Edmonton House, a venerable landmark apartment building perched on the lip of the North Saskatchewan River valley, is for sale.
The distinctive round concrete tower at 100th Avenue and 102nd Street, with 46 storeys inclusive of its 11-floor parkade, was built in 1971 and substantially renovated in 2015, when it was converted from a suite hotel to apartments. The building has 328 one- and two-bedroom residential suites.
Bradyn Arth, IPA senior vice-president, told RENX he expects plenty of interest in the tower.
“It’s large enough for possibly a new entrant into the market or an existing landlord to bulk up,” said Arth. “It’s a good launch pad, potentially a headquarters, if someone sees value in the office space as well.”
Three floors of office space
The third, 34th and 35th floors of the building are now offices occupied by current building owner Maclab Properties, which will be vacating the building.
There is, however, also the potential to convert those floors to residential. Arth said the floor plate of the building allows for 12 one-bedroom apartments per floor or six two-bedroom units.
Despite a recent slump in the Edmonton economy, the agents say Edmonton House has been a successful property.
“Historically, this building has had under three per cent vacancy,” said Paul Chaput, IPA senior VP.
“Its onsite amenities coupled with its location helps drive its occupancy threshold. With a lot of employment nodes in the immediate vicinity, I don’t see this building being affected by any short-term lapse in the economy.”
Building amenities include a fitness facility with indoor pool, yoga studio and patio space. The tower also has sweeping views of the valley and the adjacent city skyline. The parkade houses 330 parking stalls.
The 2015 renovation included the installation of new countertops, flooring, blinds and bathroom fixtures.
IPA’s Jane Woertman added the location of the building is another key selling point.
“It’s walking distance to the central business district, government district, ICE District, the river valley, 104th Street and Jasper Avenue, she said.
The building also houses two retail businesses, added Woertman: a convenience store and Hertz rental office.
Edmonton’s apartment market
Bradley Gingerich, IPA senior managing director, added there are plans to redevelop a neighbouring building, Dwayne’s Home, a hostel which has had a checkered history of fires and violence.
Chaput says although there is some talk of oversupply of apartment units in downtown Edmonton, there are few projects with shovels in the ground.
“There will be a good two-year window before we see the next wave of development,” he says.
Gingerich says the apartment sales market has been good in Edmonton and that his team has done very well.
“We’ve been on a pretty good roll lately. We’ve sold $305 million worth of apartments in Edmonton just last month through December and January. . . . We’re getting into uncharted territory as far as sales volumes.
“There’s lots of good news. There’s lots of REIT money coming to town.”
Gingerich cites two giant transactions, one on Dec. 15 at $100 million for the Mayfair building at Jasper Avenue and 109th Street and the other Jan. 15 worth $205 million for a portfolio of three buildings in the downtown area.
The four-person real-estate team was acquired about a year ago when IPA and its parent company California-based Marcus and Millchap decided to expand into Canada, acquiring brokerages in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver.