This massive, near 400, 000 sq.ft, mixed use, luxury facility is being developed by Calgary based New Urban. The development not only brings recreational and commercial space to the area, but new park land is also part of the project. 

 

The new ClubSport by Marriot International is a first in Canada. It's an interesting new development in the historic Warehouse District, and could be an additional draw for those interested in Chetermere real estate as they would pass by this location on the way to downtown Calgary.

 

With the new development located right on Macleod Trail SE, it could have implications for those looking into Okotoks realty. If you were communting into downtown Calgary everyday, this would be an ideal spot to stop and have a workout, go for a swim, a steam, and with Alberta being a major hotspot for US retailers looking to branch out, who know's who will occupy the 55,000 square feet of retail space.  You can read the full article at the Calgary Herald.

 

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It’s been more than a year since Sabrina and Jason Watson hired a local contractor to renovate their Chestermere home, and the job still isn’t done.

The couple is among five homeowners who have filed complaints with provincial consumer protection officials against Kreate Cabinets and its operator, Kieron Warren, alleging he illegally took tens of thousands of dollars in upfront payments for work that was never completed.

“Total losses (in the current investigation) are estimated between $400,000 and $500,000,” Service Alberta spokesman Mike Berezowsky said.

Under provincial regulations, contractors who take advance payments are required to have a special licence allowing them to do so and must maintain a security fund to ensure clients get refunds for jobs that are cancelled or not finished.

The Watsons said they paid a total of $151,000 over the summer of 2011 for a job that included a major renovation of their home’s upstairs, kitchen and bathroom.

The contract stipulated an Aug. 20 completion date, which was important, Sabrina Watson said, so the couple and their three young sons would be back in their house in time for the beginning of school.

The family was out of town as the summer wound down, but Watson said they were assured the work was progressing whenever they checked in.

When they arrived home, they were greeted by bare walls and little else.

“Nothing had been done. Our house was still in studs,” said Watson.

Hounding Warren resulted in some subcontractors arriving to do plumbing, electrical work and drywalling, but Watson said they never returned because they hadn’t been paid.

“Everybody walked off the job on us,” she said.

The Watsons cancelled their contract with Warren and Kreate in January, but have yet to receive a refund.

Warren declined comment when contacted by the Herald, instead saying to talk to his lawyer.

With their house untenable, the Watsons have moved from Sabrina’s mother’s home on an acreage outside Calgary to a rented house in Chestermere and back to the acreage after the lease on the rental ran out.

“It was devastating,” she said.

The family has also taken out a second mortgage on their home to get the renovations finished and are paying more than $2,000 a month to keep their belongings in storage.

Watson credits her and her husband’s experience in the real estate industry with helping them work out the complex financing, but said the stress on their family has been immense even with that knowledge on their side.

“I remember sitting here saying, ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,’” she said.

Another couple, Brian and Angie Chubb, hired Warren in mid-April to renovate their kitchen and bathrooms in their Calgary home.

Brian said they paid Warren $28,000 up front for the job, which was supposed to be finished at the end of May.

“The demolition went fast,” he said.

However, a temporary kitchen that would have allowed the Chubbs to resume cooking took five weeks to complete instead of the specified five days, said Chubb.

Weeks passed with little work being done. Chubb said tradesmen who installed a granite countertop demanded payment for the material — money Chubb said was included in the amount already paid to Warren.

Chubb fired Kreate in August and the couple have returned the kitchen to usable condition with their own money, though it’s still not finished.

Chubb said the stress forced his wife, Angie, to take a two-month medical leave from work.

“It takes a toll,” he said.

In addition to the current investigation, Warren is facing sentencing in provincial court next week for breaching the province’s Fair Trading Act while operating under the name Hillcrest Renovations.

Warren pleaded guilty to five charges: three counts of operating as a prepaid contractor without a licence and two counts of failing to provide a refund after a customer cancelled a contract.

In that case, three complainants lost a total of $55,000 paid to Warren between 2007 and 2008.

Generally speaking, Service Alberta advises homeowners contemplating renovations to check with the department or the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against contractors they’re thinking of hiring.

Berezowsky said it’s also wise to shop around.

“Get written estimates from more than one business — we recommend at least three,” he said.

Consumers should make sure any prepaid contract has all the legally-required elements, including a detailed, itemized price list, a completion date and a statement of the client’s cancellation rights.

