Does downtown Calgary need more high-end office space? Judging from the increased interest in lease space, perhaps so. Currently the class AA/A lease market sits at a 7.09 percent vacancy rate. That is a decrease from the 8.23 percent it was sitting at by the end of 2010. Developers are eyeing the skyline, perhaps plotting where, and when, to change its makeup.
One idea is a smaller office tower to complement the Bow Tower, one of Calgary’s recently finished skyscrapers. Other projects that were put on hold are being pulled out, looked at, and the market analyzed. Avison Young, one of the area’s prime management firms notes that the developers are taking a look at the growing employment numbers, the increase of energy prices and the absorption rate of downtown core office space. All signs are creating vast amounts of optimism.
Another idea being thrown about is to add a second tower to Eighth Avenue Place. The potential developer is already discussing the possibility with an interested tenant. It is possible that project could begin within the next year. Calgary Economic Development’s Susan Thompson, a business development manager, notes that breaking ground on a new office building in the downtown core will not happen unless 60 to 70 percent of the space has tenant commitment. In some business fields, all that would take is one very big tenant.