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Studio Space in Calgary?
Old 9th May 2006
  #1
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Studio Space in Calgary?

Okay, inspired by the "LA Studio Space" thread, which was inspired by my original "Recording in a Penthouse?" thread ... here I am again. I'm having a hell of a time sorting out where I'm going to set up shop. Two potential places have already fallen through. Getting desperate. Desperate enough to post a likely hopeless post about my sh*t town. Something tells me the responses won't be as numerous as the one for LA.

Long and short: Trying to find a space to set up a mid-size project studio. I'll do it in a home and live there too, I'll do it in a warehouse, I'll do it anywhere it's feesable. I just want options.

If there is *anybody* here in Calgary or with links to Calgary who might have ideas or potential options for me, please let me know. Trying to find space in this booming town is like trying to find potent land in the arctic.

Thanks?
Old 9th May 2006
  #2
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Have you tried driving around in the industrial areas around town and looking for vacant buildings? Sometimes you can spot something that way, or pop into a couple of occupied spaces and ask if they have any vacancies or know of anyone who might.
Old 9th May 2006
  #3
C/G
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I'm only 8 hours away in Regina and am having the same problem. If we lived in the same city............................

Hopefully we are building a space in my friends back yard next summer as planned because I'm really getting sick of miving all the stuff out of our rehearsal spot (rattly buzzy amps, road cases, assorted crap) once a week to record, and truing to balance recording time with my band and another band that is in there.

When we find a suitable building, some that have even been vacant for a while, the rent is incredibly expensive for what seems to be unused property. Most of the realtors in my city would rather see a building empty than give someone a break on long term rent. It is quite demoralizing. A lot won't rent to us because we want to have a studio space and as soon as they hear that they are thinking Sid Vicious puking after doing to much *H* and guys drinking and kicking holes in the walls. We are all in our 30's and have a ****load of cash invested in gear but the renters just don't get it. It's hard even in my city.

Last edited by C/G; 9th May 2006 at 10:42 PM..
Old 9th May 2006
  #4
jhg
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May have some

I may have some contacts still left in Calgary, spent many years in Edmonton, gigged in Calgary, etc. Let me look through my (ancient) phone books - remember those - tonight.

Regards,

jhg
Old 10th May 2006
  #5
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True North's Avatar
 

Hi Mathew,

Forgive me if this is way too obvious, I am not trying to be obnoxious, but have you contacted a real estate agent yet?

If not take a drive through a commercial part of town and jot down the names of the real estate companies that you see posted the most and give them a call. If you are looking for commercial just make sure you get an agent who is experienced in commercial.

ALSO

Maybe try posting in one of the local music stores. You may also want to contact local studios. There may be some trying to cut back and are looking to get rid of an extra room they doesen't get booked much.

Best of luck in your search!!
Old 10th May 2006
  #6
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newnes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by True North
Hi Mathew,

Forgive me if this is way too obvious, I am not trying to be obnoxious, but have you contacted a real estate agent yet?

You obviously haven't been to Calgary recently!! I bought my house in '03 and it's doubled in value. Houses are selling for 40-50k over asking price with no conditions! I see signs going up with sold stickers already on them. The population growth and cost of living here is insane.

That said, Matthew I'm doing a record right now for an artist whose manager is also a realtor and a musician herself. She might have some ideas and I can definitely pass on her number. PM me if you're interested.

I definitely feel your pain. I had this same struggle a few years ago when I was looking for a place. I ended up getting a decent house with a big attached garage which I converted to a studio. Sound Proofing cost a fortune but it's worked out pretty well. Something like that is probably your best bet because at least you're paying into property. The trouble is finding a place reasonably near the inner city and somewhere that you won't be bothering neighbours with noise, extra traffic, musicians hanging out outside, etc. I thought of doing the warehouse thing as well but I never found a suitable place either. Good luck with your search!!!

Craig.
Old 10th May 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newnes
You obviously haven't been to Calgary recently!!
Actually, I was there about three months ago but admittedly I wasn't looking for real estate. I am back in July , hopefully make my way out of Banff this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newnes
I bought my house in '03 and it's doubled in value
Holy $hit - that is pretty amazing , I know prices are going up but that is pretty extreme. My best friend just bought there about 2 months ago, on extremely short notice (3 weeks ). A Real estate agent seemed to work wonders for him, at least better than running around on his own looking for a place.

Depending on where you go in Toronto or any other thriving metropolis it is the same thing nowadays- high prices, people paying over the asking etc.... All that being said a a good Real Estate agent will help make the best out of a bad situation which from the sounds of your reccomendation, you are in agreeance with.
Old 10th May 2006
  #8
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GP_Hawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newnes
You obviously haven't been to Calgary recently!! I bought my house in '03 and it's doubled in value. Houses are selling for 40-50k over asking price with no conditions! I see signs going up with sold stickers already on them. The population growth and cost of living here is insane.

