Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page - JOSH SKAPIN

Look for more cranes in the sky and tool boxes at town­home sites this year com­pared to 2013, says a fed­eral agency.

While con­struc­tion of multi-fam­ily de­vel­op­ments in the Cal­gary area in 2014 is ex­pected to fall short of 2012’s to­tals, the new year should leave 2013 in its dust, says Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Corp.

It ex­pects there will be shov­els in the ground on 6,600 multi-fam­ily units in the Cal­gary area in 2014 — up 20 per cent from the 5,500 con­struc­tion starts ex­pected for 2013. Last year’s re­sults are still be­ing tal­lied.

“Low rental va­can­cies, record mi­gra­tion in­flows and ris­ing prices in the (sin­gle­fam­ily home) mar­ket will in­crease the de­mand for multi-fam­ily units,” says mar­ket an­a­lyst Feli­cia Mut­heardy of CMHC.

“As well, lower in­ven­tory lev­els for multi-fam­ily units, specif­i­cally for apart­ment units, will prompt more multi-fam­ily con­struc­tion next year.”

The big­gest de­cline in mul­ti­fam­ily con­struc­tion last year came in the condo apart­ment sec­tor.

From Jan. 1, 2013, to the end of Novem­ber, there were 2,612 con­struc­tion starts for apart­ments, down al­most 50 per cent from 3,899 starts dur­ing the same pe­riod a year ear­lier.

How­ever, the stack of city build­ing per­mit ap­pli­ca­tions sug­gest apart­ments could pick up again in 2014, says Mut­heardy.

“We saw sig­nif­i­cant in­creases (in per­mits), es­pe­cially for apart­ments,” she says.

From the start of last Jan­uary to the end of Oc­to­ber, per­mits for apart­ments were up about 79 per cent.

“We def­i­nitely use per­mits as one of the lead­ing in­di­ca­tors of new home con­struc­tion, so look­ing at the data, it poses some in­di­ca­tion of more multi-fam­ily starts forth­com­ing,” says Mut­heardy.

One of the apart­ment projects that may con­trib­ute to that up­swing in 2014 is the sec­ond half of the Guardian sky­scraper. The 42-storey com­plex is un­der con­struc­tion within Vic­to­ria Park in the in­ner-city Belt­line area.

“The project was con­ceived to be a two-tower de­vel­op­ment from Day 1 and will be in­te­grated into the same podium that is reach­ing com­ple­tion on the site,” says Ernest Hon, mar­ket­ing man­ager with de­vel­oper Hon Tow­ers.

“We’re still work­ing on the de­tails of the sec­ond phase, but we can (say) that it will be com­ing quite soon.

“I think it’s safe to say that many of the things that made our first phase so suc­cess­ful — lay-

Cor­ner suite of­fers dou­ble the view outs, views and kitchens — will also play an im­por­tant part in phase two.”

Hon ex­pects sales to launch on the sec­ond tower in early 2014.

Another de­vel­oper look­ing to re­peat its suc­cess in down­town Cal­gary is Qualex-Land­mark, the com­pany be­hind the Mark on 10th, Calla, Luna, Nova and Stella projects.

It has its sights set on a new two-tower project. The first tower will front on 12th Av­enue S.W., over­look­ing Cen­tral Me­mo­rial Park.

“The de­sign of the two build­ings will re­in­force the land­mark na­ture of the ar­chi­tec­ture in the im­me­di­ate neigh­bour­hood,” says Parham Mah­boubi, vi­cepres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and new de­vel­op­ments for Qualex-Land­mark. A ten­ta­tive pub­lic launch for the project is ex­pected in late 2014.

Out­side of down­town, town­homes had a busy year in 2013. There were 1,801 con­struc­tion starts from the be­gin­ning of last year to the end of Novem­ber, up 13 per cent from 1,589 dur­ing the same pe­riod in 2012.

A ma­jor multi-fam­ily de­vel­oper that builds condo apart­ments and town­homes has a bright out­look for the com­ing year.

