The Story of Calgary's West 17th Lofts.

 

Last weekend we held an Open House in a unit in the West 17th Lofts that we are representing. It was a very busy afternoon that garnered heaps of questions about the development, hence this week we thought we'd take a break from our community profiles and instead, provide some information about this popular cluster of Executive townhomes.

 

This development of executive loft style townhomes is located on the corner of 17th Avenue and 69th Street SW. The developer was Pacer Signature Homes Inc. and construction was completed in 2006.  The complex contains 3 unique floor plans-the Monte Carlo, the Manhattan and the Malibu, all with abundant sizing ranging from 3187, 3197 and 3340 sqft, respectively.The complex consists of 44 units amongst 7 buildings with a central courtyard.

 

West17th Lofts Calgary.

 

 

 

The standard features of these lofts are extensive and of very high quality, containing top-of-the-line Kohler plumbing fixtures, Wolf and Sub Zero appliances, hardwood throughout with carpet in the master bedroom, ceramic tiles in the bathrooms, foyer and entry, and personal elevators.

 

West 17th Lofts Calgary

 

If you live in Aspen Woods or in the general area, I’m sure you would have seen the construction that took place over the summer.  The building integrity had suffered from the weight of the natural brick on the exterior and a remediation plan was deployed.  Therefore, a special assessment had been established in the amount of $7.0 million for the complex as of March 21, 2016.  A loan was approved by the owners up to the full amount for use while the legal action is being resolved.  The current owners will not immediately pay for the special assessment as the condo board is optimistic that the lawsuit against the developer will be successful and the special assessment will be reduced significantly. 

 

The reconstruction had been fully completed by the end of November 2016 where the process included the installation of tele-posts and engineered header beams in each double garage.  Every unit now has 2 single-doors for the double garage as opposed to the original alternating design of 2 single-doors and 1 double-door.  All of the windows, brick and stone were replaced on the garage side of the buildings. The scaffolding and tarps have been removed and the complex is technically in better condition than when it was when originally built.  The current owners are now waiting for the resolution of the litigation to see if they will be responsible for any residual amount of the special assessment. It is important to mention the condo board insisted the reserve fund remain untouched, therefore the funds that have been accumulating over the past 10 years are still intact.

 

West 17th Lofts Calgary Lukwinski Real Estate

 

 

 

At present, we have a listing in the complex at 517 Aspen Meadows Manor SW that is south facing with abundant natural light coming through. The floor design is the Monte Carlo with the kitchen on the main floor, 3 bedrooms with an amazing 3rd level loft area that is set up for entertaining and enjoying your favorite film. We love showing this unit off and therefore, if you have any further questions about the listing or the development in general, please do not hesitate to give me a call or reach me at mlukwinski@remax.net.

 

Mark.

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We are just under three weeks into the new year and CREB has just recently released their 2017 Forecast Report which summarizes the outlook for the year ahead based on various economic indicators. Though you can click here to read, analyze, and become familiar with their results more closely, we wanted to bring you some key points that we felt were of strong interest. 

 

The past year was a tough one on our city-we all felt it in one way or another. And though changes in our economy may not be happening as fast as we would like or need, the uplifting thing to remember is that positive changes are coming.

Stabilized crude prices will be the catalyst to solving so many issues-most of 2016 saw crude prices hovering and fluctuating between $29-$50 throughout the year. With some relief, it is forecasted that for 2017, prices will stabilize around the $50-$55 mark.

 

 

A more stable price in crude oil would soften and lower our city's current unemployment rate which hit the 10% mark at the end of 2016. CREB is predicting a decline in the unemployment rate to around 7.8% and though this doesn't remove the effects of what happened in 2016 across Calgary, 'softer unemployment rates should help prevent any further contractions in housing demand' (CREB 2017), and so this is positive to hear.

 

After a long period of economic downturn, Calgary's housing market is expected to see some price stability in 2017, but not across all market segments and property types. Both detached and attached prices remain unchanged over 2016 levels, while apartment prices are forecasted to contract by another two per cent.

 

 

"The transition in the housing market will be a slow process," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "We are entering the year with high unemployment rates and the possibility that job growth will not occur until the latter portion of 2017. These conditions will continue to weigh on housing demand, but supply is adjusting to weaker sales activity, which will eventually translate into price stability."

 

City-wide sales are forecasted to total 18,335 units in 2017, a three per cent gain over 2016, but 12 per cent below long-term averages. This modest demand change will merge with declining listings and easing inventory in the new home market to support more balanced conditions and prevent further downward pressure on prices. 

