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RENX’s Top-30 Canadian CRE stories of 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the “story” of 2020, but within the commercial real estate industr...

IMAGE: The $1B acquisition of the St. Paul's Hospital property in Vancouver is one of the RENX Top-10 Stories of 2020. (Google Street View)

The $1B acquisition of the St. Paul’s Hospital property in Vancouver is one of the RENX Top-10 Stories of 2020. (Google Street View)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the “story” of 2020, but within the commercial real estate industry there is a much deeper thread to the year.

A story of resilience, adaptation, and soldiering on in the face of conditions few of us would have imagined 12 months ago. That’s what we have focused on with RENX’s annual selection of our Top-30 Canadian CRE Stories of 2020.

Sure, COVID-19 plays a role in some of the articles we’ve selected – heck, the virus has dramatically transformed our day-to-day lives and how we conduct business.

But this list of articles also reflect an industry that continues to go about its business; acquiring and divesting buildings and land; investing in and financing ongoing and future developments; seeking out merger and acquisition opportunities; leasing; hiring and promoting those who have a knack for success; and pushing the limits of property technology, aka proptech, in a rapidly expanding sector.

This is what our Top-30 stories represent. We’ve listed our Top 10 stories below, from both RENX and other media sources. As always, we are focused on Canadian activities, and while some of the selections represent international transactions a Canadian-based entity is at the core.

We’ve ordered our Top 10, after much debate, in order of prominence. The remaining 20 stories are loosely grouped according to sector, geography or other factors (you can access the full Top-30 Stories, and expanded excerpts, here).

We know you’ll agree with some of the choices, and disagree with others. But that’s the fun of a year-end list. So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at RENX, and without further ado…

San Francisco-based Airbnb (ABNB-Q), which has also become a major game-changer in the Canadian short-term rental sector, made a triumphant public market debut Dec. 10. Its shares closed at US$144.71, giving the company a valuation of over US$100 billion.

Sandpiper Group succeeded in ousting senior managers Artis REIT (AX-UN-T). Co-founder and CEO Armin Martins and CFO Jim Green are retiring; board chairman Edward Warkentin and three other trustees resigned.

Brookfield Business Partners (BBU-UN-T) is finalizing its takeover of Genworth MI Canada, the country’s largest private sector residential mortgage insurer, in a $3.8 billion deal.

Broccolini COO Anthony Broccolini says Ottawa, traditionally an industrial outlier, is poised to become a major distribution hub. Broccolini is building a 2.8M square-foot, multilevel Amazon distribution centre in the city.

Dream Office REIT (D-UN-T) and Humbold Properties unveiled plans in early December to construct a 79-storey mixed-use tower at 212 King St. W. It’s just one of several major tower projects announced during the year.

Groupe Petra and Groupe MACH partnered to purchase one of the best-known office buildings in Montreal, at 1100 René-Lévesque West. The class-A, 27-storey tower holds LEED Platinum and BOMA Platinum certifications.

Oxford Properties Group and CT REIT plan to redevelop the 9.2-acre Canada Square with a three-million-square-foot, five-tower mixed-use development at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto.

Oxford Properties Group and AIMCo unveiled plans for the largest mixed-use downtown development in Canadian history, the 130-acre Square One District in the GTA City of Mississauga.

Concord Pacific purchased one of the most coveted development sites in Vancouver, the St. Paul’s Hospital property on Burrard Street, for nearly $1B.

1. Starlight, KingSett acquire Northview REIT for $4.9B

Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital completed the acquisition of Northview Apartment REIT (NVU-UN-T) for approximately $4.9 billion.

Click this link to access the full list in our RENX Top-30 Newsletter, as well as expanded excerpts.

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