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The level of occupied office space in the city of Calgary has climbed back to what it was in 2008, according to recent research.
Currently occupied office space in the city stands at 33.7 million square feet, according to a new report by Colliers International.
This brings the city back to levels last seen in the second quarter of 2008 when the real estate market was at an all-time high.
The first three months of this year saw the overall vacancy rate drop one percentage point to 10.92 percent. This equates to approximately 393,000 square feet of positive absorption.
Recently the city saw the completion of the 1.1 million square foot Eighth Avenue Place. The building is now 88 percent leased.
The report stated: “Much like in the latter half of 2010, oilsands companies continued to grow, with numerous new projects on the horizon creating additional office space requirements.
“Most of the activity can be attributed to the strong oil prices and resultant higher levels of activity in the sector.”
The report added: “With oil trading above USD100 a barrel, leasing activity in the Calgary downtown office market is expected to remain strong throughout 2011.”
With more oil companies taking on projects many more jobs will become available, recapturing many of those lost during the recession, the report also said.
Calgary became an oil boom-town in 1947 when massive reserves were found. When oil prices increased in 1973 the city’s economy grew rapidly. Between 1971 and 1980 the population of Calgary increased by a full 272,000 people. The next eighteen years after that saw the population swell by 345,000. This economic boom also saw skyscrapers built in what had once been low-rise downtown.
Until the end of 2008 the economy of Calgary was booming, though recently it has been affected by the economic slump.