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Offices, hotel on the way at Carttera’s Oakwoods Business Park

Carttera Private Equities broke ground on a 55,000-square-foot office building on May 29, the lat...

IMAGE: 1900 Iron Oak Way is a 55,000-square-foot office being built for Samuel, Son & Co., at the Oakwoods Business Park in Oakville, Ont., by Carttera Private Equity. (Courtesy Carttera)

1900 Iron Oak Way is a 55,000-square-foot office being built for Samuel, Son & Co. at the Oakwoods Business Park in Oakville, Ont. by Carttera Private Equities. (Courtesy Carttera)

Carttera Private Equities broke ground on a 55,000-square-foot office building on May 29, the latest step in the company’s Oakville  development strategy.

“We like Oakville,” Carttera partner Dean Cutting told RENX. “They’ve been good to us. We understand how they work and they understand how we work, so it’s worked out very well.”

Carttera’s current project in the city is the 42-acre Oakwoods Business Park, where this latest addition will be a two-storey office building at 1900 Ironoak Way that’s leased to Samuel, Son & Co. The 164-year-old family-owned company specializing in metal manufacturing, processing and distribution will use the complex as its Canadian headquarters.

Carttera expects the shell of the building to be completed by the end of the year, with Samuel, Son & Co. then taking over for an extended interior fit-out. Occupancy is expected in the summer of 2020.

The master-planned Oakwoods Business Park has easy access to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and Highways 403 and 407. It’s also directly served by two Oakville Transit bus routes, which include direct connections to MiWay, GO Transit and Via Rail services. It’s adjacent to Iroquois Shoreline Woods, an 86-acre forest with walking trails, and the Joshuas Creek residential area is nearby.

Like the rest of Oakwoods Business Park, 1900 Ironoak Way will be designed to green principles, primarily related to efficiencies in the heating and cooling systems. Cutting said Carttera is working with Pearce McCluskey Architects and LEED consultant Ecovert to achieve a LEED certification.

Other Oakwoods Business Park developments

With Samuel, Son & Co. fully leasing 1900 Ironoak Way, Carttera’s next move will be to build a speculative two-storey office building of approximately 47,000 square feet at neighbouring 1908 Ironoak Way.

Carttera has also developed a two-storey, 89,600-square-foot office space within Oakwoods Business Park at 1415 Joshuas Creek Dr. Weight Watchers (which recently became known as WW) was the first tenant when it established its Canadian head office there.

Calligo, an international data optimization and privacy specialist, has just signed on for 9,000 square feet. Cutting said another large tenant is expected to sign later this week to take the building to almost 85 per cent leased.

“Our goal is to attract the best commercial tenants possible,” said Cutting, who’s been a partner at Carttera for 10 years.

Oakwoods Business Park also includes a two-storey, 47,500-square-foot office/industrial building that’s been occupied by technology distributor Westcon-Comstor for a couple of years.

Oakwoods Centre and future Hilton hotel

It’s also the home of Oakwoods Centre, a retail plaza anchored by a Farm Boy grocery store. Other tenants include Subway, F45 Training, 9round Fitness, BarBurrito, Noonoo’s Dentistry, WW, Willowbrae Academy, Sunny Morning Breakfast & Lunch, Hungry Dragon Pizza and Starbucks.

Cutting said the majority of Oakwoods Centre is leased, and negotiations are underway to add a bank and more food vendors.

Carttera sold a parcel of land in Oakwoods Business Park to JM Hospitality Inc., which will construct a hotel.

“We are developers of office, industrial, residential and retail, but we don’t do hotels,” said Cutting. “So, not far from the Samuel, Son & Co. site, we sold a piece of land to a hotel developer that’s going forward with the Hilton brand, with a site plan application to hopefully come later this year.”

Cutting said Carttera has two tentative deals to sell the remaining 9.5 acres at Oakwoods Business Park, and he expects them to close in July.

Carttera’s Joshua Creek Corporate Centre

Carttera’s other recent project in Oakville is the Joshua Creek Corporate Centre, which is located close to Oakwoods Business Park. The six-building, 250,000-square-foot, single-storey, flex/office campus fronts on to the QEW on North Service Road East.

“We sold half of it to another investor and one of our institutional funds retained the other half of it,” said Cutting. “We’re 98 per cent occupied on our half and I think the one we sold is 100 per -cent leased.”

Toronto-based Carttera is a private equity fund manager focused on creating value by deploying capital into urban intensification real estate investments. The company’s current development program extends to more than $1.5 billion, with primary holdings concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area.