Brad Lamb, head of the Toronto-based Lamb Development Corporation, announced his plans to go ahead with Jasper House, a 37-storey luxury residential tower on 106 Street, north of Jasper Avenue. The area was earmarked for parking lots, but Lamb’s dreams may alter all that. The building is expected to house some 240 condominiums that range from one bedroom to three bedrooms, at prices that start from $285,900. Construction will begin this summer/fall. Even though Edmonton fared the worst in Canadian real estate during 2016, housing prices fell by 2.1% when compared to 2015.
Hilliard MacBeth, a portfolio manager and author of When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash, believes that the Edmonton real estate market will bottom out in 2017.
Lamb isn’t deterred. The ‘Condo King’, as he has been referred to by many, points out that he has lived through three recessions in Canada and all of them particularly bad ones. What he has learned from experience is that when the recession ends – and every recession ends – the prices will be more than when the recession started. In other words, the bad patch that Edmonton is currently going through could turn out to be a good thing at the end.
Even during the 2008 housing crash, the Lamb Development Corporation sold $525 million worth of real estate. As of 2016, the company has sold more than 22,000 condominiums that add up to over $8 billion in value. Lamb personally believes that Alberta’s energy-dependent economy will see its worst when oil prices reach $50-$55 per barrel.
At the time of writing, crude oil is trading in this range on the international market.
Jasper House is expected to be completed in 2020. Reaffirming his faith in Edmonton, Lamb also plans to build another residential tower right next to this, named North Tower. This 40-storeyed building will house 320 residences. Construction is slated to begin in 2018. Rezoning the area will cost Lamb $1.5 million, but the real estate mogul is of the opinion that it will increase the land value.