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Brett Miller discusses main issues and challenges facing Covid-19 for the office building market

Brett Miller discusses main issues and challenges facing Covid-19 for the office building market

Canderel CEO Brett Miller joined other industry experts to discuss main issues and challenges facing Covid-19 for the office building market as part of a panel discussion hosted by the Studio IDU and moderated by Marie-France Benoit, Senior Director of Strategic Development at Group Altus.

Click here to view (in French only) this timely and interesting panel discussion featuring several industry expert panelists:

Brett Miller – CEO, Canderel 

Pierre Charest – Senior Vice President, Colliers International 

Raynald Lachance – Vice President, Property Management, BentallGreenOak

This panel discussion touches on the various panelist views on the current situation for the office sector, the challenges that have been faced over the past months and trends they see emerging from or being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here to get in touch with our team of experts and learn more about the protocols and initiatives that Canderel has put in place in our office spaces during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Canderel’s College Park Community Wins the BILD Award for Best New Community (Built)

Canderel’s College Park Community Wins the BILD Award for Best New Community (Built)

On September 17th, 2020, Canderel was awarded the BILD Best New Community (Built) Award for The Residences of College Park community in downtown Toronto.  

The Residences of College Park

The Residences of College Park is a master planned community centrally located in downtown Toronto, seconds from some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in Canada (including the Eaton Centre, Yonge Street and Yorkville) and well placed in relation to transit and top educational institutions. The community is made up of four high rise residential towers close to a 1.9-acre park, College Park. College Park is a tranquil escape tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets. The park design process was part of a place-making initiative that involved adjacent businesses, residents and other stakeholders. It is the second largest park in downtown Toronto after Allan Gardens. As an urban oasis, it features gardens, green space, sculptures, a water fountain, outdoor seating, a playground and reflecting pool. The signature piece, is a 5-metre wide circular path that becomes an ice trail in winter, named after Canadian Olympic and World skating champion Barbara Ann Scott. Canderel acquired over 8.5 acres of land to complete this community. With development launching in 2002 and finishing in 2019 following the completion of YC Condos, this community has added a total of 2856 condominium units to Toronto and over 225,000 square feet of retail space.

Pillar 1 & 2 – College Park I and II

The Residences of College Park I and Residences of College Park II are situated at Bay and College, one of Toronto’s busiest intersections. They command an enviable location in the very heart of Toronto, Canada’s most cosmopolitan and affluent city. The Residences of College Park I and II launched in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Inspired by the heritage of Art Deco buildings in the area, the vision translated into 51 and 45 storey towers clad in limestone and granite, with a row of gracious townhomes at the base, totalling 1222 units. At the time, Residences of College Park II was the fastest selling project in the city. Canderel and Tricon Capital partnered on this development.

Pillar 3 – Aura at College Park

Aura at College Park, the infamous 80 storey tower, is the tallest residential building in Canada and the 25th tallest residential building in the world with a total of 995 suites. The granite and glass-clad podium is home to 180,000 square feet of amenities, shopping, restaurants, and services including Aura Fitness, a 42,000-square-foot fitness facility, retailers Marshalls and Bed, Bath & Beyond and three restaurants serving an array of delicious cuisine. Aura also holds a record in sales for a single tower, achieving over 700 sales in one month. Considering it was launched in 2008 during the financial crises, these record sales are testament to Aura’s landmark design, quality and a well executed sales and marketing campaign. Aura was developed as a partnership between Canderel and KingSett Capital.

Pillar 4 – YC Condos

YC Condos, launched in 2014, is located at the corner of bustling Yonge and College. Standing 66 stories, YC is another architectural icon for the city. After breaking sales records at Aura, Canderel wanted to continue to push the envelope. The building’s glamorous geometric architecture and luxurious amenities re-energize the skyline. The pièce de résistance is Aqua 66: the highest infinity pool in the Western hemisphere. Situated on the 66th floor, the top floor of the building, the 4,415 square foot facility has a 60-foot pool. It is an architectural and design marvel. After our residents’ swim they can lounge on the floating platform and let the lush greenery and stone sculptures frame the magnificent breathtaking South views from this island in the sky. The only pools that compare are The Ritz Carlton in Shanghai Pudong, The W Hotel in Guangzhou, and The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore: all contributing to YC Condos’ world class architecture. The uniqueness of YC Condos resulted in the sale of all 639 suites before construction began. In addition, YC Condos was granted  the 2015 BILD Award for High-Rise Project of the Year. Graziani Corazza Architects Inc. were the architects on record for all 4 pillars of the College Park neighborhood. YC Condos was also developed as a partnership between Canderel and KingSett Capital.

