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A history of Condominiums in Edmonton

The Beginning

Hyde Park - Canadas First High Rise Condo

In 1968 Chateau Developments, owned by Irving Kipness and the late Larry Rollinger who had previously built Edmontons first townhouse condominium -Village on the Green (that I was selling at the time) approached me and asked if I would be interested in taking on Hyde Park located on 115th street just north of Jasper Avenue. This was going to be Canada's first high rise Condominium and they wanted it to be THE place to live in Edmonton.  From a full time door man, to an indoor and an outdoor pool, to patio areas, to a teen lounge (complete with mirror Ball and dance floor) to a billiard area and social room I just knew this project could set the standard for everything to come. I was so excited about the project that I bought a unit and moved in myself and over the next couple of year another 100 people changed their lifestyle and became my neighbors in what was at the time the ultimate in downtown luxury living.

As we were just about to sell out Hyde Park I started my own company. Kennedy Realty and over the next few years built our small group into a very recognizable group of 37 women. We were the all girl real estate team and made quite an impression wherever we met. All in the same outfits, out on the town, sponsoring horse races, participating in the klondike days parade and of course sell condo's...lots of them.  In Edmonton....Everyone knew the all girl real estate team and we sold virtually every condominium being built at the time.

The Boom

Top of the Valley

By the Mid 1970's condominiums had become mainstream and while purchasers waited in the wings developers clamoured to build new highrises a quick as they could.  More than 80% of the downtown high rises you see now were built during this time period. Styles varied as much as their price. Some gave the distinct impression when you were in them that you were still living in a house, others were modern, others yet capitalized on what little land was left near the river valley and were built solely to take advantage of our amazing views. This was also a time of great innovation with developers such as Batoni Bowlen stepping away from traditional poured in place concrete to precast concrete construction. Many of the innovative building techniques we use today were developed during this time as builders focussed on being able to provide great quality but maintain prices at a level to entice homeowners to move from traditional houses.

In the late 1970's many new office buildings were also being constructed downtown which resulted and a tremendous influx of people from the suburbs commuting every day. This made the idea of living downtown even more appealing and as much of the premium development land was already developed a new kind of condominium was born. The condo conversion. Owners of Apartment buildings everywhere started to convert the single titles of their apartment buildings to multiple titles finally giving people the opportunity to buy suites in what were original rental buildings. Buildings such as the Athabaskan, the Saskatchewan, Valleyview Manor, Hillside Estates, Quinn House and Top of The valley were converted at this time.  Kennedy Realty , the all girl real estate team was responsible for marketing most of them and consulting on all of them. 

In a period of less than 10 Years condominiums went from just an idea to not only an acceptable alternative to owning a home but to being a much sought after new lifestyle.  It was an amazing time in the real estate market and one that I am so happy to have been a major part of.

The Present

Victoria Promenade - Downtown Edmonton

Clearly today condominiums are a major part of the Edmonton Real Estate market with more and more people moving into them all the time. Choices are endless and range from great starter units, to townhomes to raise a family in, to multi million dollar penthouses with views and amenities that we could have only imagined a few years ago to executive townhomes for those with an active lifestyle or those looking to right size.

New buildings are being built all the time and the city skyline is dotted with cranes. The Arena district is also now playing a major role with downtown Edmonton now becoming THE place to live and invest in real estate.

Pricing on condominiums seems to consistently rise either the same percentage or slightly higher than single family dwellings and the styles of finishing keep pace as well. Condominiums are here to stay, provide a great alternative lifestyle and are perfect for young people looking to enter the Real Estate Market for the first time. Some of them may be surprised how much they like the lifestyle though...I like it enough that I have now lived in various condominiums downtown for the last 45 years !

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"There is something to be said for Intuition and Experience. When Connie looked at my condo she told me that my building was undervalued and that we could ask more for my unit than any unit had sold for in the building before. Throwing the Market Analysis aside she said lets try it. Within a month my unit was sold for far more than I had ever expected and now...everyone in the building loves her because everyones unit has gone up in price. Just an Awesome Realtor !"

M. Muzzolini - June 2014

"Decided to downsize and move to the river valley. Could not be happier, not only does our condo match our lifestyle but Connie was great when it came to negotiating on my behalf. When she speaks....other realtors listen and Im sure that her guidance and reputation were critical in getting the perfect condo at a fair price for both me and the seller."

W. Strang - August 2014