 

jvanrassel@calgaryherald.com

Twitter.com/JasonvanRassel

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I have listed a new property at 6 MAPLE ST in OKOTOKS.
Priced to sell! With a little tlc this 3 bedroom downtown Okotoks Bungalow will be an amazing home! It sits on a quiet street in one of Okotoks most desirable areas, close to shopping and schools. The lot is very large with tons of room for entertaining. This home has 2 bedrooms on the main floor 3rd bedroom is in the partly developed lower level, a fantastic sized living room, Dining area and Nook. If you're an investor or first time home buyer this home could really work!
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I have listed a new property at 15 MILLER BAY in OKOTOKS.
**Open house Sept 8, 1-4** Seller will consider ALL serious offers so come have a look & see the quality in this ultimate 3 bedroom Bungalow with the potential of a 4th bedroom approx 3290 sq feet of living space on a 3rd of an acre! This fully developed home boasts a loft/bedroom, oversized insulated drywalled garage on a beautiful cul-de-sac in gorgeous Air Ranch of Okotoks. The prof landscaped yard has a variety of trees, plants flowers & inground sprinkler. Comp deck rubber patio and a hot tub! This yard is an oasis! Inside is stunning with vaulted ceilings throughout,floor to ceiling windows, 2fireplaces one is a 2way, Brazilian cherry hardwood, porcelain tile, air conditioning, on demand hot water, granite, wired sound, ss appliances, ceramic counter stove. The master suite is very large & private,the Ensuite is elegant with granite counters, soaker tub & oversized shower. Lower level is an entertainers dream with full bar, huge family room, sports room, extra bedrm, work out room & pool table area!
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CALGARY — Qualex-Landmark has announced the launch of a $100-million downtown condominium project in Calgary’s emerging Design District called MARK on 10th, which will be 34-storeys.

The first stage of the construction process is underway as demolition crews start to dismantle the existing building, formerly West Canadian Graphics, at 10th Avenue and 8th Street S.W. It will have 270 units and is scheduled for completion in late 2015. Starting prices will be in the low $200,000 range with prices still to be determined and they will be released over the next few months.

“MARK on 10th is purpose built for today’s urban dweller because of its proximity to the downtown Design District, offices, universities, transportation, and entertainment districts,” said Roger Navabi, president of Qualex-Landmark, in a statement. “We are redefining the urban home by adding amazing amenities like the rooftop lounge and the generous 17,000-square-foot garden on the third floor podium into the mix.”

MARK is a mixed-use highrise tower conceived by designers Rafii Architect in partnership with BKDI Architects Inc. and Durante-Kreuk Landscape Architects. Interiors are created by interior designers at Trepp Design Inc.

Parham Mahboubi, vice-president of marketing and new developments for Qualex-Landmark, said the company has always been quite confident and have a lot of faith in the Calgary real estate market.

“There’s some softening happening in the Toronto and Vancouver markets but Calgary seems to be a quite solid place to invest. We’ve always had faith in Calgary, even during the worst of times and we still do. Our outlook for Calgary is still quite positive,” he said.

The Vancouver-based company has completed three condo projects and has one currently under construction all in the Beltline area.

The developer said homes at MARK will feature over-height doors and ceilings, expansive windows, wide plank wood-laminate flooring, elegant porcelain tiles and individually-controlled heating and cooling.

Plans for MARK include building a rooftop amenity with private members club, fitness studio and glass mezzanine lounge with 360-degree panoramic views of downtown and the surrounding mountains. Outside, there will also be an elevated hot tub, sunbathing patio with seating, lounge area with outdoor barbecue and raised fire pit.

The rooftop’s fully-equipped fitness studio will include a Yoga/Pilates studio, infrared sauna and steam rooms, private changing rooms, lockers and shower facilities.

The garden will be one of the largest residential highrise common gardens in the city. It will include open lawn areas for passive recreation, overhead shade trees and a fully accessible pedestrian pathway network with lounge seating.

A recent national report said job gains, population growth, and low interest rates will support condominium demand in Calgary and the city is the most affordable among the top eight large metropolitan areas when analyzed relative to local incomes.

The Metropolitan Condo Outlook by Genworth Canada in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada said it expects condo starts to hit a four-year high of 2,373 units in 2012, up 15.5 per cent from the previous year but to drop by 11.7 per cent in 2013 to 2,099 units.

The report, which looked at eight large Canadian metropolitan areas, said resale condo transactions in Calgary would jump by 3.8 per cent this year to 3,555 and another 1.9 per cent in 2013 to 3,621.

Calgary’s resale condo price is forecast to increase by 0.9 per cent this year to $239,445 and by another 2.9 per cent in 2013 to $246,414.

 

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

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CALGARY — Melcor Developments Ltd. is planning a nearly two million square foot business campus development of office, retail and industrial space at the corner of Deerfoot Trail and Country Hills Boulevard on 68 hectares of land which will incorporate the existing landscape and a natural pond, the Herald has learned.

Jarett Thompson, regional manager-south for Melcor, said the company has owned the land for quite some time now.

The project is called The District at North Deerfoot.

