CBRE Canada Advantage Magazine - Fall 2021

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Toronto Retail Heats Up

5 Factors Driving Real Estate Decisions

Ottawa’s Record Breaking Apartment Sale

FALL 2021

Advantage Where do we go from here? How Canada Has Effectively Run Out of Industrial Space

A note from Werner PRESIDENT & CEO The commercial real estate industry has moved from lockdowns to liftoff in a matter of months. It is so important that you and your business stay on top of the latest trends during inflection points like this and we hope the latest Advantage Magazine can help. I was an industrial broker in Toronto for twenty years and wanted to share some of the stories from the white-hot industrial sector. I’ve never seen so much leasing, investment and construction activity. The competition is steep, the prices are rising and it is where changing consumer habits and struggling global supply chains are most evident. It’s easy to overlook those hulking buildings alongside the highway, but those facilities are the backbone of the economy and are vital to fulfilling your online shopping habits. This quarter, we explore the challenges facing businesses now that Canada has effectively run out of logistics and distribution space. We also take a look at Broccolini’s land buy in Southwestern Ontario which suggests that developers are pivoting to meet rising demand with bold plans. Beyond industrial, Ottawa’s largest multifamily sale in history and the sale of The Bow in Calgary offer us a glimpse into investor appetite post-pandemic. A story exploring the resurgence of retail leasing and the transformational Well development in Toronto shows how our cities are being revitalized and built for the future.

The commercial real estate industry has moved from lockdowns to liftoff in a matter of months.

Plus we’ve got Benjamin Tal and Paul Morassutti’s five factors for real estate decision making and a look at emerging tech talent markets in Halifax and London, Ontario. With all this renewed activity, it feels like the year is just getting started! The fall colours, however, indicate otherwise. We’ll all be grateful for renewed momentum and increased activity this winter. We hope the latest edition of Advantage Magazine can help you and your business position for success as the rebound continues!


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Get Real? Commentary and insights direct from the marketplace

Where Do Canadian Industrial Businesses Go From Here?

5 Factors Guiding Real Estate Decisions

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Toronto Retail Heats Up Broccolini’s Large Industrial Land Buy Is a Big Deal for Southwestern Ontario

The Biggest Multifamily Sale in Ottawa’s History

Halifax & London: Tech Markets to Watch

New Leaders Bring New Dimensions to Real Estate Services in the GTA

Why the Bow Sale is a Boost for Calgary

FALL 2021


FALL 2021


Get Real! With Ryan Cymet

Commentary and insights direct from the marketplace

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Ryan Cymet is CBRE’s Executive Vice President, Industrial & Logistics based in Montreal, Quebec. He describes the lack of industrial space and rising costs as “pretty unique” and says that tenants and investors must move “at a moments notice” to access desirable properties. Hear Ryan explain how to navigate the most dynamic industrial market in a generation and how to develop an industrial real estate strategy that allows your business to succeed and grow when space and options are limited.

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Where Do Canadian Industrial Businesses Go From Here? CBRE made headlines earlier this year when we forecast that Canada’s major markets could run out of quality logistics and distribution space by year’s end. “I actually thought the prediction was a bit bold,” says CBRE’s Vancouver-based industrial broker Chris MacCauley. “But it ended up proving to be an understatement.” Nowhere more so than in Vancouver, where the industrial availability rate in the third quarter dropped to 0.9%, the lowest it’s ever been. “It certainly shows the strength of our market,” says MacCauley. “If you were a business that needed to occupy more than 100,000 sq. ft., you’d have just one option at the moment, which is remarkable in a gateway market with 200 million sq. ft. of industrial space. But that’s where we find ourselves: an economy poised for growth after the pandemic with no room to grow.” Metro Vancouver has 6.3 million sq. ft. of new industrial development currently under construction, but nearly 70% of that space is already pre-leased or under contract. “And we predict that number to be 90% pre-leased prior to construction completion,” MacCauley says. “Very little of that will make its way into available inventory.” It’s the same situation in Toronto, where industrial availability also dropped to 0.9% in the third quarter. While there is 9.4 million sq. ft. of new industrial space being built, CBRE Vice Chairman Kyle Hanna says that 90% of the product delivered in 2021 is pre-leased. “And it’s been like that since midway through the year. We’re completely bottle-necked.”