 

 

"This year is about moving away from extremely challenging conditions," said 2017 CREB®president David P. Brown. "The transition is going to take some time, which means sellers need to stick with the fundamentals of pricing their homes correctly against other comparable product in the market. There's still lots of choice out there for buyers, but major price declines are unlikely in most segments."

 

Alberta's economy was much softer than many predicted over the past two years, since as mentioned above, prolonged weakness in energy weighed on other sectors of the economy, including housing. Since the start of the downturn in late 2014, price adjustments have ranged from a low of nearly five per cent in the detached sector, to a high of 11 per cent in the apartment sector. The amount of price change between these different areas of the market was based on how much oversupply there was in each sector at any given time.

 

Our housing market is moving toward a new equilibrium, but that shift is heavily dependent on stability in the energy sector and overall labour markets. There is also considerable risk from recent government policy changes that could derail expected gains in the second half of 2017. It's a new outlook this year, but the market risks shouldn't be overlooked. 

 

For the expanded report click the following: Full 2017 Forecast Report and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the Forecast Report.

 

Mark

 

 

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Another week down, another deep freeze has settled in (but looks to be on the way out!), and so we've got another neighborhood for us to profile in Calgary's South West. We hope you've enjoyed the profies of the different neighborhoods so far that we have published in Calgary's WestSide. Last week we described and detailed Aspen Woods and this week we move to the east and profile Strathcona and Christie Park. Both neighborhoods are older and hence more established, as Strathcona Park was established in 1980, and Christie Park came a few years later, in 1990. Though both communities are more mature, Strathcona Park has experienced recent development in the areas west of 69th Street over the last few years and hence has a newer, younger portion to it.

 

As seen in the maps below, Strathcona Park is bounded by Bow Trail to the north, Sarcee Trail to the east, 69th Street in the west, and the community of Christie Park to the south. Christie Park are just an extrapolation of this to the south and is further bounded by Sarcee Trail in the east, 69th Street to the west, 17th Ave to the south, and Strathcona Park to the north.

 

As we have included with the other zones and communities, we will dissect a little of the demographic information on these two areas. Looking at Strathcona Park first, the last census of 2014 reflected a population of 7140 in the community, where 20% of the population is under 15 years old, 62% are between 20-64 years, and lastly 10% of the population is over 65 years. Ninety-one percent of dwellings in Strathcona Park are occupied by owners, which is again, incredibly high. The majority of dwelling types in Strathcona Park are single-family homes, making up 84% of the neighborhood, with both duplexes and townhomes being represented fairly equally at 7% and 8%, respectively. The median age is 40 and is listed as a community that is overwhelmingly english-speaking, since only 1% of the population doesn't speak English. The median household income is $135,372.00, and according to CREB, 73 detached homes sold in 2016 in Strathcona Park with an average price of $711,251, ranging from $435,500 - $1,425,000. Eighteen attached homes sold in the community in 2016, with an average price of $815,739, ranging from $599,800 - $1,325,500.

 

Christie Park by comparison is a much smaller community with only 2217 people living there. Their demographics reflect an older population with 24% being above 65 years, 56% being between 20-64, and only 13% being below 15 years of age. Owner occupancy is high with 93% of the homes being lived in by owners and where 70% of homes are single-family type of dwellings, 14% are townhomes, and 7% are duplexes. The median age of residents in Christie Park is 49 years of age with a median household income of $129,500 and where again 1% of the population doesn't speak English. In terms of house sale statistics in 2016, detached homes numbered 18 with an average of $815,739,  with a range of $599,800 - $1,325,500. For attached homes in 2016, 8 homes sold in 2016 with an average price of $475,875, ranging from $320,000 - $629,000. As in previous profiles, you can access these links to view more detailed information about Strathcona Park and Christie Park. 


Moving onto crime details, below are two maps depicting the crime stats over the last 6 months for Strathcona Park and Christie Park. Both neighborhoods are deemed quite safe and just like the other communities we have profiled, crime majorly consists of theft or theft from vehicle. 



