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2022 summer CRE in review: RENX’s top stories

The passing of Labour Day for many means an end to summer and that it’s time for a full-time retu...

IMAGE: An artist's conception of the potential future development at Hamilton's former Stelco lands, which have been acquired by Slate Asset Management. (Courtesy Slate)

An artist’s conception of the potential future development at Hamilton’s former Stelco lands, which were acquired by Slate Asset Management. (Courtesy Slate)

The passing of Labour Day for many means an end to summer and that it’s time for a full-time return to the office – wherever the “office” happens to be right now.

For those who’ve been away, and would like a quick and easy “catch-me-up” on some of the summer’s most significant news, we’ve compiled our annual list of RENX’s most significant articles from the past few months.

This summer has not produced the number of huge transactions we’ve seen the past few years, but there were several major development announcements, transactions and other important headlines.

They’re included here, along with a selection of our most-read columns submitted by RENX’s contributors, all experts in their sectors of the commercial real estate industry.

Slate plans up to 12M sq. ft. of industrial on Hamilton’s Stelco land

Slate Asset Management closed its $518-million acquisition of 800 acres of industrial development land and buildings from Stelco Inc., where it plans to develop up to 12 million square feet of new industrial properties.

London’s iconic Cherryhill Village sells for record $571M

One of Canada’s most iconic communities, Cherryhill Village in London, Ont., sold in a record-setting $571-million transaction. Minto, KingSett Capital and a private partner sold the community, which includes 12 concrete construction apartment towers with 2,114 apartments, a shopping mall and office space, to Toronto’s Park Property Management.

Solmar sells GTA industrial land to Prologis in $500M deal

A 198-acre tract of industrial development land in a prime logistics node in the Greater Toronto Area Town of Caledon was sold for nearly $500 million by Solmar Development Corp. to Prologis.

Grosvenor buys 14-acre Oakridge development site in Vancouver

Grosvenor acquired the 14-acre former Oakridge Transit Centre (OTC) in Vancouver, where it will become the lead developer of a major mixed-use project designed to deliver 17 buildings and 1,630 new residential units. MOMC (Modern Green Canada), which had acquired the site in 2016 and shepherded it through the approvals process, remains as an equity partner.

Panattoni, Manulife buy 122 acres of Calgary industrial development land

Panattoni hasn’t built new assets in the Calgary market for a few years, but that is about to change. The company purchased 122 acres in the southeast part of the city, in partnership with Manulife Investment Management, with the potential to build up to 2.3 million square feet of industrial real estate.

Salaries rise quickly as CRE firms scramble for top talent: Hays

There has been a large increase in salaries for employees in all real estate classes in the Greater Toronto Area as companies struggle to find top talent: “Across the board this year, we’ve seen drastic changes,” said Dan McLeod, director of real estate recruitment at Hays in Toronto.

DSquare signs Quebec’s biggest industrial lease of 2022

Transport DSquare signed what’s expected to be the biggest industrial lease of the year in Quebec, by securing all of an 822,000-square-foot building at 4505 Hickmore St. in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Laurent.

Note of caution as Vancouver industrial sets new records

Metro Vancouver’s industrial market continues to set records as the most expensive in Canada, with six consecutive quarters of the nation’s most constrained supply. The ultra-tight market meant a 0.5 per cent vacancy and a record-setting average industrial lease rate of $18.09 per square foot in Q1 2022, according to the Avison Young Spring 2022 Industrial Overview Report.

Lululemon leases nine floors at Burrard Place in Vancouver

Reliance Properties signed retailer Lululemon as the anchor tenant at its new Burrard Place office tower in what the firm calls “the most significant commercial lease agreement in downtown Vancouver since the global pandemic started.” Lululemon has committed to nine of the 10 floors in the tower, about 120,000 square feet of space.

Equiton acquires Brampton apartment building for $63M

The Equiton Residential Income Fund Trust acquired a well-located  multiresidential property — known as Braemar Place — in Brampton, Ont., for $63.25 million. The 15-storey building at 78 Braemar Dr., across the street from the Bramalea City Centre, contains 153 units.

A Canadian story: Immigrate, find investors, buy $4.9M apartment building

And finally, a quintessential Canadian story. Adeola Olademeji arrived in Canada in 2019 from Nigeria with a knowledge of real estate and investing, and three years later his Ascendi Capital Corp. has acquired its first major property, a 44-unit Edmonton apartment building.


Some of our most-read summer columns:

Inflation pushes housing providers to the brink

Over the last few months, we’ve paid more attention to interest rates and bond yield fluctuations than ever in recent history. We’ve watched the stock market go mostly into the red while interest rates have hiked faster than we’ve seen in decades. The impact on landlords and building owners has been significant. A guest submission by Mark Goodman and Cynthia Jagger.

Ontario guideline rent increase 6.2 per cent for 2023?

We know it didn’t happen, but The Apartment Building Expert Derek Lobo laid out the case for an Ontario guideline rent increase of 6.2 per cent for 2023. The annual guideline is well below the pace of inflation and Lobo says owners and property managers shouldn’t expect any relief coming soon . . .

Predicting market cycles: How to be less wrong, Chapter 2

Predicting market cycles is nearly impossible. However, history rhymes and cycles follow typical patterns. Real Estate By The Numbers columnist Volodya Gusek hasn’t personally gone through many of these cycles, but he does look for potential answers in history . . .

Apartment buildings: Fighting rising interest rates

Continuing on the theme of economic uncertainty, The Apartments Broker columnist Michael Kurkdjian noted central banks have made the unfortunate decision of fighting inflation by penalizing the debtors and hence there has been a massive push of rate hikes since last year. It’s impacting cash flows and financing which can be obtained. So, how to combat these effects?


Industry Events