By Umair Lasi - James Bond of Calgary Real-Estate


New Horizon Mall - All about it

Over 500 retail boutiques offer an untold variety of goods and services. Each retail store is individually owned, making New Horizon Mall the most diverse shopping destination in Southern Alberta.”


Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably already heard about the newly established New Horizon Mall just across from Cross Iron Mills. Indeed, whether you are a mall enthusiast or not, it cannot be denied that this mall is special.

For starters, this mall is HUGE. It is hard not to be impressed by its sheer sized. Developed by Torgan Group and MPI Property Group, New Horizon Mall is a $200 million international shopping mall development. It is Canada’s second-largest mall, accessible to over 1.5 million people within a one-hour drive!

Secondly, most of the stores and restaurants are not the typical big-box store names. Instead, this mall has a multicultural focus, making it more like a modern Asian-style bazaar instead of a traditional North American mall. This means patrons will be able to access a diverse selection of goods and services from all over the world. Given Alberta’s ethnically diverse population, it is likely that this mall has something for every type of consumer.

In addition to the unique shopping opportunities, the mall’s multicultural shopping experience will be matched by entertainment just as diverse, as a main stage will provide a venue for cultural events, holiday celebrations, and fashion shows.

Another great point is that New Horizon Mall will also employ approximately 1,400 people within various positions such as sales, security, and maintenance. This will, of course, benefit Albertans and the overall economy.

In addition, this mall offers great opportunities for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs alike. Unlike other nearby major malls, buying or leasing space in this mall is realistic for many people. See below for information about great leasing opportunities!

  • Single retail units- rent starting at $799 (only 1 at this price);
  • Double size units - rent starting at $1499 (only 1 at this price);
  • Triple size units - rent starting at $2499 (only 1 at this price);


 Tenant benefits for signing with us?

  • 4 months FREE rent
  • Landlord may provide water connection and upgraded electricity (60 amp service) for uses (ex., hair salon, ice cream parlor, etc.)
  • Food court units - rent starting at $5000

 *** with 3 months FREE rent for period of renovations***

Retail Shop sizes:

145 sqft, 210 sqft, 260 sqft, 290 sqft, 435 sqft *special size (138) sqft

Note: 2+ units can be combined to create a special size for you.

Want to be right by the entrance? Need a unit in the main corridor or by the entertainment area? Don’t care about the location but need something super cheap? We have it all!

Need something in the food court? We have that too.

Let’s get together and discuss your options.

Food Court sizes:

89 sqft (leased), 120 square feet (leased), 260 sqft (1 left), 380 sqft (1 left), 440 sqft (2 left)

If you are a landlord looking to rent your unit, call us today to discuss the available options!

Umair Lasi



Commercial Real Estate: to Invest or Not to Invest?

Many investors and brokers share in the view that commercial properties tend to offer investors greater financial rewards as compared to residential properties. However, while many people daydream about investing in commercial real estate, most are reluctant to take that step due to inaccurate assumptions about this type of financial venture. Below, three commonly held myths about investing in commercial real estate are debunked in hopes that this information may light a fire under an existing investment desire.

 Myth #1: It is hard to find good deals

Truth be told, there are almost always good investment prospects in the commercial realestate market. It is only a matter of finding them and putting in the effort to capitalize on them. Sometimes an amazing opportunity may not be outwardly obvious at first, which is where a good real estate broker can provide invaluable advice. Worth noting, some of the best opportunities tend to surface in times when the market it down, which is why now is a great time to take a chance on the right property.

 Myth #2: It is too risky to invest in commercial property

The reality is that investing in commercial real estate is like investing in anything else; your level of risk depends on what you are willing to take on. While there are a wide range of factors that impact the degree of risk associated with any given property, some property types are considered riskier than others. For example, triple net lease properties, wherein the tenant agrees to pay all real estate property’s taxes, building insurance, and maintenance in addition to any normal fees that are expected under the agreement (rent, utilities, etc.), are considered substantially less risky as compared to office properties. Keep in mind that in many cases, greater risk translates into greater reward. An effective real estate broker can help you balance your risk and rewards based on your capabilities, needs, and ambitions.

 Myth #3: All commercial income properties are publicly advertised

Relative to the number of commercial investment properties available on the market, it is fair to assert that very few are publicly advertised. This makes it incredibly difficult to comprehensively consider your options on your own. This is exactly where a good real estate broker with lots of good relationships with other investors and brokers can come in handy. After all, it is only when we consider all our options can we make an informed decision.

Hopefully, you found this short article informative, and perhaps even motivating. If you have any questions about investing in commercial real estate, I would love to talk them out with you at your convenience. Feel free to call me at 403-667-5901 or email

You can also visit my webpage for more information at!


Downtown Calgary: Rising vacancy rates and what it can mean for your business!

