April 01, 2017
Condoscapes - Betting on the Beltline
Qualex-Landmark goes all in on the Beltline. Here’s why
The renaissance over the past 10+ years of Calgary’s Beltline community as a very desirable place fascinate me. Recently Parham Mahboubi, Vice-President, Planning & Marketing, Qualex-Landmark™ shared with me his insights into how new Beltline home buyer has changed given his role as developer of six condos totally 1,000+ new homes in this vibrant inner-city community just outside the downtown core.
Why did you choose the Beltline community?
Location is a big part of Qualex-Landmark’s™ investment decisions when acquiring land, just as much as it is for the homebuyer who is making the biggest investment decision of their life.
We chose to develop in Calgary’s Beltline Community because it is an established community within walking distance to every amenity imaginable — restaurants, cafes, lounges, pubs, nightclubs, art galleries, grocery stores, boutiques, and of course the downtown business core.
I also love that it is a quieter neighbourhood with many heritage ties that contribute to a strong sense of identity and community.
Why have you continued to build all of your projects in the Beltline?
Since acquiring our first property in 2002, we have observed how much positive attention this community has received from numerous stakeholders. We have also seen how the City of Calgary has identified the Beltline as one of the priority communities to achieve its vision of growth.
We believe we have made an important contribution in the transformation of the Beltline alongside other developers and visionary City staff. We love the new bike lanes, the improved parks like Barb Scott and Thompson Family Park.
How has the Beltline changed over the years?
Over the last decade, the Beltline has undergone many positive changes with numerous new mixed-use residential condo projects, revitalization of parks and streets, introduction of public art, the new Cycle Track, and hopefully soon the introduction of the Green Line.
Has Qualex-Landmark™ introduced any new innovations in condo living to the Calgary market?
Qualex-Landmark™ believes in timeless innovation, rather than trendy innovation. Our projects are intended to instil a modern look and feel today as it would in the future, and not become out-dated due to technology that quickly becomes obsolete.
The rooftop amenities in MARK on 10th, was a first for Calgary. We decided instead of a creating one or two penthouse homes, we would make the rooftop, with its lounge, BBQ, kitchen, hot tub and other amenities available to all residents. It has been very well received.
How has the condo buyer changed over the years?
Slight shifts are occurring as condo living becomes less fearful and better understood by the older demographic; however, the bulk of our purchasers are in the 30 to 40 year range.
The younger demographic is also growing, looking to get into the market and less concerned about unit size, more concern about centrality and seeing a return on their investment.
Average condo unit sizes have decreased about 15 per cent, but layouts have become far more efficient, cancelling out the reduction in size.
Ten years ago, projects had a very high investor demographic; today we are seeing a much higher mix of actual residents buying.
Has the demand for car and bike parking changed?
The price point of new Beltline condos seems to be the main contributing factor to homebuyers opting out of a vehicle stall.
While we’ve seen a shift in homebuyers becoming less car dependent, this is more applicable to first time homebuyers, particularly the younger professionals and millennials. Some of these buyers are living in the Beltline because they can work and live downtown without the need for a vehicle. They can save $30,000 on the purchase price of the condo and use car2go, Uber and car rentals when walking and cycling isn’t an option.
The resistance to buying a condo without parking mainly comes from investors driven by the concern over resale and market demand for a unit without a vehicle-parking stall. CL