Opulence Management Corp. formed just six months ago, but the firm is already moving into development at a significant scale. It has announced a half-dozen projects in the Edmonton area, including a major shopping centre in neighbouring Fort Saskatchewan.
So it is no surprise the founders of Opulence say they're bullish on the Greater Edmonton Area real estate market, from multiresidential to commercial and retail space.
Ravi Prakash, a partner with the company, said many people are leery about the current real estate market because of higher interest rates.
“But I don’t have any fear because this is the only market, real estate, anywhere in the world, it never goes down,” he said. “Yes, it gets slow for a time being, but it comes back and it goes even higher, because if you think about purchasing land today, maybe the value of the land next year is going to go down.
"But eventually in the long run your real estate is always going up, always. So don’t get afraid of what is happening because of the interest rates. It is going to go up.
“And this is the right time because you’re getting value for money. It’s a good time for the investors that they’re buying and investing in real estate because right now they can get a good price.”
Fort Saskatchewan Common
Opulence's biggest upcoming project is the Fort Saskatchewan Common commercial centre just northeast of Edmonton. The $270-million development on a 20-acre site will be home to a mix of retail, office, restaurant, cafe and shopping spaces.
“It’s a unique project very close to our heart,” said Prakash. “I’m in the restaurant business myself as well. My company is called O & O Group of Companies and we franchise restaurants (Pita Pit, Little Caesars and Marble Slab Creamery).
"We have three restaurants in Fort Saskatchewan and we have been in Fort Saskatchewan for the past eight to nine years now. So I understand the Fort market very well.
“When we came to know about this land, that this (was) on sale, we wanted to jump on that. We talked to the economic development department. This land had lots of potential because it is right on the highway (Hwy. 21 near the intersection of Hwy. 15) but right in the centre of Fort Saskatchewan.”
Prakash said Opulence has a commitment from a large grocery store for about 40,000 square feet. The site also has interest from a "well-known" restaurant brand and six letters of intent from other retailers.
The development will comprise close to 300,000 square feet of space. Prakash said construction of the first phase will begin in spring 2023 and will be complete by the first quarter of 2024. Four to five acres of land will be developed in the first phase with 45,000-50,000 square feet.
Full build-out is expected in four to five years.
Omada Commercial is marketing the Fort Saskatchewan Common project. In a brochure, it says the site is easily accessible with two entrances, including a traffic light.
Six separately titled commercial lots are available for lease or sale.
“Located northeast of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan has a steadily increasing population with over 27,000 residents,” the brochure says. "The city benefits from a high amount of commuter traffic, seeing travellers between Edmonton and the Industrial Heartland. Commercial property tax rates are ±45 per cent lower than Edmonton, offering a very favourable tax structure in comparison.”
Other Opulence projects in the Edmonton area
Some of the other projects Opulence plans for Edmonton and area include:
- Opulence Heights: on the west side of Edmonton. The plan is for a 40-unit rental apartment building to be completed in 2024;
- Opulence on Whyte: this project envisions smaller studio apartments with about 44-45 units and is planned for completion by the end of 2024;
- Opulence on Schonsee: a future commercial retail development in the Schonsee neighbourhood. The company is in the design process of the project;
- Gibbons Centre by Opulence: in the Town of Gibbons, northeast of Edmonton, this project will be a small commercial development;
Opulence on West: This is a future four-plex multiresidential development.
“Edmonton is growing," Prakash said. "In the past 10 years, Edmonton has changed a lot and with new policies there will be lots of immigrants who are going to come, because they cannot afford anything in, let’s say Ontario or British Columbia.
"The next option they have is to come to Alberta. So the population of Alberta is going to go up.
“I’m thinking Edmonton is going to be a metro city soon and it’s going to go crazy. The population is going to go up. And this is what you want."
Although Opulence is new as a brand and a formal company, Prakash said he and his partners have already worked together on other developments.
The partners include Prakash (owner of O & O Group of Companies); Lavi Gidwani (owner of Trusted Accounting and Tax Services); Rishi Kumar Mittal (owner of GlobalHire Immigration Services); and Harish Kumar Sharma (partner in GlobalHire).
“We used to do projects together as well, but recently we realized 'Why don’t we give it a brand name?'," Prakash said. "That’s why the name came up.
"We are into land development. We are also building multi-units. . . . any kind of construction.”