Truth be told, the past few years have been tough on the Canadian economy, especially here in Alberta. From uneven employment to unstable energy prices (and everything in between), the Canadian commercial real estate sector has been shaken in recent times, to say the least.

In Calgary, the impacts have been especially visible in downtown. Office vacancy rates increased by 4% to 16.3% in 2015, and it is projected that by the end of 2018, vacancy rates will reach 21.7%. Understandably, such rapidly rising vacancy rates have left many business owners feeling uncertain.

Glass half empty or half full?

These vacancy projections, although significant, may not need to cause alarm. After all, a large portion of the projected increase will be attributed to the completion of five developments this year, which will add another 3.5 million square feet of office space to downtown Calgary.

Is that opportunity knocking?

Without a doubt, rising vacancy rates have shifted the landlord-tenant balance. In some major Albertan cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge, business owners have taken advantage of this increased supply of commercial property by seizing the opportunity to not only reduce space and rental costs, but also to increase existing footprints, move into higher quality spaces, or in some cases, to consolidate operations into a single building.

In addition, more and more tenants are getting creative with their commercial property management initiatives. For example, some companies are opting to sublease their excess office space by offering various incentives such as fully furnished spaces and even free rent, so long as the subtenants cover all bills related to operating costs.
Calgarians remain proud and optimistic!


Well, it is no secret that Alberta has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years, but one thing is for certain: we will weather this storm like we did the storms that came before. In the meanwhile, our ability to make lemonade from the lemons we have been handed speaks to our resilience as a population.

I hope this blog post has provided you with useful information that can be used to make the most of our city’s current commercial real estate vacancy rates. For more information, follow the link below to access “Guest post: The changing face of commercial property management in Alberta” by Avery Swartz, which speaks on this topic in greater detail.


Leasing Vs Buying Commercial Real Estate

If your company is growing or downsizing, you may soon realize that the amount of space needed to conduct your daily business activities is changing, requiring you to relocate from your existing location. Over the years, I have met with numerous clients unsure whether they should buy or lease their next commercial space. This blog post reflects upon some of the pros and cons of owning versus leasing.


When buying is best…

Location, location, location! Many successful business owners will tell you that a great location is hard to come by. Whether you are seeking high foot traffic or proximity to suppliers, securing the ideal space by purchasing it may preserve one of your most important business advantages.

Rid yourself of the landlord woes! Some property owners can subject tenants to an endless list of limitations and restrictions. In addition, rent that keeps rising without mercy can sometimes stunt business growth. If you are tired of being tied down by red tape, purchasing a property could free your business, allowing it to soar towards its full potential.

Build your personal wealth! While there are no guarantees in business (or in life), many successful entrepreneurs have benefited from great commercial real estate investments. With this logic in mind, owning the space can build wealth apart from your operating business.

However, keep in mind…

If the above motivations appeal to you, perhaps purchasing commercial real estate is the right choice for you. If so, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Think long-term! While committing to a low interest rate may seem ideal today, interest rates can rise down the road, which can create financial pressure for the ill-prepared.
Run the numbers! Purchasing commercial real estate is no small undertaking and the road may get bumpy at times, so before you commit, make sure your business has the resources to support this commitment moving forward.
Protect your business! Hidden building defects and environmental contamination are legitimate concerns, which is why due diligence is important. Get a building condition inspection and environmental assessment before committing. In addition, seek out qualified professionals to help ensure that there are no issues related to land title, zoning, outstanding taxes, liens, easements and other potential problems with the property.

When leasing is best…

Limited working capital! Not all businesses are able to (or want to) commit the amount of capital required to own a commercial space. For some, funding growth is a bigger priority. There is nothing wrong with that.

Unstable business needs! One’s business needs are not always clear, especially during periods of rapid change. Because of this, it may be wise not to commit by purchasing a space. Leasing offers business owners the opportunity to wait and see how their business needs will evolve with time.

Spare me the hassle! Truth be told, some people are just not about the hassles of commitment, which is understandable given that ownership often comes with a long list of responsibilities and potential problems. If this is true for you, it may be better to lease for now and focus your efforts on nurturing business growth.

However, keep in mind…

If the above reasons align with your current business needs, perhaps leasing a commercial property is the better option for you. If so, below are a few things you should keep in mind.

Flexibility is a two-way street! While you may appreciate not having to commit to your business location, your landlord may decide not to renew your lease at some point, which would force relocation and its associated costs.

Rules, rules, rules! Property owners can impose significant restrictions on your ability to use and modify the space. There may also be limitations with regards to signage rights. Being clear about these things beforehand will minimize frustrations down the line.

Hidden costs! Get clarity on what you will be responsible for paying with regards to property taxes, insurance, utilities, security, and any major equipment repairs such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, etc. Indeed, such expenses can really add up over time! You should also find out who is responsible for maintaining the common areas such as washrooms, entrances, parking lots, etc.

