Feb. 11, 2020 | Barb Livingstone
New Canmore condo development with flexible zoning offers short-term rental potential for investorsThere is pent-up interest in the Canmore area for homes that can be used for short-term rentals, and Spring Creek's new Tamarack lodge is poised to take advantage.
The four-storey, 80-suite condo project is one of only a few developments in the mountain town with Tourist Home permitted zoning, allowing for short-term stays (under 30 days) or permanent residency.
Homes at Tamarack range in size from 720 – 2,331 square feet and are priced from $419,000 all the way up to $1,359,000. When the $50-million development launched sales last October, 50 per cent of the units were snapped up during opening weekend and now more than 75 per cent are sold, says Frank Kernick, Spring Creek's developer.
"They are a good investment," said Kernick, given town zoning restrictions and the growing demand for tourist accommodation in the area. Currently, homes without tourist zoning rented under 30 days face possible fines starting at $2,500.
To date, most buyers in the development have been Calgary-based, but the project has also seen investors from the United Kingdom and China.
"You book it off when you want to use it and the rest of the time it can draw revenue," said Kernick.
RE/MAX Alpine Realty's Ingrid Couillard has already sold eight units in the Tamarack and is still working with more buyers.
The REALTOR®, previously Spring Creek's sales manager, says she loves the whole project, which provides the solid investment her primarily Calgary- and Edmonton-based clients are seeking.
"You book it off when you want to use it and the rest of the time it can draw revenue." - Frank Kernick, Spring Creek developer
"They are looking at using them for short-term rentals, knowing that down the road, they can live in them or have a long-term rental," she said. "It's the flexibility."
During pre-construction, she adds, buyers only need a 15 per cent down payment (rather than the 20 per cent normally required for an investment property purchase), right up until Tamarack's 2022 completion.
In a mountain town like Canmore, which has seen an increasing number of international tourists throughout the year, many visitors seek condo accommodation over a hotel room.
"They like the quality of construction in Spring Creek, it's a beautiful neighbourhood just off downtown, and Tamarack will be the heart of the community," said Couillard.
Tamarack is Spring Creek's largest development and eighth residential building. It's also the fourth lodge in the community to come to market in three years, and only the second with Tourist Home zoning. The first was White Spruce Lodge (2017), which sold out faster than any other in the community.
In addition to its residential component, Tamarack's street-level floor will house 15,000 square feet of commercial space.
Kernick says Spring Creek's area development plan allows 300 of its eventual 1,000 housing units to be tourist-home permitted. He expects to launch another two buildings with that usage, one possibly as soon as this fall.
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