Downtown as home: SYNC111

The following is a part in a series featuring buildings supported by the 2021 Edmonton Economic Incentive Construction Grant

More than 220 people can now call downtown Edmonton home with the opening of Eagle Builders’ SYNC111 building. Located at 10312 111 St NW Edmonton, SYNC111 boasts 222 one- and two-bedroom units, just blocks away from MacEwan University and a short jaunt to the ICE District.

Designed for metro Edmonton, each unit boasts a nine-foot cement ceiling, large windows, stainless steel appliances and quartz kitchen countertops, giving each space an open and modern vibe.  

Craig Haan, Director of K&H Developments, tours Councillor Tang around Sync 111 and visit the shared outdoor patio.

“We’re leasing to a lot of young professionals, but we expect more students to apply in the coming months,” said Craig Haan, Director of K&H Developments and part owner of SYNC111. “We think about what that demographic looks for in a home at every stage of the development. SYNC111’s look-and-feel definitely fits with downtown’’s energy.” 

Councillor Keren Tang agreed with Craig’s assessment during a recent tour of the building. 

“It’s a great space,” said Councillor Tang during a tour of the building. “So open and airy. I can definitely imagine students and young professionals living very comfortably here.”

Councillor Tang tests out one of the show units and cooks breakfast.

Meeting the need

In January, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released their 2022 Rental Market Summary Report, which analyzes rental unit construction and vacancies, and rental costs across major Canadian centres. In a nutshell, despite an increase in rental unit construction, vacancy rates are decreasing across the country. For Edmonton, even with a 1.5%  increase in new purpose-built residential units, vacancy rates declined 3% in 2022, from 7.3 to 4.3%. 

Back in 2021, looking for ways to support downtown’s economic recovery, City Council approved the 2021 Edmonton Economic Incentive Construction Grant, which aimed to support short-term job creation coming out of the pandemic, as well as longer-term goals such as increasing residential and commercial units in the city centre. SYNC111 is the first of those projects to open their doors to residents. 

Downtown view of MacEwan University from the kitchen in one of the show rooms at Sync 111.

“It’s amazing to see council decisions in action. Downtown’s been through a lot in the past few years, but we can’t go back. All of Council is committed to finding innovative ways to rebuild and reimagine our downtown. This is an exciting start.” 

Councillor Keren Tang

The grant leveraged approximately $24 of private investment for every $1 allocated, a total of  $22.9 million in funding. As a result of the program, 10 projects worth $551 million in construction began, creating 4,050 jobs, 2,341 residential units and 78,000 square feet of commercial space in and around downtown.

The City Plan coming to life

More than one million people call Edmonton home currently, and that number is consistently going up. Over the past five years, Edmonton’s population has grown by 10.7%, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Alberta is experiencing massive migration and its population could surpass five million people as early as 2025.

With more people comes the need for more homes. Fortunately, the City has a long-term vision for growth that charts how Edmonton can become a city of two million people, while becoming more climate resilient, prosperous and equitable. It’s called The City Plan, and it calls for a greater mix of residential opportunities throughout the city. 

City building is a long game, but knowing how each move contributes to the end vision helps ensure we’re all moving forward together.