 

In terms of placement in the city, both communities are extremely attractive and sought after due to their proximity to the mountains, but more especially due to its proximity to downtown. In Strathcona Park, a quick drive south in the neighborhood along Strathcona Drive allows you to connect with Bow Trail which then quickly takes you into downtown. Christie Park allows you to take either Bow Trail or 17th Ave to get anywhere in the city and is quickly accessible. The 69th Street C-train station is within view depending on where you live in Christie Park, and is most easily within walking distance.  Aspen Landing Shopping Centre is very close by and offers grocery stores, coffee shops, dry cleaners, banks, doctors, dentists, dance studios, clothing stores, a spa and heaps more. Take a look at the Landing's website to become more familiar with what is literally offered minutes from your own doorstep. Strathcona Square is literally in the middle of the now-expanded Strathcona Park community and has been around for many years, offering coffee shops, grocery stores, banks, a drug store, medical offices and more. Likewise, West Market Square has plenty to offer, including the highly reputable Sunterra Market and of course, further south down the hill is the readily established West Hills Shopping Centre. A Fire Station is just down 69 Street, and if you feel like going for a run, a swim, a climb, or skating with your kids, West Side Recreation Centre is literally within view of your home, depending which corner of Christie Park you choose to live in. Like all the other neighborhoods on this hill, both communities are medically serviced by Foothills or Rockyview General Hospital, but also a quick drive into downtown to 4th Street will take you to the Sheldon M. Chumir Urgent Care Centre. 

 

Schools representing the private sector are found immediately within the area and kids are bussed or driven to the public sector schools. With so many kids in the area, residents are truly blessed to have the opportunity to decide where to send their kids. Very close by are Webber Academy and Calgary Academy, though closest along 17th Avenue is Rundle College. Close by there is of course Waldorf School and the Calgary French & International Schoolfor those families that choose to send their kids to private schools. Lastly, should your child be athletically gifted, the Edge School for Athletes is a short drive down highway 1 heading West. 

 

In the Calgary Public School district, the Dr. Roberta Bondar School has just opened attendance to this school is open to children on the western side of Strathcona Park, west of 69th Street. Currently, Roberta Bondar is a K-4 school but within two years will be a K-6 school. Olympic HeightsVincent Massey and Wildwood Schools are also accepting students from Strathcona Park and Christie Park, and of course, the public high school designated for these two communities is Ernest Manning. 

 

In the Catholic District, St. Gregory and Sir John Costello are schools designated for these areas. In addition, Holy Name and St. Michael's Catholic Schools are also taking in students, and in some cases, St. Joan of ArcSt. Mary's High School and Bishop Carroll are currently the designated high schools in the Catholic district for Strathcona Park and Christie Park.

 

For places of worship, like all the communities on the West Side, there are many to choose from in the area. St. Michael's Catholic Church just up 85th Street is very close, as is the Bethel United Reformed Church, and the New Apostolic Church. A short drive south towards 17th Avenue, there is the Calgary Islamic Centre and on 69th Street there is the Korean Presbyterian Church and First Lutheran Church.

 

Residents of both communities are encouraged to join the SCA Community Association, which encompasses Strathcona Park, Christie Parks, and Aspen. A family membership costs just $10 annually, but the benefits are enormous. So, take a drive or walk through these mature neighborhoods and see the value that they have to offer on Calgary's WestSide. As always, thanks for tuning in and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about these communities or any others! 

 

Mark

 



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Happy New Year to you all and we hope the holidays were relaxing and gave you the break you all deserved!

 

2017 is upon us now and we believe an exciting and great year awaits in the world of real estate here in Calgary. We took a break over the holidays from profiling the different neighborhoods that make up Calgary's West Side, however, we're diving right back in this week with a write up on Aspen Woods as we continue our way south to Discovery Ridge.


As per the map below, Aspen Woods is a fairly large neighborhood on the WestSide and it is still growing due to new developments that are still coming in. On its south side it is entirely bounded by 17th Avenue and on its east, by 69th Street. The northern edges bleed into the newer sections of Strathcona Park just north of 13th Ave SW and also by the extrapolation of Bow Trail heading west. This extrapolation is set to extend to an interchange further in the west towards 101st Street which will connect to the Ring Road in the future. Lastly, to the west Aspen Woods is bounded by 93rd Street and its northern extension. As mentioned it is a fairly large chunk of space on the hill and because of that, has so much to offer. 

 


Looking at its demographics, it is a young and growing neighborhood filled with many families. Data from the 2014 census tells us that just under 30% of the population of 7496 inhabitants is under the age of 15. Two-thirds of the population is between the ages of 20-64, and just a fraction, 4%, is over the age of 65. In this way, it is quite comparable to the demographics we saw earlier in Cougar Ridge. 


Simliar to Cougar Ridge and frankly all the neighborhoods on the hill, It is an English-speaking community where 1% of people living in the area stated they don't speak either French or English. Crime is low in Aspen Woods with the most common offense reported being as theft from vehicles on the Calgary Police community profile site and as seen below.

