Maclab Building $ 220M, two-tower development in Edmonton | RENX

A large student and multi-family development project in Edmonton, by Maclab Development Group, includes two 20- and 30-story towers and a shared podium at 86 Avenue and 112 Street. (Courtesy of the Maclab Development Group)

The $ 220 million Garneau project in Edmonton, adjacent to the University of Alberta campus, is touted as one of the largest private student housing projects nationwide in the past 10 years.

The project of Maclab Development Group, financed by Canada HERE, features a 20- and 30-story two-tower development atop a shared podium. It is located at 86 Avenue and 112 Street in the mature residential district of Garneau.

“What made this project so important is that there hasn’t been a project of this magnitude in the college district in decades,” said Glenn Fisher, mortgage origination manager at Canada ICI.

“The size and scale with which Maclab enters a student housing game is possibly the largest student housing development in Canada, if not one of the largest developments in Canada, particularly in Western Canada where housing off-campus students do not have a presence in Eastern Canada.

The development of Edmonton Garneau

“Maclab recognized that there was an opportunity there and it came from the investment government and industry have made in the University of A to make it a world class university,” said Fisher. “I think just recently he was classified as one of the The 100 best universities in the world and that comes from their investment in research and in biotechnology, in artificial intelligence.

“What it’s going to do is market and stimulate businesses and those businesses are going to be moving closer to that part of Garneau and being near where the research is, near where the talent is coming from. Now you have a developer building a state-of-the-art building for these people to live, work, play, and study.

The Garneau project, also located near the University of Alberta Hospital, includes 6,600 square feet of commercial space overlooking 112th Street, 188,000 square feet of student residences and 267,160 square feet of market apartments.

The towers share a common podium based on two levels of underground parking.

The development will include 260 underground parking spaces with provisions for carpooling and electric vehicle parking, 175 student residences (493 beds), 260 high-rise residential buildings and 12 single-family townhouses overlooking 86 Avenue.

The facilities to be developed include fitness, co-working, common residence, outdoor terrace and lounges.

The project is currently under construction and is expected to be built in three years. The plan is to deliver student accommodation by fall 2023.

Maclab has assembled properties for many years

Bill Blais, president and CEO of Maclab Development Group, said the site is actually a parcel that the company started putting together in the 1960s. He has acquired the last piece in recent years.

“We have visited many developments in the United States and Eastern Canada and we are really excited to bring a lot of ideas that we have learned from people in those areas to the Edmonton market,” he said. -he declares. “Everything we build is for rent. We are interested in building things that we can continue to own for the next 50 to 100 years.

Blais said the company is working on different naming conventions for the two towers, but for now it will be called the Garneau Project until the towers move closer to rental.

“The region is attractive for several reasons. It is obviously anchored by the University of Alberta, which is one of Canada’s foremost post-secondary institutions. Across the street is also the University of Alberta Hospital, which is one of the biggest job generators in Edmonton, ”he said.

“The community itself has all the fantastic amenities that everyone would want to be close to. Great restaurants, cafes, retail stores. It has easy access to the LRT system. Fantastic access to the Edmonton River Valley which is a real asset to anyone who lives here.

“He’s got all of these things that really need phenomenal development and I think we’ve got something designed here that people are really going to enjoy seeing as he comes out of the earth.”

Blais said the U of A, founded in 1908, will continue to grow and evolve. He said off-campus student housing has been successful in Eastern Canada, the United States and around the world.

Maclab based in Edmonton

Maclab is an Edmonton-based real estate development company. Blais said the company sees itself as neighbors developing neighborhoods.

The family business has been in existence for over six decades. Maclab owns a number of multi-residential assets that it has developed over the years. It is also building new neighborhoods and owns the commercial real estate in those neighborhoods.

“One of the themes for us is that our values ​​and our commitment to our community are not negotiable,” said Blais.

The student housing project comes in the midst of the fourth wave of COVID-19. This investment is a testament to the belief that students need to be on site and learn together rather than online, Fisher said.

“The market rental tower, of course, will always be geared towards students, teachers, nurses and doctors. The kind of people who will rent there will always be students, but some people want to live the dorm life and some don’t, ”he said.

“Some people want their own private residence. They have this opportunity.

“The other reason it’s important is that on the south side where the university is, it’s kind of landlocked to a certain extent,” Fisher added.

“It is difficult to get the green light for these larger scale developments in this district of Garneau. So it also has to do with the relevance and importance of this project.

Fisher said Canada ICI is a real estate finance company that provides debt advice and also has an asset management group with more than $ 2 billion in assets under management.

“We are a lender, but we are also a debt counselor by arranging mortgages. We match borrowers and lenders with capital, ”said Fisher, adding that the company is focused on all aspects of real estate.


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