The Story of The Edison
In February 2015, the oil and gas industry was settling into a serious slump. Over the successive 5 years, more than 80,000 downtown office jobs have been lost and Calgary’s downtown office vacancy rate has jumped from 8% to 30%.
But in this crisis, we found opportunity. That February, Aspen acquired a 440,000 square foot downtown office building down on 9th Ave SW and quickly got to work transforming it into something truly innovative (and really cool).
We looked into what worked in high-tech offices around the world, igniting our determination and inspiration to introduce amenities not seen before in Alberta. Over the next 24 months, we drew in a community of hardworking, innovative companies and employees to occupy—at nearly full capacity—this previously-vacant downtown office building—while the rest of Calgary’s market was struggling.
This innovative, inspiring, exciting place is now known as The Edison…and people love it here.
Because we believe it’s incumbent upon every community member to do what they can to support the people and the place where they live, our founding partners entrenched community support as one of our company’s key tenants. Our management team members champion numerous charitable groups and support local non-profit organizations. And they encourage all Aspen employees to follow suit through Aspen’s corporate charitable contribution program.
Aspen matches employee donations of up to $1,000 per employee per year and gives each team member two paid days off annually to volunteer in the community. Aspen employees have supported organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Camp Kiwanis, the Salvation Army, Adopt-a-Family, Easter Seals Camp Horizon, and Calgary and Edmonton’s city parks and food banks—among others.
Creativity, a hunger for wisdom and a forward-looking approach means that Aspen is eager to innovate so we can continue to give our tenants what they need—remaining relevant by evolving to keep up with changes in technology and tenant needs.
In early 2019, we created the AspenX division that works to develop and implement advances in office building technology (‘proptech’)—including robotics, AI and tech-driven support and amenities. The AspenX team borrows from innovations in real estate and hospitality to fit our buildings, while working with the rest of the company and its tenants to ensure an ongoing match with demand and company values.
We have developed a unique proptech app that incorporates not only the amenity rich environment that is in demand and on hand in our properties, but also includes consideration of the day-to-day operational requirements of a high-functioning, well-maintained, building. We anticipate full roll-out of the Aspen app in all our buildings in 2020.
*Proptech is jargon for the tech solutions offered in the real estate, property management realm. Think robotic floor cleaners, building apps and software solutions to make just about anything (and everything) more efficient and tech-driven!
Aspen is dedicated to doing our best for the environment. Here are some of the ways we strive to be gentle on the Earth.
The majority of the buildings in our portfolio are certified by BOMA—North America’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings.
Our cleaning contractors reduce their environmental impact by using efficient and hygienic cleaning systems, employing biodegradable cleaning products and eliminating their use of chemical cleaning agents wherever possible.
We participate in a comprehensive recycling program and are one of Alberta’s first commercial real estate companies to implement an organic composting program for our tenants.
We recycle and responsibly dispose of all common office materials including paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, batteries, coffee grounds, electronics, light bulbs, wood pallets, scrap metal and paint (to name a few).
Our buildings employ water-efficient faucets, showers and toilets.
We have installed bee hives on a number of our buildings (thanks to a partnership with bee-keeping firm Alvéole) to both help boost the population of our helpful pollinator friends and produce tasty honey.