Along with a permanent staff came permanent offices. The Edmonton Real Estate Board had traditionally met in the offices of its members or at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. When the Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau moved into suite 304 of the Wallace building at 9921 - 101A Avenue in 1952, it would remain there for six years. In 1955 the Edmonton Real Estate Board also moved into the Wallace building, with the Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau providing secretarial services.
In 1958 the Co-operative Listing Bureau and the Edmonton Real Estate Board moved to the Brown Building at 9107 - 118 Avenue, where they remained until 1962. From 1962 to 1979 the Edmonton Real Estate Board occupied a new building at 10505 Princess Elizabeth Ave, built at a cost of $50,000.
The move to the building on Princess Elizabeth Avenue in 1962 had a significant effect on the day-to-day operations of the Board. Gordon Whidden got an assistant and a process lab, which ended dependence on outside services. The Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau now had its own printing plant and mailing department on the lower floor, its own darkroom, and the necessary camera equipment for photographing properties offered for sale. The Board was able to provide full details and photographs of any property within forty-eight hours of its being listed to more than 400 sales agents throughout the city. Initial notice of the listing was provided in the Daily Bulletin.
The premier event in the history of the Edmonton Real Estate Board offices was the building of its new premises on 142 Street and 112 Avenue. The site chosen was the former location of a Second World War American military installation. It was purchased for $700,000, which was the selling price for the old building on Princess Elizabeth Avenue. Recommendations for the design of the building came from real estate boards across Canada and United States, with many ideas from local members. Cec Cunningham, Graham Downey, and Jim Baker each served consecutively as chairman of the committee coordinating the construction of the building. The architect was James Wensley. Plans were completed on February 1979 and the building was officially opened in June 1981 at a cost of $4,095,676, which included both land and building.
The result is one of the best facilities for a Real Estate Board in Canada. The building has space for all aspects of its operations along with a parkade. Printing of all regular Board publications except the catalogue and the Real Estate Weekly is carried out onsite. Meeting rooms and a 200 seat auditorium accommodate committee meetings and educational programs. The new building on 142 Street was also designed to facilitate the upgrading of its computer system.
This article is extracted from John Gilpin, Responsible Enterprise: A History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation would like to thank John Gilpin and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for permission to reproduce this material.