There are still two retail or restaurant spaces available, and just 21 residential units left in the tower

Mario ToneguzziThey say real estate is all about location and the new VERVE Q1 condo tower in the heart of East Village has benefited from that adage with its proximity to Calgary’s downtown core and its walking distance to key city areas.

But the 25-storey condo project has also taken advantage of The Riff, a pedestrian walkway nearby that connects East Village to the downtown, St. Patrick’s Island and Fort Calgary.

“Like a guitar string ready to reverberate, The Riff runs through the heart of East Village. A pedestrian walkway that runs at an angle and the VERVE condominium tower plays a smart tune off that Riff,” says Michael Kehoe, an Alberta-based retail specialist and broker with Fairfield Commercial Real Estate.

“Riff is a word which means musical improvisation and VERVE is the name of an edgy kind of record label for jazz artists, which of course ties in with ‘riff.’ The Riff is pedestrian-only and lined with shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Adjacent to VERVE will be the upcoming Vibe mixed-use mid-rise project also by FRAM + Slokker.

“Since 2007, the East Village district has gone through many improvements as part of the Rivers District Revitalization Plan being carried out by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. This includes $357 million of new infrastructure and development programs, which CMLC says has helped bring in about $2.7 billion of new development. The revamped Simmons Building, the National Music Centre and the $245-million New Central Library bring life to the East Village.”

Kehoe, who is the exclusive retail leasing agent for VERVE, has signed up Good Earth Coffeehouse, Barber Culture, Hart Healthy Foods, Panago Pizza and MediSpa, which will open in the coming weeks along the streetfront.

Two remaining retail and restaurant leasing opportunities exist in the building – an 1,850-square-foot corner location suitable for retail or restaurant and a 2,560-square-foot restaurant location.

“The fabulous main floor restaurant located on the Riff features vaulted ceilings and a south-facing patio right on the pedestrian walkway,” adds Kehoe.

Total retail square footage at the VERVE is about 15,000 square feet.

Ground-breaking for the VERVE project took place June 1, 2016, and a topping off ceremony was in January of this year. Residents are just beginning to move into the building.

Elio Ciccotelli, general manager in Calgary for FRAM + Slokker, says only 21 residential units remain for sale in the VERVE condo tower.

Ciccotelli said the company’s next condo tower, Vibe, is scheduled to be 158 residential units in a 10-storey building in the East Village. Construction of that project depends on market conditions.

“We thought the whole vision of East Village was fantastic and we felt that it was a development we could have success in and be able to create a great product for people,” says Ciccotelli. “The whole rejuvenation of the area just thrilled us.”

Here’s an interesting 3D animated tour of East Village created by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6E4xD3yWM4  


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