“It will obviously be phased but the clear intent is to create a unique kind of business campus that will emulate more your college-type experience where it’s a little more inviting just due to the unique location and topography with Nose Creek Park and a lot of environmental and municipal reserves. There’s a tremendous amount of green space,” said Thompson.

“It’s going to be a comprehensively-planned and architecturally-controlled business campus with a focus on employee lifestyle.”

The site is currently being serviced.

“We’re excited to get this project and we’re certainly going to use it as a flagship,” said Thompson.

Development will include light industrial use, retail use, a gas station, restaurants, quick-service restaurants, a hotel and office space. Overall plans for the site are still being determined.

An office building of about 95,000 square feet is scheduled to be under construction as soon as Melcor gets its building permit from the city. Construction could start by the spring of next year.

“There’s an aggressive business plan for next year where there will multiple buildings under construction and it should be a mix of industrial, office and retail all under construction,” said Thompson.

“On a development of this size, there will be a couple of sales. So for instance we don’t pretend to be hotel developers. So a portion of it will be sold to other users.”

The development timeline is largely market dependent but Thompson said the project would likely be a five to 10-year build out.

On the southwest corner of the property is a pond of more than four hectares. The plan is to have a two-metre wide asphalt trail tying into the regional trail system of Nose Creek.

“We’re actually going to provide outdoor fitness facilities,” said Thompson.

Greg Kwong, executive vice-president and regional managing director for CBRE Limited in Calgary which is involved in the leasing of the project, said the site is ideal along the north-south transportation corridor and along two heavily travelled roadways. It’s also close to the airport and Stoney Trail.

“From a retail perspective, it’s excellent because a lot of the new housing development that’s gone on over the last five to 10 years has been up in the northeast and straight north part of Calgary,” he said.

 

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

 

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CALGARY — The first patients are now being seen at Calgary’s sprawling new hospital as the long-awaited $1.3-billion mega-complex in the city’s deep southeast opens its doors to a family medicine teaching centre and diagnostic imaging services.

The emergency department and operating rooms at the South Health Campus, meanwhile, are not set to open until early 2013 as part of the hospital’s staggered opening.

The hospital is the largest in Alberta. Once it’s fully operational, it’ll have 11 new operating rooms and 268 acute in-patient beds, along with maternity units, a neonatal intensive care unit, intensive care beds and several outpatient clinics.

“This is more than a new hospital. It’s the start of a shift that will redefine how health care is delivered in Alberta,” said Premier Alison Redford, on hand to mark the phase one opening of the medical complex.

The clinics that officially opened Thursday are part of the Family Medicine Teaching Centre, a teaching facility that combines family medical care with training for doctors in their hospital residency program. The nine family doctors now working in the clinics can see up to 4,000 new patients by July 2013, while the centre will provide teaching opportunities for seven family medicine residents.

The new diagnostic imaging services, meanwhile, features three new MRI scanners that will equal about 20,000 extra exams a year in Calgary — a 25-per-cent increase in capacity for Calgary.

Health care workers unions have raised concerns about how the province will find the 2,400 employees needed to staff the facility. AHS officials said Thursday hiring has been successful so far to meet the need and plans are well underway to recruit the remainder of staff needed for the hospital.

As the ER isn’t yet open at the hospital, patients with serious or life-threatening conditions should call 911 or go to the emergency department at the city’s other major hospitals, health authorities say.

More to come . . .

jkomarnicki@calgaryherald.com

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CALGARY — The housing market outside Calgary is booming these days as the selection of homes for sale is dwindling in the city.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, MLS® sales in the market that includes towns outside the city ballooned in August to 453 transactions, an increase of 42.45 per cent from August 2011.

The board said new listings within the city were 2,585 units in August, down 13 per cent from a year ago and down more than four per cent on a year-to-date basis. But new listings in the surrounding towns have improved by nearly 10 per cent after the first eight months of this year even with a 2.63 per cent decline in August.

“Improving choice, affordable prices, combined with lifestyle factors and the lack of choice in the single-family market within city limits, have driven sales growth in towns surrounding the city,” said Bob Jablonski, CREB’s president. “In general, the area has witnessed sales activity that is comparable to peak sales activity.”

In August, the average MLS® sale price in the towns market was $346,103, down 3.96 per cent from a year ago while the benchmark price increased by 3.97 per cent to $327,500.

In comparison, the average sale price in the city was up 3.12 per cent to $416,767 and the benchmark price was up 6.77 per cent to $387,700.

“The economy in Calgary has not only supported resale activity in the city but has also contributed to growth in some of the smaller centres outside of city limits,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

“Some prospective buyers are looking to take advantage of the price difference as the average price in towns outside of Calgary is lower compared to those found in the City of Calgary while others prefer living in a smaller centre. The selection of homes in Calgary’s resale market has also moved lower resulting in some buyers looking to the new home market or in centres that are close to Calgary.”

 

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

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