CBRE predicted we’d run out of space and now we have. Find out what comes next.


A lack of supply is being exacerbated by municipal delays and construction material shortages. “All that coupled with the aggressive pre-leasing has created huge challenges in delivering inventory for 2022,” says Hanna. The product that is coming online in 2022 is already close to 40% pre-leased, and Hanna sees it reaching 90% by the second quarter of next year, a quarter ahead of when it hit that same mark in 2021. “Not only is demand accelerating but it’s happening faster than we can get buildings built. And that’s continuing to push rental rates higher.”

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Toronto’s industrial average net rents in Q3 rose to $11.63 per sq. ft. , up from $9.76 per sq. ft. a year earlier. Vancouver’s average net rents hit $15.37 per sq. ft. in Q3, up from $13.92 per sq. ft. a year earlier. In Montreal, where industrial availability fell to 1.2%, rents are lower than in Toronto and Vancouver, but they’re rising just as quickly, hitting $8.81 per sq. ft. in Q3 versus $7.19 per sq. ft. a year ago.

‘Gobbled up’ Montreal’s industrial supply situation is almost as dire as Toronto and Vancouver’s. E-commerce, third party logistics, and food and beverage tenants drove 1.2 million sq. ft. of absorption there in the third quarter alone. And though a record-high 4.59 million sq. ft. of product is under construction across the Greater Montreal Area, 65.0% of it is pre-leased., providing minimal supply relief. “What’s coming online is just a drop in the bucket in a market of 350 million sq. ft.,” says CBRE’s Montreal-based industrial broker James Cacchione. “Any new supply, whether it’s existing inventory or new product, will be gobbled up by the top-tier e-commerce and logistics companies.” It’s created a heated environment for seekers of industrial space. “Those on the tenant or purchaser side are constantly in competition,” Cacchione adds, “so they really have to put their best foot forward. Their first offer must be better than asking, to make it easy for a landlord to pick you over the competition. Offers are getting leaner and leaner in terms of conditions. Purchasers and tenants are trying to omit as many conditions as possible right out of the gate.” Having been somewhat overlooked by investors for years, Montreal is now finding itself in the same league as the Toronto and Vancouver industrial powerhouses. Which would help explain why Montreal has been seeing some of the fastest industrial rental rate growth of all Canadian markets. “It’s a good thing,” Cacchione says. “Because we have a lot of catching up to do.”

FALL 2021



availability rate

6.3 MSF

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9.4 MSF

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4.6 MSF

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It’s critical for those seeking space to anticipate their business needs now and move more swiftly than ever in executing an industrial real estate strategy.

Is there a fix? With Toronto’s industrial availability hovering around 1.0% for several years now, the only option for space-seekers with larger requirements has been to look farther afield — much farther. “If you want to have access to the GTA you have to look everywhere from Durham Region, to Hamilton, across to the Cambridge-Kitchener area, and up the 400 and 404 highways into Aurora and Bradford,” says Hanna. “There is no relief valve in the core GTA sub-markets, it’s a land-constrained market. So both occupiers and developers, even large institutional capital, are being pushed beyond the traditional primary industrial markets.” He anticipates more large-scale redevelopments of older GTA manufacturing sites in a bid to create new supply. “With land values so high, we’ll be seeing a lot more repurposing of assets.” In Meadowvale, near Mississauga, CBRE is working with Carterra on the redevelopment of an office building into industrial space. “Conversions and redevelopment, that’s the only real solution for those looking to be in the core GTA.” Montreal is ripe for industrial makeovers. “We have no shortage of decrepit industrial space here,” says Cacchione. “The older industrial parks are ripe for redevelopment. At some point, it will be the only way to meet business needs, but it won’t provide any relief for the foreseeable future.”


