Beset by development uncertainty, the corner of 1st Street SE and 10th Avenue has languished as a neighbourhood eyesore for several years. Evolving plans have assigned the site an aura of skepticism; it's hard to imagine the form and function an eventual building on this lot will take. But Strategic Group, the owners of the property since 2014, seem to have established a clearer vision that would finally remove one of Calgary's most prominent blemishes.
Strategic Group was granted a development permit to build a 32-storey building, named ONE Tower, that would be composed of 227 rental residences, retail, and 100,000 square feet of Class A office space. But the recent economic climate, and a spiking office vacancy rate that realtors warn could hit 30 percent, have caused the developer to shift direction.
The revised plan takes away the office component completely, leaving only the residential and retail programs to fill out the building's floor plates. With the change of land use already approved by the City, movement at the site could be imminent, replacing a regular visitation by safety inspectors with a steady flow of construction workers. No renderings of the new scheme have yet been made public.
The 30-storey Sky Tower project, the predecessor proposal of ONE Tower, was capped after construction of the foundations and underground parking garage. Rising costs killed that development, despite having successfully sold all 220 units within 24 hours of its 2005 launch. The prime slice of real estate has sat dormant and fenced off from the public since crews abandoned the site, leaving a gaping hole in the streetscape.
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