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‘Based on tremendous uptake, our Downtown Strategy team is pausing the acceptance of new applications to the Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program for office-to-residential, hotel, school and performing arts centre conversions. Existing applications to the program – approved and under review – exceed current available funding.

“We plan on using this time to better align the program with The City’s commitment to accelerate the development of more student, market and non-market housing, while also encouraging further private investment in Calgary’s downtown,” said Sheryl McMullen, Manager of Investment & Marketing for Downtown Strategy. “We have 17 projects in the program pipeline and are pursuing additional funding to support many more strong projects in the near future.”

To date, we have committed $153 million to the program. There are currently 13 approved projects and an additional four projects in the review process. Collectively these projects, if all approved, will create approximately 2,300 homes for Calgarians and will remove and estimated 2.3 million square feet of downtown office space from the market. Our investment will leverage more than $567 million of private investment in these 17 projects – reflecting an estimated $4 of private investment for every $1 of public investment.

City Council approved an original Terms of Reference that provided guidelines for the program in 2021, which was updated earlier this year. We will be updating this Terms of Reference to reflect the current downtown real estate market and the priorities of our Housing Strategy. The updated Terms of Reference will include a focus on market, non-market, affordable, inclusive and student housing in Calgary’s downtown.

The program will re-open for project applications when a new Terms of Reference is approved by Council and when additional funding becomes available.

The Downtown Post Secondary Institution and Demolition incentive programs are not impacted by this pause. Building owners and developers are encouraged to continue to reach out to the Downtown Strategy team at to discuss future potential office conversion projects.’

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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