One of Calgary’s largest buildings will be transformed into a multi-tenant, commercial and industrial hub offering easy access to air, truck and rail transportation, says its new owner.
Hungerford Properties partner Andrew Hungerford says the August purchase of the 761,000-square-foot Haworth Building in southeast Calgary gives the Vancouver-based real estate investment, development and management firm “one of the best buildings of its kind in Canada.”
Built in 1999 as a furniture manufacturing plant, the Haworth Building has been called one of the most beautiful office environments in the country.
“It was built as a world-class building on 45 acres of land. This is a very well thought-out building offering A+ quality office space designed by world-famous architects Perkins and Will. They did not cut costs,” says Hungerford, who is responsible for asset management, finance and acquisitions/dispositions.
Hungerford Properties will bring its expertise in re-imagining and re-invigorating commercial and industrial properties to the Haworth Building this fall. Besides its visual attractiveness, Hungerford says the building is strategically situated to take advantage of Calgary’s growing reputation as a logistics hub for Western Canada.
Located in the Foothills Industrial area, the facility has frontage to 52nd Ave SE, access to Glenmore and Peigan Trails, and the soon to be completed Stoney Trail East Freeway.
Hungerford says the Haworth Building location makes it particularly attractive to manufacturing and logistics enterprises and suburban office tenants.
“Our tenant relationships are very important to us. We want to create mutual success and create a space that meets their needs. We’re looking at a mix of large and medium-size tenants.”
Large enough to fit 10 Canadian-sized football fields and then some, the Haworth Building itself has a colourful history. Built first for Calgary entrepreneur Morgans Smed’s high-end office furniture manufacturing plant SMED Furnishings, it was taken over by U.S.-based office interior manufacturer Haworth Inc. in 2000. When Haworth moved its manufacturing jobs to Michigan in 2010, the building was offered for sale. Haworth will be the first office leasing tenant.
Hungerford says he likes the market fundamentals of both the building and the City of Calgary.
More than 1.2 million square feet
The Haworth Building purchase brings the Hungerford portfolio of income and development properties within the City of Calgary to over 1.2 million square feet. They are currently under construction with NorthWing Business Park, which is selling a range of commercial warehouse condos, from 2,200 to 50,000 square feet, to Calgary businesses.
Prior to Hungerford Properties, Andrew worked in real estate private equity specializing in acquisitions and asset management at in London and at The City Investment Fund, a Morgan-Stanley co-sponsored fund in New York City.
He also worked at Goldman Sachs in London, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. in Hong Kong and KPMG’s Vancouver real estate group.
“Europe is very forward-thinking about sustainability and refurbishing. I brought a different perspective back to Canada. This is where our roots are, and this is where we are investing,” says Hungerford.
Hungerford’s Western Canadian refurbishment and development projects have earned the 35-year-old company more than 15 regional and national awards including best family low-rise for the transit-oriented development, MacPherson Walk, a 450-unit residential community located steps from the Royal Oak Skytrain station in South Burnaby.