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Building better communities, one shopping centre at a time

For too long, suburban living has been perceived to be all about the automobile, home-ownership,...

For too long, suburban living has been perceived to be all about the automobile, home-ownership, detached properties and sometimes a white picket fence.

Given what has occurred over the past two decades, it is a mystery why this image still remains.

Higher density through high-rise living is changing skylines across many parts of the country and turning suburban areas into more exciting places to live and work for many Canadians.

One of biggest challenges for ReDev Properties is finding businesses and services that reflect the diversity and needs of the neighbourhood for our existing properties or in potential new developments. Therefore, a lot of time is spent studying the local area and understanding the emerging trends so we can best serve the residents.

This is very much a partnership involving municipalities, local businesses and ourselves.

One of the main reasons we decided to move into the construction of neighbourhood plazas was to help shape the conversation on how best we can serve local communities.

Higher density = better services

While the pace of migration to the suburbs remains high, some areas presently find themselves below certain minimum transit service thresholds, making it difficult for people to move there because it has a poor public transit system.

Higher density is important because it draws in more services – when an infrastructure network is more dispersed, it is going to be more expensive to maintain. Building one structure takes time; creating a neighbourhood takes a lot longer.

The decisions made today may not take shape for another decade or even longer, so developers and planners are always in an anticipatory mode. They have to understand demographic trends to marry supply with demand.

Nodes and corridors are part of the strategy many of us are committed to seeing flourish because they offer a great opportunity for communities to grow organically. Nodes are higher-density areas where pedestrians, transit, residential, employment and essential services are all readily available.

These locations are ideally suited to the expertise at ReDev Properties.

The corridors are the transportation routes that link the nodes and may be areas for greater development in the future. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, we have sought to integrate the unique aspects of each community, as much as possible, into our projects.

Shopping centres part of cultural shift

For example, local libraries have become an important component in the reconfiguration of neighbourhood plazas.

Canadians care deeply about the environment and expect to see a careful balance between development and greenfield sites.

We should all be striving to create dynamic areas that offer opportunities to live, work and shop for future generations. As many younger Canadians appear less interested in owning a car, neighbourhoods, to proliferate, will need to have readily available services and a viable transit system.

It was the emergence of this cultural change that prompted ReDev Properties to move into retail construction. We believe a new type of plaza, that will be more in tune with the diverse nature of our changing neighbourhoods, is starting to emerge.

About ReDev Properties Ltd.

ReDev is a leading real estate investment management firm founded by Richard Crenian in 2001 with an exceptional track record of successfully owning, developing, and managing real estate across Canada. We focus solely on commercial real estate, which enables us to deliver competitive investment performance, while ensuring the alignment of interests with our investors.

To learn more about Richard please visit

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