Commercial property in downtown cores have lost value in recent years. Demand for downtown office space is diminished because many companies remain operating on hybrid or remote models initiated during the thick of the Pandemic and thus require fewer desks at headquarters than they did three years prior. Another reason is that the hiring market has cooled, with tech firms across Canada downsizing.
In a boost to ongoing revitalization efforts in downtown Calgary, Peoplefirst Developments announced this month the listing of their newest project, The Cornerstone, on addy, a real estate crowdsourcing platform hailing from Vancouver.
Founded in 2021, Peoplefirst is part of an emerging movement in Canada toward converting unused office space into residential units ready for occupation.
This approach boosts housing supply and restores a human vitality to stagnant city cores.
“Revitalizing the Core is as simple as providing people a place to live,” the developer explains. “By transforming empty office towers into vibrant, modern, and attainable residential spaces, we’re putting people where they matter most.”
The Cornerstone is a 10-story, 129,000-square-foot office building. It is set to undergo conversion into 112 two- and three-bedroom residential units. The completed project will also include a second-floor co-working space and main-floor retail space.
The transformation is expected to be completed by year’s end.
“We are excited to give everyone the chance to own a piece of Calgary and invest in the future growth and development of this great city,” Maxim Olshevsky, Managing Director of Peoplefirst Developments stated earlier this month.
The Cornerstone offered an opportunity for anyone in Canada to participate in the rejuvenation of downtown Calgary—and it did not take long for the project to max out on investors.
“Funding complete,” investment platform addy announced of The Cornerstone less than two weeks after launch. “Congratulations to all those who took part in crowdfunding real estate and helped break down barriers to make property ownership accessible.”
More than 800 Canadians invested an average of over $600 each into The Cornerstone to complete the campaign total of $500,000.
Addy’s next investment opportunity, located in the Okanagan of BC, is another example of downtown conversion—from a historic church building into eight townhomes.