Investment management firm Harrison Street and partner Gracorp Properties have broken ground on Block 15, a 303-unit apartment development for young adults and students in Calgary’s University District.
“Block 15 further reinforces the synergistic partnership between Gracorp and Harrison Street,” said Novy Cheema, Gracorp Properties’ vice-president of real estate in the announcement.
“Gracorp’s experience building industry-leading projects, coupled with Harrison Street's proven investment management philosophy, provides the right partnership to bring another amenity-rich, tenant-focused multifamily development to the University District.”
Occupancy is slated for August 2025.
Gracorp is the real estate development subsidiary of Calgary-based and employee-owned construction solutions provider Graham Group.
Founded in 2005, Harrison Street has invested in senior housing, student housing, health-care delivery, life sciences and storage real estate as well as social and utility infrastructure.
Headquartered in Chicago with offices in London, New York, Tokyo, Toronto, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the firm has more than 250 employees and over $55 billion in assets under management.
Clients include a global institutional investor base across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
Vancouver-based Gracorp’s portfolio includes mixed-use, multiresidential, office, industrial and retail projects in Alberta, B.C. and Washington.
Block 15 in Calgary
Block 15 will be located only 300 metres from the University of Calgary, which is home to over 35,000 students.
“The University District is one of the premier communities in the entire Calgary market and continues to attract new residents at a fast pace,” Jonathan Turnbull, Harrison Street’s head of transactions and business development for Canada, said in the release.
"That growth has been coupled with an increased demand for high-quality housing options close to the university’s campus.
“We believe Block 15 will serve as an attractive housing option to young professionals and students who will be able to walk to campus or their job and have easy access to food, entertainment and outdoor space.”
Amenities will include a gym, keyless entry, communal rooftop patios with lounge and a fire pit/grill, in-suite laundry, indoor lounge space and secure bicycle storage.
Block 15 is on track to achieve Built Green Gold certification and is expected to exceed the current National Energy Code by 20 per cent in energy and emissions savings.
The property will be managed by Campus Living Centres, a housing operator that manages more than 30,000 beds across the country, including in Calgary.
Harrison Street and Gracorp Properties
Harrison Street’s Canada Alternative Real Estate Fund has closed on investments in excess of $925 million since launching in 2021.
The fund targets investments in senior living, student housing, medical office, life sciences, storage and digital assets throughout Canada.
The fund most recently acquired Le Mildoré in Montreal, a new, 279-bed purpose-built student accommodation, as part of a joint venture with developer Werkliv.
The acquisition was the first for Harrison Street in Montreal’s student housing market. Werkliv retained a minority interest in the property.
Block 15 is Harrison Street's fourth student housing investment in Canada. Those assets total over $200 million in transactions and comprise approximately 450 units and 775 beds.
A Harrison Street and Gracorp spokesperson told RENX the properties include ARIA – across the street from Block 15 – and Le Mildoré.
ARIA is a 286-unit property acquired from Gracorp in October 2021.
Gracorp has been involved in several student accommodations developments, with three completed projects in Seattle and others in various stages of the development process. All are in the area surrounding Seattle University.
The completed and sold projects – all in the neighbourhood of First Hill – are the 120-unit Anthem Apartments, the 75-unit Decibel Apartments and the 85-unit Reverb Apartments.