local business owners with building in-progress or recently completed projects, plus regional design firms and contractors.  The survey was performed by Workable Client Solution of Seattle as part of a larger study done for City Core Commercial Contracting.

The independent survey also sought to identify outstanding local Calgary commercial contractors. City Core Commercial Contracting was identified as one of the top 5 Calgary commercial contracting companies in the survey, close behind PCL and Ellisdon. Another 26 were ranked lower.  Survey respondents specifically noted that City Core Commercial is known for its friendly, enthusiastic, highly professional team, its leadership, flexibility and responsiveness, outstanding communication, competitive pricing and on-time-on-budget results.

In an independent report prepared by CBRE Limited, Greg Kwong, Executive Vice President and Regional Managing Director for the firm’s Alberta operations, remarked that “While the outlook for Calgary’s commercial real estate market is looking relatively stable, ‘Hot Spots’ in the retail, industrial and suburban office markets should keep things hopping through 2014.”

Alberta’s largest city is in the midst of a development cycle encompassing some 6.3 million square feet and is expected to last for the next three to five years. A notable infrastructure project that is expected to impact the market is the Southeast Ring road expansion, a network of freeways, interchanges and bridges.  The expansion of the airport that is currently underway is also significant and will include a host of new hotels as well as one of the longest runways in the country.

The Calgary retail market continues to show positive growth and low vacancy in both urban and suburban area. “We’re 100 per cent leased by the grand opening of a mall,” says Kwong. “That speaks to the fact that disposable incomes in Calgary continue to outpace the national average.”

If there was one ongoing challenge in Calgary’s industrial market worth noting, it would be the inadequate land supply and construction costs. Interest from Canadian and U.S. investors in a variety of commercial property types should stay strong.

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