LRT Quick Search Relaunching for Calgary and Edmonton

RandyBett

Inspired Forum Member
REIN Member
Nov 18, 2007
26
0
6
Red Deer, Alberta
QuestMarketing.ca
#1
Whew--it's been a long time since I posted here.

We're relaunching the LRT Searches for Calgary and Edmonton.

I'm no longer a Realtor so other Realtors are setting up their websites
for the 800 metre radius search around each LRT station.

Calgary is finished and Edmonton will be finished in a couple of weeks.

You can check out the website and the Calgary searches here.

http://lrtquicksearch.ca/

Let us know if this will be of assistance and we'd like some feedback too.

Cheers.
 

Matt Crowley

Senior Forum Member
Registered
Dec 14, 2013
793
293
63
Edmonton
#2
Do we still think 800 metres is magic somehow?

Some recent research to suggest otherwise: https://www.greenstreetadvisors.com/insights/featured-insights/entry/the-transportation-revolution

I don't think the question in any case is whether there is some benefit to being close to a well-maintained, well-lit, safe and useful station; the question is how much of a premium should you be willing to pay and how much will that premium increase in the future. It's not really very useful to say buy 800m from a station. You pay more for it, everyone knows there is a station. It is not a sufficient driver on its own, you need lots of other pieces to make it successful (local neighbourhood amenities, pride of ownership, outdoor amenities, development controls).

In Edmonton, I'm not sure the new line is really going to do much to help property actual transportation usefulness. Employment nodes are located all around the city and most jobs are not downtown. There is also no real driver to ever go downtown Edmonton except to go to a concert. Plus, the last mile problem is really exacerbated in super-sprawl cities like Edmonton. Not owning a car doesn't make practical or financial sense.

In Edmonton, the LRT spurred a lot of development along 75 street industrial corridor, which has been the best effect I've seen so far in my estimation. That is a great corridor, but I don't really see how the LRT improves that in any material way. Edmonton will be car dependent far out into the future and while the LRT can have a minor role in moving people, cars - or ridesharing will be the way of the future.

A bit of a different story in Calgary as downtown is a major employer and both residential and office growth will focus there into the future. The condo market (while oversupplied) is also different, and there is a much more willing capacity to buy condo product. It is a lot further down the live-work-play pipeline that Edmonton, you will definitely notice it in the $PSF prices for condos in Edmonton vs. Calgary. The main tenant of value is not how far you are to the station - but why is the price you pay for that location going to increase in attractiveness. If you are close to a station but that station is across the street from a hairy motel, big box strip mall. That is not desirable. You will get a very different demographic than if you are located in Kilarney for example, where you don't have LRT as accessible but the desirablility is much higher and there is still great car access. With car sharing, the LRT is going to become much less critical as well.
 

Michel Lafleur

Inspired Forum Member
REIN Member
Apr 30, 2015
47
55
18
#3
In Edmonton, those maps are conveniently available to share with prospective investors and new buyers. As a Realtor, I certainly have searches setup for my preferred areas along the existing & new expansion LRT lines. I search by neighborhoods though, not just within 800m of an LRT station.

Young families often prefer proximity to transit thinking about university access for themselves or their kids. In Edmonton, I'd argue that easy access to the UofA, Grant Macewan & Nait is more valuable than access to 'downtown' for jobs or entertainment. In my opinion, LRT access to downtown is most valuable to save on crazy parking fees, and the slow vehicle commute times to get in/out of downtown.
Access to the University, Royal Alex & soon the Grey Nuns hospital is also huge. They are massive employers, plus they serve Edmonton & much of northern AB. For non-Edmontonians, easy access to the hospitals is huge.

I certainly agree with Matt's comments about the best improvements in Edmonton being around the 75th & 66st corridors. There are alot of employers in that area - although all the workers are already fully accustomed to driving everywhere as transit access to the southeast sucks if you live in any other quadrant of the city.

For affordable homes in Edmonton, the northeast and southeast tend to offer the best value. Having LRT access has definitely improved the values (real or perceived) in much of Millwoods, especially the neighborhoods within walking distance of the new LRT stations. Contrarily, the northeast has had LRT access forever, and its still one of the most affordable areas.

The other investment value that comes with access to LRT stations is city support for investor activities like infill, re-zoning/re-development and increasing density. Its easier to get approval for a secondary suite, or tearing down a SF home to build a duplex/triplex when you are within walking distance of a main transit station. The parking requirements are reduced (residential & commercial) with proximity to public transit.
 

Matt Crowley

Senior Forum Member
Registered
Dec 14, 2013
793
293
63
Edmonton
#4
Thanks for the detailed insight Michel.

Overall, I think secondary suites / triplexes don't move the needle much when it comes to land value. Real up-zoning is required for that or long-term neighbourhood gentrification. Not really a great example of this in Edmonton, but one could suggest Westmount...low density has been preserved and infill has lifted the property values. It has become a great millennial family neighborhood with some real long term promise. Secondary suites in general is relatively meaningless to the city in terms of density with only a little over 1,000 legal suites in the city. Edmonton needs much more progressive rules for upzoning (to a max height and density and then pay above that minimum) to reach any kind of density / livability improvement.

NE Edmonton is a general good example of TOD (transit oriented development) failure in Edmonton. Station Lands removing some great industrial for no reason. Also Century Park sold to one developer really screwed up that as well. It is deeply unfortunate the city didn't become the land developer there, chop up the parcels like Calgary's East Village and sell them to the market gradually. The development community in Edmonton has been too strong in opposing a municipal developer, and this is exactly what Edmonton needs to reach its urban goals (25% development urban).