MacCauley in Vancouver says that it doesn’t improve the tight supply situation when the largest industrial users in the world pounce on every large-bay logistics opportunity that comes available, with seemingly no regard for lease rates. “They have the flexibility and margins to swing the bat. They want the space and chances are they are going to get it.” Oxford created buzz in 2019 when it unveiled its plans for a multi-storey industrial development in Burnaby, the first of its kind in Canada. But MacCauley doesn’t see multi-storey industrial projects becoming common. “The cost of construction hasn’t made them viable yet, and then there’s the cost of the underlying land. Multi-storey could help in a minor way but it’s not going to be the solution to our sub 1% vacancy.” “We’re a physically constrained market and that’s not going to change,” he adds. “So I see us continuing to be a tight market to get into, and those looking for industrial space will have to look at locations outside Vancouver, but it’s getting pretty tight across the board.” CBRE predicted Canada’s major industrial markets would run out of space before year’s end, and it’s come to pass. With market fundamentals unlikely to change in the near future, it’s critical for those seeking space to anticipate their business needs now and move more swiftly than ever in executing an industrial real estate strategy.

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5 Factors Guiding Real Estate Decisions CBRE Canada President and CEO Werner Dietl recently sat down with Vice Chairman Paul Morassutti and CIBC World Markets Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal for an update on the state of Canadian commercial real estate and where the market is headed. Here are some takeaways from their discussion: 1. Optimism is building Morassutti noted that REIT performance and Dow Jones indexes are up by double digits over 2020, and that property fundamentals and asset values have been steadily improving. “Everyone has been looking forward to the second half of the year.” Capital markets had one of the strongest first halves for investment in five years, “and it looks like we’re tracking towards one of the best years we’ve ever had. That’s remarkable.” Issues remain, Morassutti said, “but the mood is improving and the entire market believes that Q4 will be even better.”

2. Consumers are ready to spend Tal agreed, saying that the second half of 2021 will be “on fire” as cities reopen and pent-up demand is at long last released. Canadian households who had been stuck at home are sitting on nearly $100 billion of excess cash and businesses are sitting on another $130 billion of excess cash, Tal noted. “The finance minister asked me what we can do to get them to spend. I said, ‘Provide them with the vaccine and get out of the way! They don’t need any encouragement.”

View the recording

3. Inflation is hard to predict As spending ramps up, the risk of inflation rises too. But it’s hard to predict where inflation will be in six months and Tal said the biggest mistake policymakers could make is taking too long to correct for it. “The risk we’re facing is that the Bank of Canada will wait until inflation goes down to raise interest rates, and then it doesn’t go down, then they realize we’re behind the curve because it’s a lagging indicator. Then they raise rates to catch up to a lagging indicator. That’s the history of real estate crashes: central bankers overshooting. The earlier they move the better.”

4. Industrial demand runs deep Dietl, an industrial broker years before he was running CBRE in Canada, noted that industrial lease rates and land prices have accelerated over the past year and a half in a way the market has never seen before, with all major markets seeing a supply and demand imbalance. “We’re in uncharted territory when it comes to forecasting for the industrial market,” he said. “We’ve been looking at new models where industrial rental rates could go well into the mid-teens per square foot net. But we do think there’s depth of demand still, given how low vacancy has gone.”

5. Office use will evolve There’s been so much talk about the impact of remote work on the future of office, Morassutti said, that observers have become fixated on the issue to the exclusion of almost everything else when most leases are locked in for the next decade. For a major office centre like Toronto, the bigger variable influencing market performance will actually end up being an excess of new supply. “We have 9 million sq. ft. of office space hitting the downtown market in the next few years,” he said. “This will be a far bigger issue than back to work strategies.”