That said, Matthew I'm doing a record right now for an artist whose manager is also a realtor and a musician herself. She might have some ideas and I can definitely pass on her number. PM me if you're interested.

I definitely feel your pain. I had this same struggle a few years ago when I was looking for a place. I ended up getting a decent house with a big attached garage which I converted to a studio. Sound Proofing cost a fortune but it's worked out pretty well. Something like that is probably your best bet because at least you're paying into property. The trouble is finding a place reasonably near the inner city and somewhere that you won't be bothering neighbours with noise, extra traffic, musicians hanging out outside, etc. I thought of doing the warehouse thing as well but I never found a suitable place either. Good luck with your search!!!

Craig.
Wow...that's insane. Good time to buy up property. How's the business out there currently? I'll bet things will pick up in the not too distant future. Good luck and hope you find something soon Matthew
Old 10th May 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPl
Wow...that's insane. Good time to buy up property. How's the business out there currently? I'll bet things will pick up in the not too distant future. Good luck and hope you find something soon Matthew
Yeah, we got in just in time. Couldn't afford it now that's for sure! Business has been great the last couple years. I'm strictly recording music, mostly for singer/songwriters but one could make a killing here doing radio and tv spots. There's lots of money floating around this city which means lots of people doing music projects as a hobby. There is a pretty small but tight music community but there are only a handful of decent venues for original music and the really hard part is getting the general public to care about local music at all. I guess that's the same everywhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by True North
Actually, I was there about three months ago but admittedly I wasn't looking for real estate. I am back in July , hopefully make my way out of Banff this time.
Good luck with that!!! The mountains are intoxicating for sure. Have you been to the recording facility at the Banff Centre? I haven't yet, but it looks pretty nice. And if you do make it to town, you have to check out the keyboard museum if you haven't already. I guarantee it will blow your mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by True North
My best friend just bought there about 2 months ago, on extremely short notice (3 weeks ). A Real estate agent seemed to work wonders for him, at least better than running around on his own looking for a place.
Agreed for sure. The trouble starts when you find the perfect place but there are already 30 offers, many of them tens of thousands over asking price and it's only been on the market for a day!! Yikes.

Craig.
Old 10th May 2006
  #10
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Hey everyone,

WOW! I can't believe how many responses I got on this topic. Thanks to all of you. It's nice to know I don't live in a city alien to the awareness of some.

Yes indeed, the real estate market here is absolutely bloody ridiculous. My original intent was to buy, but as you just mentioned, it's nearly impossible to buy a house at all, let alone for a good deal. I put a couple offers in on two places a few months ago and both of them were 10 grand over the asking price .. both of the houses ended up going to other people for 40 grand more than that. I don't get it. This city is impossible to live in.

That said, I still need to live here. The recording market is wide open in my opinion, and yes, there's lots of holes to fill here. Decided that renting is my only option, likely finding a house with a big enough space that I can use primarily as a recording studio, and living quarters can be secondary. Just the way it'll have to be I think. Commercial space is too expensive in this town, and yes, I have done some searching.

Yeah True North, this housing market here is absolutely nuts right now. Even worse than Toronto's from what I can tell, and I know Toronto's is nasty too.

Craig -- we should talk sometime. It's always good to connect with other musical types in this little city. Your comments about the dry local original scene is bang on.

JHG - by all means if you have any contacts who might be of value in this search I'd love to get ahold of it.

Again, thanks for all the replies. This place is just incredible for the people you can meet!
Old 10th May 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Murray
Yeah True North, this housing market here is absolutely nuts right now. Even worse than Toronto's from what I can tell, and I know Toronto's is nasty too.
It's nasty in certain pockets (i.e. the beaches) but house prices are not doubling since 2003. I bought in 2002 and my home has gone up in value by about 40% (maybe 45%). Mind you prices were pretty high before then and Toronto is fairly established.

With oil prices rising and the oil sands up North in AB it is literally transforming that city overnight. It's really quite astonishing to watch, for the sake of the city I hope something doesen't happen to oil prices overnight.

It is interesting to hear that there are business opportunities for recording in that city, that would make it one of the rare places in North America to make that claim. Have you tried speaking with any other studios about opportunities? Good luck with your venture.

Last edited by True North; 10th May 2006 at 11:22 PM..
Old 10th May 2006
  #12
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

There are small pockets of recording people around town from what I can tell. I've also recorded at a few of the bigger places, and THEY certainly aren't doing as well if they're sticking strictly to music. But if you need to get by in between music projects, this city is killer for radio, film and TV post. I have contacts in that department, so that always helps too.

Thanks for the best wishes. I'm sure it'll fall into place when it should... but damn, I don't understand why people are moving here in droves. It's not that great of a town
Old 10th May 2006
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
newnes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Murray
Craig -- we should talk sometime. It's always good to connect with other musical types in this little city. Your comments about the dry local original scene is bang on.
That would be cool. Send me an email if you like.
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