777 Bay Office Tower

Adding to this growing community, in 2006, Canderel acquired  777 Bay St., a 30-storey a Class A, LEED Certified, 915,000 s.f. office tower with over 900 parking stalls and 70,000 sq.ft. of retail space. This acquisition perfectly matched Canderel’s vision of having a mixed-use community in the heart of the City. Including 777 Bay, this masterplan community totals over 4 million s.f. for a total investment value that exceeds $1.5 billion. Canderel, Bimcor and TD Greystone are currently partnered on this project.

BILD

BILD, the Building Industry and Land Development Association, represent over 1,500 company members made up of land developers, home builders and renovators, in the Greater Toronto Area. 

The Best New Community (BUILT)

Every year, the Building Industry and Land Development Association presents the BILD Awards. This annual award competition serves to recognize notable projects and developers, in the GTA, for their work in relation to various project aspects, including but not limited to design, construction and sales & marketing. Launched in 1980, this year marked the 40th edition of the awards.

The Best New Community (Built) is awarded to the creators of an already built community. The contenders for the years award were:

We are thrilled that The Residences of College Park was awarded the Best New Community (Built) award, especially when up against such steep competition. 

Click here to connect with us, if you would like more information about our investment management services, project and development services or for general inquiries.

Canderel Is Proud to Announce That Constitution Square Has Achieved a Milestone in Its Property Management in Ontario

Canderel Is Proud to Announce That Constitution Square Has Achieved a Milestone in Its Property Management in Ontario

Constitution Square becomes the first office complex in Ottawa to receive a Fitwel certification. With this latest certification, Constitution Square is now triple certified with LEED Platinum, Wired Certified Gold and Fitwel.

Fitwel

Fitwel is an independent commercial building rating system that evaluates buildings on how well its owners and property managers are endorsing and encouraging occupant health & well-being. This is a result of a joint initiative between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) together with the General Services Administration (GSA).

The certification, from the Center for Active Design (CfAD), showcases the value-add approach Canderel brings to property management. With an aim to add value to the building community – this means being invested in the health and safety of our tenants and occupants and staff. The COVID-19 crisis has proved to be a time where the underlying commitment to tenant health and safety is crucial for property managers around the world.

In awarding this certification, Fitwel highlighted the motivational signs placed in the staircases within the entire 3-tower complex as well as the exemplary cleaning protocols that are so critical during the COVID-19 crisis. These initiatives were implemented to both promote physical activity of the tenants and increase and ensure safety. This certification reflects our investment as commercial property managers to the comfort, protection & wellbeing of those who work and live in the commercial real estate we manage.

LEED® Certification

In addition to the Fitwel Certification, Constitution Square renewed its LEED® Platinum certification for existing buildings. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the primary rating system in the world for sustainable buildings. It enhances efficiency, ensures cost savings and reduces health issues. This certification underscores Canderel’s dedication toward operational excellence and the management of sustainable buildings in which to work and live.

Wired Certified

Wired certification is another goal for many property management companies and real estate investors in Ontario. This is the only rating system for commercial buildings that evaluates access to high quality internet connectivity and the likelihood of interruptions or loss. The certification is currently only available to commercial and industrial buildings.

In today’s world, digital connection is of critical importance. As a property manager, the building should have the availability of multiple service providers who operate under various cabling, including fiber.

All three buildings within the Constitution Square Complex are Wired Certified Gold. With this high certification level, our tenants can expect exceptional access to broadband providers with choices for their ISP service. It also affirms the security measures taken and the appropriate physical distribution of fiber to current and future occupants.