Benjamin Tal (CIBC), Werner Dietl (CBRE), and Paul Morassutti (CBRE).

FALL 2021


Toronto Retail Heats Up Toronto’s retail market is heating up as post pandemic pent-up demand is finally unleashed, and CBRE’s Urban Retail Team have been at the centre of the action. There’s been a substantial uptick in closed deals, which were up nearly 60% in the second quarter versus the first, according to CBRE Research. And while Q2 2020 saw street-front retail investment hit bottom, down 35% from 2019 levels, Q1 2021 was among the most active quarters on record, with $181 million in retail properties traded.

All is ‘Well’ All is certainly well at The Well, the RioCan REIT and Allied Properties REIT mixed-use megaproject at Front and Spadina. To date, RioCan has executed leases for 110,000 sq. ft. of eat, shop and experience space. This includes 60,000 sq. ft. for a series of distinct and diverse eateries under separate banners, to be curated by a leading Canadian hospitality company known for unique and innovative restaurants and event venues. In addition, a 6,500 sq. ft. commissary kitchen and 11,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space at the top of The Well’s office tower have also been committed to. On top of this, 24,000 sq. ft. has been leased at The Well to Sweat and Tonic, a fitness and wellness hub; 16,000 sq. ft has been leased to Shoppers Drug Mart; and 10,000 square feet leased to tenants that cater to everyday needs such as banking and barista style coffee. First possession of the retail space is anticipated for 2022.


The deals contribute to The Well’s exceptional retail experience, which will boast unique local and international brands and concepts. “There’s been nothing like this in Canada before,” says CBRE’s Alex Edmison. “There’ll be seven towers of office and residential all connected in the middle by the retail, which will be covered by a stunning glass canopy so you can enjoy the amenities in all seasons.” The Well will also have the 70,000 sq. ft. Wellington Market on its lower level, Toronto’s newest go-to location for market fresh and artisan food and culinary exploration. “It will be a new centre of gravity for this area,” says Edmison. Over on Ossington Ave., Hullmark has restored a row of five European-inspired boutique shops, each of them under 1,500 sq. ft. CBRE’s Urban Retail Team have leased four of them, all during COVID. Most are Canadian brands: Melanie Auld, a jeweler out of Vancouver; Fig, a beauty skincare company, also out of Vancouver; and Mandy’s Salads from Montreal. “A lot of cool Canadian retailers coming to this emerging scene in Toronto,” says CBRE’s Arlin Markowitz. “That’s what people want. They aren’t craving big U.S. chains; they want homegrown small neighbourhood boutiques they don’t have to drive to. And you’re seeing them pop up in places like Leslieville, Ossington and Parkdale.

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Artist rendering of The Well

The deals reflect what Markowitz has been seeing lots of in COVID’s wake, with tenants now able to operate out of smaller spaces thanks to better online sales and distribution channels. “Smaller shops don’t mean less business, they’re doing the same numbers,” he says.

No more discounts

“A cool restaurant, fashion or fitness brand is saying, ‘Hey landlord, it’s going to cost me $2 million to build out the store, would you consider covering half the costs in order for me to come in and pay you lots of rent?’ And the landlord is saying, ‘Yeah we’ll do it’—more than before COVID,” Markowtiz says. “It’s good to see this dialogue and equilibrium in the market.”

With retail leasing having picked up in recent months, retailers seeking space and looking for special deals may well have missed their window of opportunity, Markowitz says. “There was a moment six months ago where retailers were able to step into the market and get favourable terms they never would have gotten before COVID.” But landlords now see an end in sight with COVID. “So retailers coming in looking for bargains, more and more I’m finding the landlords are saying no.” Markowitz has been seeing hybrid deals where for the first year of the lease the tenant only pays the landlord a percentage of sales, to reflect the short-term uncertainty of the business climate as we recover from COVID. “Tenants love it because if they don’t do well, they don’t pay rent. If they do well, then they’re happy to pay. We’ll see if this is the norm two years from now.” Landlords have also been helping out tenants whose concepts they want to have in their locations, contributing significantly to the cost of building out the stores.