“2014 is shap­ing up to be another busy year for Avi Ur­ban,” says sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Chris Pollen.

The com­pany is slated to launch a num­ber of projects in the com­ing year, in­clud­ing town­homes in both Cur­rie Bar­racks and Sher­wood, along with condo apart­ments in Auburn Bay.

Over­all, Pollen says “2014 will pick up where 2013 left off.

“Multi-fam­ily will con­tinue to evolve and in­no­vate as ex­ist­ing de­vel­op­ments sell out and new ones come online — and buy­ers will reap the re­wards of this. It is a good time to be build­ing multi-fam­ily homes in Cal­gary, but I think it is even a bet­ter time to be buy­ing a new multi-fam­ily home in Cal­gary.”

Like Avi Ur­ban, Cardel Life­styles’ plans for 2014 will in­clude both the north­west and south­east ends of the city.

The builder ended 2013 by launch­ing Sage Place in Sage Hill and Cranston Ridge in Cranston. In 2014, Cardel Life­styles will bring on Nolan Park in Nolan Hill and Auburn Walk in Auburn Bay.

The Cranston Ridge and Sage Hill de­vel­op­ments are ex­pected to have sales cen­tres and show suites ready this year. Cardel Life­styles will also wrap up two of its most suc­cess­ful projects, Cranston Place and Panorama West, this year.

Mean­while, Street­side De­vel­op­ment Corp. has a few projects slated to come on stream in 2014, says sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Ash­ley Car­ca­sole.

A ma­jor de­vel­op­ment is Hunter House, which will open its sales cen­tre in mid-Jan­uary and is ex­pected to have show homes ready in March.

Hunter House won a SAM Sales and Mar­ket­ing Award at last year’s com­pe­ti­tion and helped Street­side earn Mul­ti­Fam­ily Builder of the Year.

One of the busiest multi-fam­ily builders last year was Tru­man Homes, which launched four projects in 2013. Th­ese in­clude Savoy in the in­ner city, SkyMills in SkyView Ranch, 51 Oak in Ma­hogany and Westbury Park in West Springs.

“Wait for 2014 — even more ex­cit­ing new projects are com­ing down the pipe,” says Tony Trutina of Tru­man Homes.

Brook­field Res­i­den­tial was another busy builder last year, launch­ing Muskoka in Auburn Bay, Mo­saic River­stone in Cranston and Mo­saic Bridge­land.

Muskoka and Mo­saic River­stone will have show homes this year. Mo­saic River­stone’s should be ready in Fe­bru­ary.

“I think those are go­ing to be spec­tac­u­lar,” says gen­eral man­ager Doug Owens, adding two other projects will break ground in Cal­gary later in 2014. Street­side De­vel­op­ment Corp. was named Multi-Fam­ily Builder of the Year at last year’s Cal­gary Re­gion SAM (Sales and Mar­ket­ing) Awards. The builder is part of Qual­ico, which in­cludes sin­gle­fam­ily home builders Ster­ling Homes, NuVista Homes and Broad­view Homes. Street­side re­cently sold out its Evanston Square project in the com­mu­nity of Evanston, and its RedHaus project in Royal Oak. Its cur­rent projects in­clude Kin­talla in Red­stone and Hunter House in Sil­ver­ado in Cal­gary, and The Edge in Air­drie. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit street­side

Wil An­drushak/For the Cal­gary Her­ald

Tru­man Homes launched four projects in 2013, in­clud­ing Savoy, an in­ner-city de­vel­op­ment. The com­pany ex­pects 2014 will be even stronger.

Pho­tos: Cal­gary Her­ald/Files

The Guardian condo com­plex by Hon Tow­ers, left, as seen against the down­town Cal­gary sky­line, was con­ceived as a two-tower struc­ture.

The sec­ond phase of the Guardian is ex­pected “quite soon.”

An artist’s ren­der­ing of the Mark on 10th project.

The Sage Place was launched in 2013 in Sage Hills.

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