Taken together, the Fitwel, LEED® and Wired certifications reinforce Canderel’s expertise as property managers in Ontario and value add approach to property management. We take our position as property managers and property owner-partners seriously and bring an outstanding level of responsibility to the community in the areas of technologic, safety, cleanliness, and environmental stewardship.

Canderel’s Fast Action Secures Promising Asset

Canderel’s Fast Action Secures Promising Asset

During this period of uncertainty, many businesses are struggling to stay float, to get project completed, or to unload projects to alleviate financial burden. With Canderel’s recently launched Corporate Knights Initiative, we want to extend our support and assistance with solutions that are designed to ensure our clients’ success in their endeavours. Our experts can step in to assist clients in managing portfolios, advancing diligence, building pipelines, overseeing new investments or servicing ongoing projects. A prime example of some of the solutions we provide is our ability to quickly obtain capital to move projects forward, as we did for an exciting project in Montreal. Moving Fast to Acquire the Property  Some time ago, Canderel had explored the possibility of acquiring a mixed-use building at 6600 Saint-Urbain Street in Montreal, but the negotiations were inconclusive. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned that the vendor was amenable to a reduced price provided a transaction could be completed very quickly. Being an entrepreneurial firm with a solid understanding of the local sub-market Canderel was able to turnaround quickly to complete this acquisition. How Canderel Got it Done Canderel took immediate action to mobilize the team who worked simultaneously on various aspects of this acquisition. Fortunately, we had already completed various inspections when we had the property under contract in 2018 which allowed us to be comfortable with the truncated 15-day DD period. Critical to the success of the transaction was our ability to close an “all cash” deal. We worked tirelessly to model the future performance of the building and we stress tested our proforma to ensure we had a clear understanding of any downside related to a slower post-pandemic market.  The Resulting Benefits  Having acted quickly on this acquisition gave Canderel an opportunity to acquire an asset of scale in the highly sought-after Mile-Ex neighborhood. The area has demonstrated strong fundamentals to support sustained growth in office demand. Building on the success of our 6795 Marconi project and the proposed development of 155 Beaubien, the acquisition secured Canderel’s position as a leader in this node. Given Canderel’s future redevelopment of 155 Beaubien, the acquisition also allows us to secure a stronger foothold of an entire city block. The combined holdings offer Canderel potential synergies and economies of scale and flexibility to carry out each asset’s business plan. This optionality includes swing space, shared parking facilities and an expanded partnership opportunity. Moreover, the scale of the two acquisitions and the difference in their respective rental rate pricing puts Canderel ahead of competitors for future leasing inquiries. The Advantages of Working with Canderel  There are many ways in which Canderel can leverage its expertise to benefit our clients.

  • Our fast reaction time— Our ability to quickly underwrite and detect an opportunity that wasn’t evident to the greater market. 
  • Our impeccable reputation— Beyond Canderel’s reputation on the market, we have cultivated many relationships that offer a variety of opportunities. Vendors know that we value our reputation, will follow through on our commitments and have the financial resources to execute and thus, have confidence to transact with us.
  • Our ability to work under abbreviated timelines — Our team of experts worked diligently to complete this significant transaction in a very short timeframe.
  • Our knowledge of the market — Our prior extensive knowledge of the Montreal market and our faith in its ability to recover post-COVID was a significant factor in our decision to pursue this opportunity. Our past research showed that the Montreal tech scene will continue to materially grow over time making this opportunity ever more attractive. 
  • Our negotiation skills — While several competitors were submitting offers and circling the property, we managed to keep the vendor engaged. We never waivered from our offered price but had to come to terms on several other issues. We were able to come up with creative ways to deal with the vendor’s issues and deal with the estoppel terms that, if not met, would result in discounts on the purchase price. We were able to create a well-crafted Offer to Purchase and Agreement of Purchase and Sale document that all parties eventually agreed to. 

Proven solutions for our clients The advantages of working with Canderel — from our extensive knowledge of Canadian markets, our stellar reputation in the industry, our strong negotiation skills, and our ability to quickly secure capital and close on opportunities— ensures our clients are in good hands. Take advantage of all the services Canderel has to offer through the Corporate Knights Initiative. We are here to help.

Contact us to discuss your property opportunities or to find our more about how we can help.

As always we remain invested in your success.  