FALL 2021

Arlin Markowitz at The Well


Broccolini’s Large Industrial Land Buy Is a Big Deal for Southwestern Ontario


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In a region where the industrial real estate availability rate is among Canada’s lowest – 1.2% – Broccolini’s purchase of 622 acres of prime industrial land in Township of Southwold, ON, with plans to create a huge new regional industrial node there, is a big deal for the area.

Previously home to the Ford St. Thomas Assembly Plant, which closed its doors in 2011, the tract of industrial land at 11884 Sunset Road sits in an important transportation corridor for Southern Ontario. It was location benefits that attracted Ford to the site originally, and its proximity to Highway 401, Highway 402 and the CN railway line will be key to its reinvention. Broccolini plans to redevelop the site and introduce new uses to reflect the modern industrial real estate landscape. This should bring significant and sustained employment opportunities back to the Township of Southwold and Elgin County, which have expressed strong support for the development. Broccolini has begun preparatory work and soil grading to ensure the land is prepared for immediate redevelopment. The site currently has municipal water, hydro and gas services in place. “We continue to see migration of both capital and occupiers outside of the GTA and into the Midwestern and Southwestern Ontario markets,” said CBRE Vice Chairman Kyle Hanna, who represented Broccolini in the deal. “This transaction underscores the depth of demand that the industrial market has for large scale new facilities and development opportunities.” Hanna notes that it was also collaboration across the CBRE platform that made this deal work. CBRE Toronto, London, and Detroit worked as a team to manage getting a complicated transaction done quickly to facilitate an immediate design-build on the lands. CBRE Senior Vice President Randy Fisher, who worked on the deal with Vice President Larin Shouldice, representing Ford, notes that 70 acres of the site have already been spoken for by a high-profile tenant to build an ecommerce fulfillment centre.

‘Cost effective’ But the remaining land is available for other users and with broad CM1 Commercial/Industrial zoning it allows for a variety of potential uses, including agricultural, automotive, laboratories, and transport terminal, in addition to warehousing and wholesale. And as Fisher notes, thanks to favourable development charges, “it would be considerably more cost-effective to have an industrial business here than in the GTA or other municipalities in Southwestern Ontario.” The London industrial market remains strong as demand continues to outpace new supply. The city’s industrial availability rate in the third quarter of 2021 decreased 30 bps to 0.9%, while vacancy remained unchanged at 0.8%. Broccolini’s purchase of 622 acres for industrial use has injected much needed new opportunity for industrial companies and enthusiasm back into the market. “It’s incredible news for this region and the industrial sector as e-commerce and distribution demand continues to exceed the supply of industrial space from coast to coast,” says Fisher. “It’s an especially excellent opportunity for those looking for smaller parcels of land, and we’ve had numerous inquiries for 10, 20 even 100-acre parcels.” “Broccolini boasts a depth of construction expertise, financing capability and design-build experience”, he adds, “and the earlier businesses engage in the design-build process, the better.”

FALL 2021


The Biggest Multifamily Sale in Ottawa’s History


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CBRE’s National Apartment Group has brokered the largest single asset multi-residential sale in Ottawa’s history, with Homestead Land Holdings acquiring Island Park Towers for $267 million. The sale of the iconic three-tower, 642-suite site on Clearview Avenue was the result of a collaborative effort between CBRE advisors in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. This culminated in high watermark pricing for the private Montreal ownership group, and for Kingston-based Homestead, the rare acquisition of a quality large-scale apartment community in the nation’s capital.

