Epic Investment Services has announced three leases, totalling about 300,000 square feet of space, at two of its office properties in Calgary and Edmonton.
The largest of the transactions involves 240,000 square feet at the class-A 205 Quarry Park Blvd. complex in Calgary’s suburban Quarry Park commercial district. Epic has not identified the tenant, but said the firm will consolidate three existing subsidiaries into the property, which has been known as the Jacobs Engineering building (the other major tenant in the building).
“It was a very significant transaction which required the co-operation of various stakeholders within the transaction,” Ken Dixon, Epic’s vice-president of real estate management, said in an interview with RENX. “Everyone from other tenants in the building, ownership, everything. Everybody had to work together.”
In a market with vacancy rates as high as 25 per cent in some districts, securing a large lease is something of a coup.
“It’s one of the bigger leases that has occurred within the City of Calgary,” Dixon said.
In Edmonton, Epic has leased five floors, totalling about 53,000 square feet, to two new tenants at its 103 Street Centre tower.
Quarry Park in Calgary fully leased
The 370,000-square-foot Quarry Park office building is now fully leased. Certified LEED Silver, the building is one of Calgary’s most prominent suburban office properties.
Dixon said the four-storey building’s large floorplates, numerous amenities and location were key factors in attracting the tenant.
“They were very interested in the fact that the building was professionally managed, that it was in very good condition,” Dixon said. “We were able to work with them to make a creative solution for them. They also like the neighbourhood.”
The building is situated on a 22.12-acre site with extensive parking (five stalls per 1,000 square feet of leasable area). The campus-style development features extensive green space, tree-lined walkways and multiple water features. It is situated across a two-acre lake from Imperial Oil’s new office development.
Dixon said the lease reflects a continuing trend in Calgary of tenants gravitating to the best properties.
“If you have better quality assets you are definitely seeing tenants continue to have a flight to quality. There are definitely still challenges in the market,” he said, adding there are signs the worst might be over. “I also think the market is starting to see some positives . . . it’s like its attitude has changed.
“There is almost a new sense that things are improving and because of that you are starting to see people make decisions.”
Two new tenants in Edmonton
At the 103 Street Centre building in Edmonton, two new leases will bring the downtown office tower to approximately 60 per cent leased.
Octopusapp Inc., more commonly known as Jobber, a leading provider of home services and small business management software, is taking three floors of the 262,456-square-foot building.
Aurora Cannabis, a medical cannabis cultivation and distribution company, will occupy two floors for its corporate office.
“The tenants had similar criteria for space including data bandwidth and capacity, flexibility to create innovative and cost-effective spaces while being connected to both the financial core and tech corridor,” Dixon said.
103 Street Centre is a class-A office tower in Edmonton’s emerging innovation and technology district. It is connected to the Edmonton Pedway system and in close proximity to the ICE District. It’s accessible to numerous downtown amenities, as well as bus and LRT service within a one-block radius.
Dixon said 103 Street Centre was built in the mid-1980s and has undergone numerous maintenance projects and upgrades during the years. It features floor plates in the 11,400- to 11,500-square-foot range.
“We’re doing what we need to do to get in front of the right tenants and coming up with creative solutions for them,” Dixon said, noting several other tenants in the building are also from tech or other emerging sectors. “We know the newer economy tenants definitely want to be associated with other similar types of tenants. So, it’s a bit of the birds of a feather (phenomenon).”
He expects that trend to continue.
“It will continue to develop in that way. If you want to, consider it a very professional yet innovative and youthful approach.”