Overlooked in mainstream real estate circles, Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities continues to grow and solidify its position as Canada’s leading owner, operator and developer of land lease communities.
“We’ve established a presence from the West Coast to the East Coast and there’s no particular geographic region that we’re focusing on,” said Nicolas Bouquet, Parkbridge’s director of operations for Quebec and the Maritimes.
“It’s more a question of finding the right product or the right property which will fit perfectly with our existing portfolio and development plan.”
Parkbridge’s diverse portfolio
Calgary-based Parkbridge, which is privately owned by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, has four types of properties in its portfolio;
* 26 retirement communities in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec;
* 43 family communities in Alberta, B.C., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec;
* 39 cottage and recreational vehicle (RV) resorts in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec;
* and six marinas around Ontario’s Georgian Bay and Trent-Severn Waterway.
“All have an equal and important impact on our development and strategic plan,” Bouquet said of Parkbridge, which was formed in 1998 with two properties and has grown steadily since.
Parkbridge’s residential communities are comprehensive developments containing individual home sites leased to residents through the company’s “Live Smart Lease.” Each resident owns the home on the leased site and dwellings include custom site-built homes and townhomes as well as factory-built manufactured and modular homes. Lease costs are dependent on the property type and location.
“Unlike renting an apartment or even buying a condo, with all of the politics that can come with that, a land lease program gets them their own home with their own yard,” said Bouquet.
“After that, they just have to rely on Parkbridge community managers to manage the day-to-day operations and see to the needs of the community. It’s like having a house without all the trouble that can come with a house. It frees up money for residents to spend on things to improve their quality of life.”
Camping Lac du Repos latest acquisition
Parkbridge’s latest purchase is Camping Lac du Repos, a privately owned, five-star RV resort about a 40-minute drive east of Montreal in St-Jean-Baptiste. Que.
The 321-site, 100 per cent occupied resort includes a 22,500-square-foot, lake-shaped swimming pool, a 60-foot waterslide, a wading pool, a Tiki bar, a tennis court, a 3,400-square-foot recreation centre, a restaurant and a convenience store on 25 acres of land.
Some of Parkbridge’s acquisitions have included land that wasn’t fully developed. The company is building on them while also investing in infrastructure and trying to improve existing services.
Parkbridge is fielding calls from property owners across Canada who are looking to see if the company might be interested in purchasing their land.
“That’s a good sign for us because we’re becoming more and more recognized,” said Bouquet. “They see that we’re the leader in the land lease industry.”
Quality of service important growth contributor
Parkbridge’s resorts include RV cottages and sites for travel trailers and family camping. Customers pay for the exclusive use of the land for short-term periods or full seasons and own the dwellings while Parkbridge owns and operates the land, amenities and infrastructure.
“The quality of service that we provide at each of our properties on a daily basis is what I think makes our customers happy, satisfied and loyal,” said Bouquet.
“Parkbridge’s ‘CARE’ values are community, authenticity, respect and excellence. They contribute everything to our success.”