Concluding thoughts

Surely, each option comes with its unique advantages and drawbacks, but hopefully this article has shed light on the right path for your business. Remember, while some may pressure you to commit one way or the other, ultimately only you will know the best option for your current business and financial situation.


Choosing the right neighborhood for you!

Choosing the neighborhood

It has been said that if a home is like a spouse then a neighborhood is like an extended family, except while it is perfectly possible to love your partner but dread holidays with the in-laws, it is far less likely that you can fully love your house if you dislike your neighborhood. Because of this, it is important to give vicinity fair consideration when making such an important purchase. This blog post offers some useful advice on how to select the right neighborhood.


Step 1: What matters most?

Before you start drafting endless lists of pros and cons, you first need to decide on your own needs. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:

⦁ Do you have (or want in the near future) young children?

If so, you might want to consider nearby schools, kid-friendly amenities, proximity to necessities, crime statistics, etc.   

⦁ What is your current community lacking?

If you wish you lived in walking distance of your favorite places (parks, transit access, Tim Hortons, whatever – no judgement here!), put that high on the want list. On the other hand, if the noise from busy main streets is currently doing a number on your sanity, you may appreciate what a suburban cul-de-sac can offer.

⦁ How much of a commute can you handle? 

Whether you prefer to walk, cycle, drive, or use transit to get to work and other places your frequent, it is important to decide how much of a commute you can handle daily.

⦁ What is your budget?

Like in most cities in Canada, Calgary has some communities known to be far pricier than others, which is why it is important to keep budget in mind when considering one’s options. 


Step 2: Narrow down your options

If you are making a local move, you may probably already have an idea about which communities might suit your needs. However, if you are moving to a new city, you may need to do some research. The internet can be a strong ally! Community message boards can offer insights into the experiences of others, while city, provincial, and national statistical data can help you pinpoint the areas with the best schools, lowest crime, and greatest access to city treasures. 

Step 3: Evaluate the shortlist

Once you have narrowed down your options to a few promising candidates, you should analyze the remaining options using your established criteria. Worth mentioning, some people like to spend some time in the communities they are most interested in in an effort to get a feel for the community vibe. Chat with the locals, be observant of traffic patterns, and pay attention to the factors that align with your idea of a great community.


Buying a home is an exciting time, but it is important to make the right decisions early on so that you can truly enjoy your home for years to come. Hopefully, you have found this article informative.


Hello Readers!


I would like to share a valuable resource with you that I found at CREB's website today which provides a comprehensive look at key economic indicators that influence housing within CREB®’s region boundaries, from energy prices to employment and population trends, to name a few.


CREB usually delivers a market forecast twice annually, once at the beginning of the year and again around the mid-point (July/August).


It also examines each market sector, explores housing by property type and clarifies how supply and demand is functioning at the district level. 

I highly recommend that if you are in a process of deciding to buy a home or selling a home or planning your next investment home or buying or leasing a commercial property, please do take advantage of this valuable resource that will help you understand the direction the market is taking. It indicates many interesting aspects of the calgary neighbours and especially the ones which can become a best investment for you in this market.


To learn more and view CREB®’s latest forecast report, please click here.



Calgary March 7, 2017 After the first two months of the year, Calgary’s detached sector continues to drive a slow transition in the housing market. February sales totaled 1,342 units, which is still 19 per cent below long-term averages, but an improvement over the past two years.


As sales kept trending upward, detached inventory levels continued to ease in February. These conditions caused months of supply to fall to 2.4 months, putting less downward pressure on pricing. Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $501,900 in February, which is one per cent lower than prices recorded last year, but slightly higher than January figures.


“There seems to be a new sense of optimism these days,” said CREB® president David P. Brown. “Some sellers are feeling upbeat about the changing landscape and the improved chances of selling their home. Other people are looking at the spring market with caution and wondering if we’re going to see a higher than expected surge of listings. While there’s less product on the market right now, sellers still need to be realistic with their pricing.”


The amount of excess inventory eased in the overall market in February, setting the stage for a transition to a more stable market this year. Months of supply totaled 3.4 months, down from five months over last February. At the same time, the sales-to-new-listings ratio trended from a near record February low of 39 per cent last year to 55 per cent this February.


There’s good evidence to show that the housing market has started a trend toward more balanced conditions

With sales improving and new listings and inventories contracting—two key measures of market balance,

“The transition in the housing market appears to be underway,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lure. “However, it is important to note that this change is primarily being driven by improvements in the detached market and stability in the labour market.”

“It will take some time for these conditions to translate into all housing segments and achieve price recovery,” said Lurie. “But all indicators continue to point toward a slow transition from a contracting market toward one that is stabilizing at lower levels.”

Categories:   Market Report
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.