2021 summer CRE in review: RENX’s top stories

IMAGE: Panattoni is constructing this new Amazon distribution centre in Parkland County, just outside Edmonton. (Courtesy Panattoni Development)

Panattoni is constructing this new Amazon distribution centre in Parkland County, just outside Edmonton. (Courtesy Panattoni Development)

Worried you might have missed something important from the commercial real estate world while you were away? As always, RENX is here to help.

We’ve compiled a list of the most significant, and most-read, articles which we published from June through August. It’s designed so you can quickly get back into the swing of things as we head into the fall season.

The stories are not listed in any particular order, but include top articles from all the major real estate investment sectors as well as a several columns which struck a particular chord with readers – whether they were working from home, at the office, or at the cottage.

Our essential summer CRE catch-up list includes:

Artis REIT to sell GTA industrial portfolio for $750M

Artis REIT has announced a “milestone” transaction, an unconditional agreement to sell its 28-property, 2.5-million-square-foot Greater Toronto Area industrial portfolio for $750 million.

Panattoni builds massive 2.9M s/f Amazon Edmonton facility

Panattoni Development Co. is building a massive five-level, robotic fulfillment centre for Amazon in Parkland County, just outside Edmonton, one of the largest such distribution facilities in Canada.

Petra, MACH acquire Montreal office tower 1000 de la Gauchetière

Groupe Petra and MACH have finally completed a four-year odyssey, acquiring one of Montreal’s most iconic office buildings, the 51-storey, 673-foot-high 1000 de la Gauchetière.

Cadillac Fairview buys 100% stake in Toronto Buttonville Airport

Cadillac Fairview is now the sole owner of the Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport, a 169-acre property in the City of Markham which for years has been considered a prime site for a major redevelopment.

Avenue Living buys 1,500 Edmonton rental units for $275M

Calgary-based Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. has acquired three portfolios in the Edmonton area, comprising more than 1,500 residential rental units, for about $275 million.

Tricon buys downtown Toronto site for $129M, plans 2 apt. towers

“What we really like about the site is that it’s one of the last few large development parcels close to the downtown core,” Tricon Residential’s Andrew Joyner told RENX.

Dream entities now own 100% of huge Ottawa Zibi development

The “Dream team” behind what is arguably the largest and most complex waterfront redevelopment in Canada has taken full ownership as the multi-billion-dollar project continues to unfold in the National Capital Region.

Nexus to acquire 9 industrial properties in 4 provinces for $359M

Nexus REIT (NXR-UN-T) continues to transform to a pure-play industrial entity. There are four transactions involved in the announcement, including properties in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Oxford sells Boston-area tower for $1.05B, largest deal of 2021

Oxford Properties Group and J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives make the largest single-office trade in North America so far in 2021, selling One Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Mass., for $1.05 billion.

Decade Capital buys Pickering plaza, plans redevelopment

Decade Capital has closed on what founders Idan Mizrahi and Mike Siskind call a “marquee acquisition” in the Greater Toronto Area city of Pickering.

CAPREIT buys 13 apartment buildings, 2 MHCs for $235M

It was a busy couple of weeks at CAPREIT, which acquired apartment portfolios in Victoria and London, Ont., as well as two manufactured homes communities with 342 sites near Windsor.

Blackstone to acquire Toronto’s WPT Industrial in US$3.1B deal

In addition to this industrial announcement, Blackstone continued its increased investment focus on Canada, partnering with Selection Group in Quebec to acquire 13 seniors homes.

Inflation the wild card as Canada’s pandemic recovery looms: Tal

For much of his economic update during the virtual Land and Development conference, CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal had a familiar optimistic theme. However, he also injected a stronger note of caution.

Bow Tower sale symbolic of Calgary’s economic ups and downs

When the iconic The Bow tower was conceived and built at the height of an energy boom, it was a symbol of Calgary’s status as a key economic driver in the country.

GTA sees record-breaking investment through Q2 2021

The value of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) commercial real estate transactions hit a record $13.2 billion in the first half of 2021, an increase of 68 per cent over last year.

SmartCentres fast track huge GTA mixed-use redevelopment

SmartCentres REIT has obtained a Minister’s Zoning Order from the Ontario government to start “immediately” redeveloping its 73-acre SmartCentres Cambridge shopping centre into an 11-million-square-foot, mixed-use neighbourhood.

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Some very popular, and very timely, opinion columns:

Are we headed for a housing crash? Unlikely. Boats and RVs, however…

The housing market across Canada has been on a 16-month tear that could be considered overly exuberant, but has this left it on a crash course? I don’t think so, judging by the 2021 half-time housing data. (By Columnist John Clark)

When real estate is a family affair (and sometimes, a family feud)

Wow, the recent news surrounding the Libfeld v. Libfeld dispute is getting a lot of attention! This raises the profile of intergenerational real estate to a new level … (By Columnist Derek Lobo)

The ‘Wild East’: Promising future for Montreal industrial market

Reminiscent of the Wild West – this is the best way to describe what the Montreal industrial landscape will be like in the next six to 12 months as demand for space outpaces supply. (By Columnists Jean-Marc Dubé and Arnold Fox)

Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton: How 3 cities tackle the missing middle

In Toronto, we talk a lot about the “missing middle” – the concept that there is a lack of housing options falling somewhere in between detached homes and mid-rise and tall buildings. (By Columnist Naama Blonder)



Don is a veteran editor and journalist with four decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Prior to joining RENX, Don was…

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Don is a veteran editor and journalist with four decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Prior to joining RENX, Don was…

Read more




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