Beedie, the largest private land owner, developer and manager of industrial property in Western Canada, is making a push into the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The Vancouver-based developer told RENX it has hired Michael Duff to be the GTA director of industrial. Beedie is working on four separate industrial projects in southern Ontario.
“Beedie has been looking for opportunities in the GTA for a long time,” said Beth Berry, Beedie’s vice-president of industrial development. “At least the last 10 years.
“The GTA is a highly competitive industrial market, and there are a lot of well-established developers who are there with significant land holdings that they’ve owned for years.
“It’s a tough market to enter.”
Four industrial builds in S. Ontario
“Over the past 18 months our team in Vancouver, as well as our director in Alberta, has dedicated a lot of time to acquiring three industrial development sites,” Berry said.
“One (is) in Mississauga and two in Scarborough, and we’re working on a fourth now as well.”
Berry said the two Scarborough projects are in the early design stages and one site needs to be rezoned.
Many of the organizations Beedie works with in the West have branches or head offices in the GTA. “It would be wonderful to work with them there as well,” she said.
Berry said Duff, who lives in the GTA, has a deep planning and development background. “He’s going to be leading this program for us in the GTA now and we’re actually in the process of getting him a permanent office space.”
Legacy Business Centre in Mississauga
The Legacy Business Centre in Mississauga will be Beedie’s first GTA project to complete in the fall of 2020. Located in Meadowvale, Legacy is a condo industrial project with units ranging from 11,000 to 17,000 square feet.
Just off Highway 401, the building will have 28-foot clear ceilings, concrete mezzanines and dock and grade loading at each bay.
“We loved this location,” she said. “The layout provides with the perfect-sized units that are going to be well-received by the market, based on feedback that we’ve been given by the brokerage community.”
Beedie’s largest construction cycle in West
Meanwhile, Beedie — recently named by Business in Vancouver as B.C.’s largest commercial property manager in 2019 — is amid its largest-ever construction cycle in Western Canada.
Industrial dominates the commercial side of its business.
“We are delivering 1.36 million square feet of new industrial space in 2019,” she said. Beedie is also forecasting the delivery of another 2.4 million square feet next year.
“In addition to all of the build-to-suits that are underway for Saputo, for Sobeys and a number of other local businesses, we’ve also just launched seven new industrial strata/condo projects,” Berry said. “That’s across Calgary, Edmonton and Metro Vancouver.”
National industrial demand remains strong
Overall, Canada’s big-city industrial market continues to perform well.
“We’ve seen a lot of our existing clients grow,” she said, noting manufacturing has been performing well since about 2013 — a good barometer for the broader industrial market.
Most major markets, though, are facing a limited inventory of industrial space. In Metro Vancouver, total industrial vacancy is down to about 400,000 square feet, she said.
“That makes it really challenging for businesses to grow.”