The Big Box
01 The Opportunity
02 The Solution
The requirements created a unique challenge due to Calgary's limited supply of recreational commercial zoned buildings with 28' clear ceilings and exposure to major thoroughfares.
First, we examined the Calgary Airport Authority lands as this would have been the path to least restrictions. However, the airport lands did not give adequate exposure for the business and had increased competition due to a saturation of recreational indoor play facilities in the area. This left us reviewing commercial properties zoned I-C or discretionary use I-G zoned buildings.
In 2016, the City of Calgary made I-G zoning very difficult for indoor play recreational users to occupy space and strictly enforced occupancy and permitted use. Prior to 2016, the City permitted recreational users to operate as an instructional facility under a discretionary use within I-G. While the tenant could have sourced an I-C zoned property it would have resulted in higher associated rental costs.
After a year of reviewing options, we were able to find the ideal building located on 64th Avenue and Deerfoot Trail. The building is unique as it is fronting 64th Avenue and across from a major redevelopment, Calgary's Deerfoot City Mall. The property also has a neighboring Impark lot and a large area in the rear to create 40 parking stalls with another 35 available at the front. Although this building was the ideal location and solution for our client, the zoning restrictions on the area created a problem, as the building was Industrial General (I-G) zoned.
To hopefully overcome this hurdle, we commenced discussions with the landlord regarding the land's change of use. Unfortunately, at that time the landlord wasn’t receptive to start the process. After almost eight months of searching for alternate solutions, the 64th Avenue location still sat vacant. We approached the landlord again and were able to assist in commencing the change of land use process.
Within three months we successfully had the building rezoned and the use was accepted immediately under Direct Control-Recreational by the City of Calgary.