AB: Calgary Commercial Project Starts Rised

If commercial real estate is a good indicator of the economic health of a city, then Calgary has rebounded to a state where it is sitting pretty. That can be seen especially in the number of projects that were put on hold and that are now being resurrected.

A good example is 11th Avenue Place, a 200,000-square-foot retail/ office block that was put on hold but is hoping to begin construction next month. Located on the north side of the avenue across from the successful three-building IBM Campus complex, owner Prism Developments has contracted Will Smith, president of Smith to the Power of 100, as its development and project manager.

11th Avenue Place is an 11-storey building made up of 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and office floors that are reduced in size at the penthouse level to accommodate green spaces on the east and west sides. Structural design allows for an interconnecting stairwell between the top two floors.

Leasing of the new building is in the hands of a team of Cushman & Wakefield realtors led by Dilesh Sidhpura that reports 30 per cent pre-leasing of the office floors and a strong interest in the retail space for restaurant and financial use.

Smith says the development permit is in place and with a May start to construction he is confident that the building will be available for tenant occupancy by the first quarter of 2013.

Smith launched his company five years ago and has already opened offices in Toronto where it is development manager of a 460,000-sq.-ft. mixed use project in Milton, Ont., and Vancouver where it has a three-year contract with the British Columbia Housing Commission.

Further afield he has built up an association with Harbin in northern China, where he is helping to launch a university of construction. He toured representatives around SAIT Polytechnic last year and is working to set up an exchange program between the two institutions. Smith to the Power of 100 is also a global service provider for Barclays Capital.

Sandra Gajic, who has played a big part in our local arts scene for the past three years as general manager at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, is moving from Calgary up to our provincial capital.

She has been appointed as CEO of the Edmonton Opera Association and will begin her new position on April 26.

Gajic was born and grew up in Yugoslavia and immigrated to Canada in 1990; she came to Calgary from Toronto where she served as operations manager of the Canadian Opera Company.

She will be missed here not only at the centre but she has played a strong community role on the creative industry committee at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, as a student mentor at the University of Calgary, as a member of Skal International and the Chickwagon Foundation. But she says she is delighted to be returning to her passion of opera.

An amazing collection from a private collector who amassed his treasures of automotive related items from 55 Canadian oil companies over a 35-year period is being offered on April 15 as a prelude to Frank Sisson’s Classic Car Auction on April 16.

It includes some 400 items ranging from oil tins to miniature tanker trucks to gas pumps and globes. Sisson’s auctions takes place in his showrooms at 4303 9th Street S.E. where one of the 100 models up for sale is a 1957 Plymouth Fury restoration trophy winner.

Read more: Calgary Herald

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