“All eyes have been on the capital lately because of the federal election, but the real story here is that investors have become bullish about Ottawa commercial real estate,” says CBRE Ottawa Managing Director Louis Karam. “Ottawa is being mentioned in the same breath as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and the potential for investor upside in our market is significant.”

“This is a hugely significant deal for Ottawa,” says CBRE Executive Vice President David Montressor, noting that there was strong interest in the site from a variety of prospective buyers who were attracted to what he describes as a “premier value-add offering.”

Investment volumes in the city totaled $766.7 million over 174 transactions in the second quarter of 2021, according to CBRE’s new Investment MarketView report.

The sale of Island Park Towers—the largest complex of its kind in Ottawa when it opened in 1966—is one of the biggest multifamily deals in Canada in 2021. It ranks second to a deal brokered by CBRE’s Lance Coulson in Vancouver in January: the sale of 15 properties totaling 614 units for $292.5 million to InterRent REIT and Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd.

Multifamily was the second most active asset class in Ottawa in the quarter after retail, representing $143 million of the Q2 volume, including the $43.8 million sale of a 200-unit apartment complex at 324 Cambridge St. to a private investor. “We’ve been experiencing strong interest from multifamily investors for several years now,” says Montressor. “Particularly those looking for larger deals.”

Investors like Ottawa Homestead’s purchase of Island Park Towers underscores how favourably Ottawa is being viewed by investors these days.


$767M investment volumes 174 transactions

FALL 2021

“This is a hugely significant deal for Ottawa.” David Montressor, Executive Vice President, CBRE Canada


Halifax & London: Tech Markets to Watch London debuted at #10 on the list of the “Next 25” up-and-coming North American tech-talent markets in CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report, which ranks U.S. and Canadian markets on their ability to attract and grow tech talent. London’s total tech employment has grown by 67% in the past five years, for a total tech talent pool of 13,500, more than Tulsa, OK, and Honolulu, HI. For its part, Halifax moved up two spots to take #7 on the list of 25 up-and-coming North American markets. Halifax saw 24% tech job growth over the past five years, for a total tech labour force of 14,700 workers, bigger than Buffalo, NY.

Small but mighty, Halifax and London, ON, are turning heads in the tech world.

“There’s been an encouraging increase in tech jobs and companies in Halifax over the past five years, and that upward momentum can be attributed to a host of different factors, including the low cost of operating here and the steady supply of homegrown tech talent thanks to our incredible local schools,” said Andrew Bergen, CBRE’s Managing Director for Atlantic Canada. “Our tech strength Atlantic Canada to emerge from the pandemic with an even stronger economy.”

The 25 up-and-coming markets are a separate ranking from the 50 top tech markets that CBRE ranks in its Tech Talent Scorecard. The ‘Next 25’ upand-coming markets are ranked by a different set of criteria than the top 50, including tech talent supply, wages, tech-talent concentration, recent tech talent growth rates and their outlook. The leaderboard of the ‘Next 25’ markets is filled with markets that have posted double-digit growth in tech jobs since 2015.

Affordable and smart Halifax’s tech talent is significantly more affordable than similarly sized U.S. markets. Software-developer wages averaged C$79,123 in Halifax last year, up 15.6% over the past five years. Tech degree completions in Halifax totaled 834 in 2019. London has the most affordable total tech wages of all 75 markets in the report. Software-developer wages averaged C$68,786 in London last year, up 19.2% over the past five years. Tech degree completions in London totaled 761 in 2019, better than Winnipeg, Las Vegas and Birmingham.

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The Next 25 Tech Talent Markets Eight Canadian centres made the list of North America’s Top 50 Tech Talent markets, with Toronto holding onto its #4 spot in the North American ranking. Ottawa came in at #10, up four spots from last year, while Vancouver moved up one spot to #11, Montreal held steady at #16 and Calgary jumped six spots to #28. Three Canadian markets make inaugural appearances in this year’s Top 50 ranking: Waterloo Region, boasting 47% growth in tech talent employment since 2015, debuts at #21; Quebec City at #34; and Edmonton, North America’s fastest-growing tech market over the past five years, at #38. Waterloo Region was tops on the Next 25 list in last year’s Tech Talent report and look how far it’s come. Edmonton and Quebec City were on the list too, and they’re also in the Top 50 now.

