Heritage Commercial Areas

The Value of Calgary’s Heritage Commercial Areas

We are striving to bring better tools and resources that support heritage conservation and the repurposing of heritage resources on Calgary’s commercial streets. The City retained a consulting team of Lemay, and specialized consultants Heritage Strategies International, Altus Group, and CBRE to undertake a multi-phase heritage analysis, focused on commercial streets. 

Four commercial areas were selected – portions of Downtown Core/Stephen Avenue, Inglewood/Ramsay, Beltline/Victoria Park and Kensington. For comparison purposes, four comparable non-heritage areas were selected and used where appropriate within this report – Marda Loop, Mission, 17th Avenue and Bridgeland.

Our phase one study focuses on measuring the Heritage Value of historical commercial streets in comparison to non-heritage areas. In alignment with Council Policy and to develop a complete understanding of the monetized value of the identified heritage commercial areas, the Triple Bottom Line approach was used for the investigation. Its analysis considered the Economic, Social and Environmental values of these areas. 

Heritage areas display a significant monetized value, with the aggregate triple bottom line value of all four areas is more than $900M. Report highlights include:

Economic 

  • Heritage characteristics adds an average of $36.60 per square foot when compared to similar, non-heritage properties.
  • The economic heritage premium was found to be more than $44M, and the lift to surrounding non-heritage properties (Heritage Halo) was found to be more than $57M. 
  • The heritage areas studied attracted significantly higher numbers of key industries, including knowledge and creative class businesses. These are exactly the kind of industries that contribute to the diversified economy that Calgary seeks to build.

Social

  • Calgarians value heritage areas. The social value of the study areas was found to be more than $80M.
  • Streetscapes where heritage properties are lost or have their heritage character severely degraded lose context and, therefore, value.

Environment

  • The greenest building is already built. The study areas were found to have a monetized environmental value of nearly $49M.

Read our phase 1 report – Heritage Value Analysis and Conservation Tool Development Focused on Commercial Streets


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​