Canderel launches the Corporate Knight Initiative

Canderel launches the Corporate Knight Initiative

Canderel strives to be a true partner for our clients by offering support and solutions that ensure project success. In these challenging times, we want to extend this support by strengthening our service offering through our Corporate Knight Initiative. The program provides fast and effective assistance in ongoing projects, portfolio management, advancing diligence, building pipelines, and new investments, especially adapted to the pandemic situation and economic slowdown.

Whether a project has stalled and capital is required to keep it going, or has fallen behind schedule or out of budget and assistance is required to getting it back on track, Canderel experts can tailor solutions that can help save any project. We guide clients through investment management, project and development, property management, sustainability consulting, and leasing and marketing. Through the Corporate Knight Initiative, we offer peace of mind for our clients, and the results speak for themselves. 

Last year, Canderel collaborated with a national real estate investor to restructure a project that eventually became a success — it serves as an example of the solutions we offer at Canderel. 

A Real Estate Project in Need of Help 

In 2019, a large national real estate investor approached Canderel looking for development assistance on a residential condo project. The investor had significant concerns, being that the project was already delayed and over-budget, resulting in a backlog of other service issues. 

Canderel took this project in hand and brought the specialized skills needed to turn this situation around, get the budget back on track and restore damaged relationships. 

What Canderel Brought to the Project 

Our experienced team was brought in to revive a struggling project that had tremendous potential but needed further guidance from an experienced developer. We took the time to understand the client’s needs and goals, figure out the lapses in the schedule and analyze every scenario to come up with the best possible solutions. 

From helping with the accounting and budgeting to rebuilding relationships, Canderel not only provided our core services, but we helped identify deeper issues and found the solutions to resolve them. 

Restoring the Project Budget 

When the investor first came to us with this project, one of the most significant problems was a runaway budget. The project was 20% over budget and faced delays both in finishing construction and delivering the units. Investors saw unexpected cost increases, which left them dissatisfied. 

To resolve these issues, Canderel requested a monthly cost control update from the general contractor. By reinstating the transparency in the budget, we were able to prevent further issues and solve additional problems down the line.  

Re-starting Construction

Condo deliveries were scheduled to begin in October 2019, however, when the investor came to Canderel, construction wasn’t yet complete. Since construction delays not only slow production, they also have serious knock-on effects for the entire project, we needed to act quickly. 

In no time, Canderel’s Accounting and Financial Services team found an issue with payments and worked to rectify the issue and get the project going again. Canderel’s Construction team also worked with the general contractor daily to create a schedule designed to speed up the delivery date.  

Resolving Legal Issues 

Issues with the budget and construction delays can quickly become legal problems that require a deft hand to solve. To help our client, Canderel’s Legal team sifted through the existing demands and fixed them all one by one.

We also sifted through every contract signed by the previous developer. We found that some of the contracts had not been fully leveraged and that some of the paid charges should have been covered by consultants. 

Naturally, by the time a service problem becomes a legal issue, relationships suffer. To begin mending these relationships, Canderel ensured that each buyer received compensation for the issues caused by those initial delays. We improved communications by holding bi-weekly partner meetings, documenting the decision-making, and updating the proforma every one to two months. 

Canderel was pleased to report that the initiatives taken to rescue this project proved to be effective in ensuring its success. Through Canderel’s Corporate Knight Initiative, many other services are available to help clients and investors in times of need.

 

Contact us to find out how the Corporate Knight Initiative can help.

 

2019 Sustainability Progress Report

2019 Sustainability Progress Report

We are pleased to share with you our 2019 Sustainability Progress Report. In these challenging times, Canderel wants to reaffirm its commitment to ESG. More than ever, we are reminded that human existence is fragile, and we must all do our part to protect the planet. 

This report is a testament to Canderel’s commitment to making an impact on the communities in which we operate. We are proud to share the highlights with you. In 2019, we focused on integrating environmental, social and governance aspects into all Canderel activities. Specific goals were defined for each business unit and department to accelerate change and drive employee engagement.

Canderel’s portfolio of buildings achieved significant savings in 2019:

 

Click here to see the full report and learn more about Canderel’s sustainability achievements.