 


To provide some more details, the census of 2014 also states that 88% of the homes, be it single dwelling, apartments, or townhomes, are owner-occupied, which is quite high considering the City of Calgary rate overall is 69%. Seventy-nine percent of dwellings are single-detached houses, 11% are listed as row houses (otherwise called townhouses) and 9% being apartments. In terms of economic demographics, a survey from 2010 declared that the median household income of private households was found to be $156,825, and therefore Aspen Woods is deemed to be a fairly affluent neighborhood. The prices for detached sold homes range from $589,000 to $2,780,000, where YTD, 115 homes sold of this type. Similarly, for attached homes YTD, the sold prices range from $332,000 to $780,000 with 40 homes sold in this category. For more detailed information on Aspen Woods, please click on this link here where you will be taken to the City of Calgary's neighborhood profile page. 


In terms of placement in the city, Aspen Wood's location is extremely attractive and sought after due to it's proximity to the mountains, but more especially due to its proximity to downtown. A quick drive 17th Ave to Bow Trail gets you downtown very quickly, or even better, you can get to the C-train terminal and be downtown literally in minutes. In the heart of Aspen Woods are a multitude of shops, offering you everything you literally need for your daily needs. Aspen Landing Shopping Centre offers grocery stores, coffee shops, dry cleaners, banks, doctors, dentists, dance studios, clothing stores, a spa and heaps more. Take a look at the Landing's website to become more familiar with what is literally offered minutes from your own doorstep. This shopping plaza makes it very attractive to live here because you literally don't have to go far for anything at all and for this I can vouch since I have lived in Aspen Woods myself for the last 10 years with my wife and two kids. Everything we need is literally at our finger tips. A Fire Station is just down 69 Street, and if you feel like going for a run, a swim, a climb, or skating with your kids, West Side Recreation Centre is literally within view of your home, depending which corner of Aspen you choose to live in. Like all the other neighborhoods on this hill, Aspen Woods is medically serviced by Foothills or Rockyview General Hospital, but also a quick drive into downtown to 4th Street will take you to the Sheldon M. Chumir Urgent Care Centre. 

 

Schools representing the private sector are found immediately within walking distance, and kids are bussed or driven to the public sector schools. With so many kids in the area, residents are truly blessed to have the opportunity to decide where to send their kids. On the most western edge of Aspen Woods is Webber Academy and Calgary Academy, and along 17th Avenue is Rundle College. Further north into Cougar Ridge there is of course the Waldorf School and the Calgary French & International School, for those families that choose to send their kids to private schools. Lastly, should your child be athletically gifted, the Edge School for Athletes is a short drive down highway 1 heading West. 

 

In the Calgary Public School district, the Roberta Bondar School has just opened this week and attendance to this school is open to children in Aspen Woods. Currently, Roberta Bondar is a K-4 school but within two years will be a K-6 school. Until then, it is our understanding that Olympic Heights and Jennie Elliott schools are absorbing students from Aspen Woods. For more detailed and specific information on Roberta Bondar school, please click here to access their school site. Vincent Massey and Wildwood Schools are also accepting students from Aspen Woods, and of course, the public high school designated for Aspen Woods is Ernest Manning. 

 

In the Catholic District, St. Joan of Arc, though under tight registration restrictions, is the designated school for students from Aspen Woods, however this will change in the Fall this year when the newly built Aspen Woods School will open in September 2017. In addition, Holy Name and St. Michael's Catholic Schools are also taking in students from Aspen Woods. St. Mary's High School and Bishop Carroll are currently the designated high schools in the Catholic district for Aspen Woods. 

 

For places of worship, like all the communities on the West Side, there are many to choose from in the area. St. Michael's Catholic Church just down 85th Street is very close, as is the Bethel United Reformed Church, and the New Apostolic Church. A short drive south towards 17th Avenue, there is the Calgary Islamic Centre and on 69th Street there is the Korean Presbyterian Church. 

 

Residents of Aspen are encouraged to join the SCA Community Association, which encompasses Strathcona, Christie Estates, and Aspen. A family membership costs just $10 annually, but the benefits are enormous. The different divisions of Aspen such as Aspen Summit, Aspen Woods Estates etc, have incorporated their own community resident/homeowner associations, as mandated by the developers which were involved in building the area, to preserve the upkeep and value of these homes. 

 

To end, Aspen Woods is truly a fabulous neighborhood to grow in with your family. In November, I volunteered my time to help out with the Adopt-a-rink in Aspen Hills initiative, and it served as an excellent way to get to know fellow neighbors more. There is a great sense of community in Aspen Woods-relatively speaking it is a young neighborhood as it was only established in 2001, though the land was annexed to Calgary years before. From my professional and personal experience, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about Aspen Woods and to show you around. Tune in next week as we profile Strathcona and Christie Estates!


Mark

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