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February 01, 2010

Back in Black

Midtown rises anew from the depths of the economic downturn

Pepper Rodriguez

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The first casualty of Calgary’s real estate meltdown is back in business in a big way, as Midtown comes all the way back from real estate limbo to become again a top draw for modern multi-family living in the inner city.

Pointe of View saw the enormous potential in the location and the plans for Midtown and bought the two-tower mixed-use project from its previous owners who had to shut down the development at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. And now, the 650-unit condo complex is back in the limelight, the first true indication of the market’s return to health.

“It is a fresh start,” says Pointe of View’s Clark Hogan. “We saw it as a great opportunity, we knew it to be a good product in a terrific location, and with the affordable prices we can offer we’re very confident that Midtown will be a success,” he tells Condo Living. “In fact, more than 125 units have been sold already since we took over.”

Midtown is at 4th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues S.W. is now under construction. The original plan called for 650-units and Hogan says they will largely adhere to that blueprint with a few minor adjustments. First possessions are expected by late 2011.

Midtown’s location along the Beltline has always been its appeal, not quite in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle downtown core, but close enough to be within walking distance of work and entertainment.

“You get the best of both worlds, and it’s attracting its fair share of investors and those who belong to the new generation called ‘The Millennials,’ 20- to 30-year-olds who work downtown and want to live close to the action,” Hogan says.

Suites are designed to appeal to a wide range of lifestyles, however, and range from one-bedroom units starting at 507 square-feet to two-bedroom, two-bath suites of up to 1,004 square-feet. Prices start at $213,000 plus GST.

“Based on the response we’ve had so far with the price point, I think we are on the right track,” says Hogan.

The west tower, which is now selling, will have 250 units of traditional apartment suites and 70 live-work units of 600 square-feet to 1,225 square-feet.

Some of the features in the suites include glass tile back-splashes in kitchens, granite countertops, a five-foot soaker tub in the main bathroom, a full-sized stacking washer and dryer, and an opportunity to choose upgrades to customize to make it your own.

The building has heated and secured underground parking with secure bike storage and a keyless entry, as well as an exercise room. There will also be a rooftop garden that residents can enjoy in the warmer months.

The Midtown’s ground level is reserved as commercial space. “No one wants to live along the ground level in downtown, and we can add to our resident’s ease of life and convenience by having some commercial enterprise at this level,” he says.

Pointe of View is tapping social networking site Facebook to drum up promotion for Midtown. “We’re running a contest where you can win up to $20,000 of your downpayment and a $1,000 weekly prize in designing your room in the website,” Hogan says. You can participate by going to their website: www. midtowncalgary.com and click on the Hunt for the Condo link.

Hogan says the promotion is just a new way to attract people to Midtown, and once you do see what it has to offer then it’s hard not to see its real value.

“It’s a maintenance free condominium lifestyle living that’s minutes away from the C-train and downtown shopping, walking distance to restaurants and downtown nightlife. And for all it offers, it’s still very affordable,” he adds. 

Fast Facts

Community: Beltline
Project: Midtown
Developer: Pointe of View
Style: Apartment condos, live-work suites
Size: Starts at 507 sq. ft.
Price: Starts at $213,000 plus GST
Address: 1015 - 4th Street S.W.
Hours: Open from noon to 7 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. weekends.
Website: http://www.midtowncalgary.com

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