Aspen Properties Continues Assembling Downtown Assets
Mar 05, 2015
Aspen Properties has purchased the 30-storey office tower at 150-9th Avenue.
Aspen Properties’ recent purchase of the 30-storey, downtown office tower many still refer to as Pan Canadian Plaza means the privately held Calgary-based real estate company has amassed about 1.45 million square feet of office space in the area of 9th Avenue between 1st Street S.W. and 1st Street S.E. that includes the Calgary Tower.
The only buildings Aspen does not control in the two blocks are the historic Fairmont Palliser Hotel, the Marriott Hotel and the Telus Convention Centre/Glenbow Museum building. A development permit has been approved for the construction of an additional 1.2 million square feet of Class AA office towers on either side of the Calgary Tower.
Now known as 150 9th Avenue S.W., Aspen’s newest property was purchased with the assistance of Jason Cottle, managing director of RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group. Aspen executive chairman Scott Hutcheson, who recently handed the day-to-day running of the firm to newly minted president and CEO Greg Guatto, said the tower is a key addition to the its Calgary portfolio.
The 150 9th Avenue tower was built in 1982, and although the office floors have been remodelled several times, little was done to the two-floor podium area. In fact, due to security functions the elevators were blocked off to the ground floor.
Guatto said plans are being drawn up to remodel the first two floors to allow for a fitness facility on the second and about 15,000 square feet of retail on the main floor that could accommodate an upscale restaurant that would spill out into a new covered patio area on the large plaza. It’s an ideal spot across from the Fairmont Palliser and facing the character Grain Exchange Building.
Both floors will also be given a new glass curtain wall facade to allow for more light to show off the new furnishings and modern decor.
The lower floors are now leased, although Rob Blackwell, vice-president, leasing and acquisitions, said the top two-thirds of the towers are empty today and the first-class space available for lease.
Both Aspen’s 300,000-square-foot Palliser South and its 400,000-square-foot One Palliser Square tower’s are nearly fully-leased today, although tenants of the Tower Centre are being moved over as soon as space becomes available to make way for the proposed two new towers.
Aspen is also planning some needed capital upgrades to the 200,000-square-foot 333 11th Avenue S.W. tower it purchased a few months ago while work has been completed on its 172,00-square-foot 444 5th Avenue S.W. It has been furnished with a new lobby area and the Plus-15 walkway has been realigned to take people direct from Chevron Plaza through to the Rosslyn Building. Two new tenants — Holy Grill and Freshii — have been signed along the pedestrian path.
Aspen currently owns 2.65 million square feet of buildings and more than 2,200 parking stalls in Calgary and Edmonton.