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Downtown Real Estate

Unit are being built where it is cheapest to build, not necessrily where people want to live or what is best for the city.

The issues is the cost of development for Downtown highrises relative to rental rates. If we had even a small subsidy, we'd see several towers go right away. There is no lack of interest to build, the numbers just don't work.
 
Units are being built where people want to live. In Edmonton people do not want to live downtown because of safety concerns, lack of jobs and the limited number of retail services in the area.

If you have to drive to the edge of downtown or beyond for these things what is the attraction of being downtown? The problem is not affordability.
You're not wrong. There's a reason why we're seeing a lot of stuff being built west of 116 st (Mercury I and II, Leston on 116, Hat @122, Citizen, Abbey Park...), but not so much east of it, and especially east of 109 st.
I'd love to live DT, but right now, if I had to choose a place to have a good, safe and pleasant urban experience, I can think of at least Wîhkwêntôwin (especially west of 116 st), Old Strathcona and Garneau as MUCH better options.

And as much as people love talking about the dilemma between what should come first, retail or residents, you could argue that either would be effective in creating a virtuous cycle for DT, if we can nail safety, cleanliness and general upkeep. As long as these things are an issue, it'll always be an uphill battle to improve the desirability of our Downtown for either businesses or residents.
 
Has anyone inquired if some of the Housing Accelerator Fund cash could be used for the $40 per square foot grant? I know the report was determined if the cash could come from the CRL, but I'm still puzzled why the HAF money isn't part of the conversation right now.

The cash does come with the stipulation that it'll be used to encourage dense, multi family housing close to transit. A downtown grant seems like an easy no brainer to spend $30-40 million of that initial first year cash transfer.
 
Unit are being built where it is cheapest to build, not necessrily where people want to live or what is best for the city.

The issues is the cost of development for Downtown highrises relative to rental rates. If we had even a small subsidy, we'd see several towers go right away. There is no lack of interest to build, the numbers just don't work.

It's cheap to buy a downtown or central condo if somebody wants to live here.

Renting downtown is more expensive than the suburbs. Maybe the subsidy should go to the renters of downtown properties to get them to come downtown. Are you saying a subsidy to the builder is going to transfer to a cheaper rate for the renter? If not, why would somebody choose to rent downtown if they are not doing so right now?
 
I'm talking about ability for existing development projects to even go ahead without subsidy. The higher the prices they can get for rental or condo, the more feasible a project is. Concrete construction Downtown is almost impossible to make the numbers work right now. It's not about safety or desirability or where you or I want to live. There are shovel ready projects that can't make sense of the economics.
 
The higher the prices they can get for rental or condo, the more feasible a project is
It's not about safety or desirability or where you or I want to live
But these things are not isolated from each other, however.
If a place is safer and more desirable, developers can charge higher prices for condos and still see enough demand, and people will be more willing to pay for more expensive rentals, both of which improve the economics for building towers.
I'd certainly pay more to live Downtown if it were safer and overall more desirable, but no way in hell I'm paying what they're charging, when I can get a better urban experience in Garneau or Wîhkwêntôwin for the same price or less.
It's a bit of a catch-22: you can't increase the offerings DT with the current economics, but the current prices are too high for what the area offers.
 
The real solution is to make the new suburbs reflective of actual costs and tax impacts. I.E, adding taxes and costs to new developments that push up the prices in new suburbs to better balance costs with infill and downtown projects. Because ultimately, the low prices in new suburbs are still artificially low in terms of true costs to our city.

Also, people do want to live centrally, but lots of the right products are missing. There’s very few townhomes still in central areas like westmount, garneau, Strathcona, even proper downtown. Getting more of those in the 400-600k range would bring a lot more people to central areas.

I support subsidizing projects. We do it all the time for building off/on ramps to places like WEM, SEC, or silly neighborhoods with brutal tax revenues like Cameron heights. If we spend hundreds of mills for a few thousand residents in Cameron heights to have their henday interchange, why not do the same for a few thousand residents in an actually tax positive area?
 
^Yes
But these things are not isolated from each other, however.
If a place is safer and more desirable, developers can charge higher prices for condos and still see enough demand, and people will be more willing to pay for more expensive rentals, both of which improve the economics for building towers.
I'd certainly pay more to live Downtown if it were safer and overall more desirable, but no way in hell I'm paying what they're charging, when I can get a better urban experience in Garneau or Wîhkwêntôwin for the same price or less.
It's a bit of a catch-22: you can't increase the offerings DT with the current economics, but the current prices are too high for what the area offers.
Yes, I don't disagree. It's a question of what kind of city do we want to live in.
 
The real solution is to make the new suburbs reflective of actual costs and tax impacts. I.E, adding taxes and costs to new developments that push up the prices in new suburbs to better balance costs with infill and downtown projects. Because ultimately, the low prices in new suburbs are still artificially low in terms of true costs to our city.

Also, people do want to live centrally, but lots of the right products are missing. There’s very few townhomes still in central areas like westmount, garneau, Strathcona, even proper downtown. Getting more of those in the 400-600k range would bring a lot more people to central areas.

I support subsidizing projects. We do it all the time for building off/on ramps to places like WEM, SEC, or silly neighborhoods with brutal tax revenues like Cameron heights. If we spend hundreds of mills for a few thousand residents in Cameron heights to have their henday interchange, why not do the same for a few thousand residents in an actually tax positive area?

Definitely would like to see less subsidizing of the suburbs and new suburban development and minimize large road infrastructure projects.
 
^retail will follow the people.
We are not talking a suburban area that is being built up and that is developed to appeal to people who want to drive, here you absolutely need to have more goods and services in place nearby to attract people.

I would say we are now at less than 50% of what we had decades ago. Downtown retail now is very bleak, there is no advantage to live in a core area that should be walkable when you have to drive 10 blocks to even go to McDonalds. Heck there is no major department store downtown anymore.
 
Traditionally, retail follows people and development and does not lead.

Downtown Edmonton needs to address its lack of retail, especially the basics for the home, shoes, clothing.

ECC needs to be part of this solution and it needs to happen soon.
 
Unit are being built where it is cheapest to build, not necessrily where people want to live or what is best for the city.

The issues is the cost of development for Downtown highrises relative to rental rates. If we had even a small subsidy, we'd see several towers go right away. There is no lack of interest to build, the numbers just don't work.
Is a subsidy even being considered by City Council at this time?
 
^Yes, kinda. It's coming up in report but admin doesn't support it. There's various ways to achieve the subsidy everyone has their own opinion how to do it or not do it. If we don't figure out something, some kind of leadership or plan of action the latest housing boom will be lost to Downtown.
 

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