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Around Town: Calgary condo builders keep thinking big

Last updated 6 years ago

By David Parker, For the Calgary Herald | September 27, 2011

At a time when several condominium projects in the downtown and beltline districts were being put on hold Vancouver-based Qualex-Landmark showed tremendous faith in the Calgary market by commencing construction of Luna, its third tower along 12th Avenue to the east of 11th Street S.W.

It was a needed boost for our construction industry and a wise decision for the company as the 30-storey is being topped off next week and only less than a dozen of the 218 units remain to be sold.

And now the company has purchased another prime piece of property, the former home of West Canadian on the southwest corner of 8th Street and 10th Avenue S.W. It was originally sold through Helmar Basedow of Basedow International to Giffels, but with no action over the past couple of years he has resold it to Qualex-Landmark.

Company managing director Mohammed Esfahani says the plan is to build residential above a retail podium on the site that allows for approximately 260 units in 250,000 square feet of building rising 30 storeys over the busy intersection.

Kitty-corner to Mountain Co-op Equipment the site is walking distance to the Safeway grocery store along a much improved 8th Street, as well as to Uptown 17th and is only just a few short blocks to the downtown core.

Esfahani, a boutique developer of design quality, market driven residential, has now completed 569 units within his three Connaught district towers - Nova, Stella and Luna.

And on Oct. 1, Qualex-Landmark will open its sales centre at 11th Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets S.W. for its newest project - Calla.

Being built on another very desirable location on 6th Street S.W. across from the splendid Lougheed House and its wonderful gardens, Calla is a fashionable 12-storey residence of 168 parkside one and two bedroom homes; like Esfahani's other Calgary properties it was designed by Vancouver's Rafii Architects in concert with BKDI in Calgary and will be built by ITC Group.

Qualex-Landmark has earned an enviable reputation for quality in Calgary as it has on the coast with its Alda, Domus and Pomaria in Vancouver; Eighteen Suites in Burnaby; Symphony in Whistler, and the under construction District Crossing walkable North Shore Vancouver community - 129 urban homes above village-style retail.

* * *

Can it really be such a long time since the Hudson Bay Oil and Gas name ceased to be a powerhouse in our energy industry? It was taken over by Dome Petroleum back in 1982 and many of the 1,700 or so staff must still be proud to have been associated with the firm as another great turnout is expected at this year's 14th biennial reunion.

HBOGers will gather at the Silver Springs Golf & Country Club on Friday, Oct. 14, to catch up with each other and reminisce about the once mighty industry force.

* * *

When ExactET began installing its climate controlled irrigation systems it concentrated on commercial, industrial and retail landscaping where there was lots of grass. Millions of litres of potable water have been saved by the science of using water only when needed as opposed to the conventional method of soaking with arbitrary preprogrammed schedules.

Now founder and CEO Graham Duffy has convinced downtown property owners committed to sustainability who are looking at innovative energy saving opportunities that they can also save water -and costs - by using controlled irrigation.

Six prominent properties in our downtown core have moved to the ExactET system - Fifth Avenue Place, Suncor Energy Centre, Livingston Place. Canterra Tower, Ernst and Young Tower and The Princeton.

With the expected increases in water rates over the coming years less usage makes good sense.

* * *

Congratulations to Liana Robberecht, executive chef at the Calgary Petroleum Club who was named Chef of the Year at last Sunday's Alberta Foodservice Industry celebrations.

Sara Simard of Sysco was honoured as supplier of the year, the Fairmont Palliser Hotel as best food service establishment, and Harris Dvorkin, owner of the popular Ranchman's Cookhouse and Dance Hall, was presented with the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Parker appears Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Read his columns online at He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or e-mail

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Photograph by: Courtesy, Qualex-Landmark


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