1. Dayton

9. Tucson

18. Harrisburg

2. Huntsville

10. London

19. Palm Bay

3. Colorado Springs

11. Trenton

20. Boise

4. Omaha

12. Inland Empire

21. Winnipeg

5. Des Moines

12. Louiseville

6. Albany

15. Tulsa

23. Oklahoma City

7. Halifax

16. Las Vegas

25. Birmingham

8. Providence

17. Buffalo

22. Honolulu

Source: CBRE 2021 Scoring Tech Talent

Can Halifax and London be far behind?

View the Tech Talent report



New Leaders Bring New Dimensions to Real Estate Services in the GTA Daniel Reid, Managing Director, Toronto North What are your top priorities as you look to enhance commercial real estate services north of Toronto? I’m committed to growing the performance focus and enhancing client outcomes while preserving the special culture that’s always existed in our Toronto North office. Our business has always been about individual drive and performance, but if we’re also finding new ways to collaborate, leverage each other’s success and relationships and innovate together, I think we can really raise the bar on service and market share.

What advantage do you have as a seasoned broker who has been with CBRE’s Toronto North office for a decade? Relationships are critical in everything we do. Knowing the people here as long as I have helps us move forward more quickly and openly. It also helps me to foster synergies for client pursuits – putting our incredible talent together in ways

that add even more value for our clients. Trust, experience and familiarity can help to move the needle in so many ways.

Toronto North – what are the big real estate opportunities in your area? We’re the GTA’s smallest branch by market size, but there is plenty of growth here. Quite a few exciting projects are underway as the region grows and redevelops, in Vaughan, along the Highway 404 corridor and elsewhere. With that comes opportunity for new and deeper relationships with investors and owners. Also, the Markham/ Richmond Hill area is considered 2nd among Canada’s high-tech hubs after Ottawa, and with tech and life sciences being major drivers of recent activity, we expect some opportunity for growth there as well.

What lesson from your brokerage career would you share with younger sales professionals? One of my first deals was with a group of engineers who had just left a large national firm to start their own company. I found them 1,300 sq. ft. in a C-class office development, stayed with them, and over the course of my career they grew to occupy over 50,000 sq. ft. in multiple markets. It showed me the growth that a client can experience and the stewardship role you can play - making sure they’re making smart

real estate decisions along the way.

What’s the greatest advice you’ve received working in the real estate industry? You have to put clients first. It sounds like a cliché, but if you really live by that, never waver on it – even if there’s financial incentive to do so – you gain the most valuable commodity of all – trust. You let that shine through in every interaction, always think about things from their perspective, and they’ll be loyal and open and straightforward with you, as well as shutting out your competition. There is nothing better than to have a long list of loyal clients who would never work with anyone else.

What is one thing your colleagues might be surprised to learn about you? I sing in a band with some people at the cottage. We all come from different places and careers and backgrounds, but we all love music and take every opportunity to get together and jam. Mostly 60’s and 70’s rock like Wilson Pickett, Bob Seger, Steve Miller Band and the Eagles, but we slip some grunge and Tragically Hip in there, too. I don’t know how good we are, but we have a ton of fun doing it.

View Daniel’s profile 18

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As summer ended and businesses refocused on a strong finish to 2021, CBRE hit the ground running with two key additions to the management team in the Greater Toronto Area. Daniel Reid is the new Managing Director in our Toronto North office and Michael Case is teaming up with Jon Ramscar to lead the Toronto Downtown office. We recently caught up with Dan and Michael to hear about real estate opportunities, lessons they learned over the years and the advice they have for the next generation of sales professionals.

