CALGARY — The City of Calgary is making a name for itself as a leader in adaptive reuse for office-to-residential conversions.
Through Calgary’s first Downtown Incentive Program, nearly 700,000 square feet of office space was converted into residential use, according to a report from Avison Young.
With a second phase of the program looming, Avison Young states there are some 521 office buildings in Calgary alone totalling 25 million square feet that could be candidates for conversion.
Toronto has an estimated 923 conversion-capable buildings totalling 46.9 million square feet, Montreal has the second most at 611 and 31 million square feet, followed by Vancouver at 548 and 25.5 million square feet.
Vacancy rates in the city have gone down by 1.2 per cent since Q1 2022 to 24.2 per cent. The downtown vacancy rate sits at 27.1 per cent.
Class AA vacancy rates are lower than the average with a 16.6 per cent rate, but that represents an increase of 1.4 per cent since Q1 2022.
“There is opportunity that lies within times of uncertainty and we believe Calgary is positioned well to take advantage of this through growing its population and employment base, diversifying its economy in the process,” Avison Young writes in its release, noting the economy has staggered in 2023 and transaction activity has decelerated.