Michael Case, Managing Director, Toronto Downtown How do you see your mission to enhance tenant representation and agency leasing as Toronto Downtown’s new Managing Director? I’m loving every minute of this new role. My high-level vision for the Office Leasing Team is to build upon our culture of winning, increase adoption of our technology tools to better service our clients; and help our people elevate their careers and achieve their goals. Ultimately that is what success looks for CBRE and our clients.

office footprints, it will be hard to hit the bullseye in this dynamic environment. Some will shed too much space while others may retain too much. Workplace strategy has never been more important, and our advisors will help companies adjust and correct over the next few years.

Do you remember an early deal that had a big impact on your career?

Very early in my career I was fortunate to land a ~40,000 square foot mandate. I worked very hard on this deal for many You’ve worked in brokerage for years, months, and as we approached lease what is it like to transition to CBRE? execution, I was feeling on top of the world. I have always admired CBRE from a Plot twist: The deal then unexpectedly died, distance. There are a lot of great, talented and the office requirement was cancelled. people here including many of the future It was a heartbreaking experience, but it leaders of our industry. Needless to say, forced me to pick up the pieces, work even CBRE has kept me on my toes in compeharder, and certainly made me appreciate tition my entire career, and I am thrilled this business even more. There is no reto now be a part of the best real estate placement for hard work and determination. services team in the business. You’re going to have humbling experiences, learn from them. Even when things are What are the biggest challenges going well, stay humble and focused on and opportunities in Toronto office your clients.

What was the greatest advice you’ve received working in the world of real estate? Your reputation is everything. Always be professional, do the right thing for your clients, and success will follow.

What is one thing your colleagues might be surprised to learn about you? Dangerous question! I’ll have to go with my taste in music, which is on the “heavier” rock side, much to my family’s dismay. I am looking forward to experiencing live music again soon.

leasing right now?

The challenges get a lot of airtime, but I do see plenty of opportunity. Every company in the city is currently re-evaluating their real estate needs. As groups adjust their

View Michael’s profile FALL 2021


Why the Bow Sale is a Boost for Calgary

CBRE’s Alberta Managing Director Greg Kwong says that H&R REIT’s $1.2 billion sale of Calgary’s iconic Bow office tower to Oak Street Real Estate Capital is good news for Calgary’s commercial real estate sector. “Oak Street is a major player that can buy real estate anywhere and they’re placing a big bet on Calgary when others are saying, Maybe not. This is a big vote of confidence from a group that looks at all markets and says, We like Calgary.” The Bow is fully occupied by Ovintiv Inc. (formerly Encana Corp.) and Cenovus Energy, with long-term leases in place until 2038. H&R will hold on to 15% of the net rent from Ovintiv and will continue to own the block directly south of the tower. A successful Stampede aside, it’s been a rough time of late for Calgary, whose downtown office vacancy in the third quarter hit a record 32.9%. Year-to-date, nearly 2.5 million sq. ft. of space has been returned to the market. But it’s not all bad news! Technology continues to gain momentum in the downtown core, providing plenty of reasons for optimism. Most recently, Blackstone-backed global IT services company Mphasis announced it will be setting up a Canadian headquarters in Calgary, creating up to 1,000 local jobs. Speaking of tech jobs, Calgary moved up six spots to #28 in CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report, which ranks 50 North American markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent.

“This is a big vote of confidence from a group that looks at all markets and says, We like Calgary.” - Greg Kwong, Managing Director 20

Calgary saw 17.9% growth in its tech talent ranks over the past five years, for a pool of 46,700 workers. “Tech talent will be the key to a stronger recovery and a more robust economy going forward,” Kwong says. And Oak Street’s big move on The Bow will no doubt encourage more businesses and investors to reconsider Calgary. “Oak Street has a great reputation and they’re smart people,” says Kwong. “If they see this as a good purchase, other investors should wonder what they might be missing out on.”

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