What I learned at the Ottawa Real Estate Forum (Part I)

By: Jen Alvarenga

What I learned at the Ottawa Real Estate Forum (Part I)

Tags: Ottawa, Real Estate, New Real Estate Developments, Ottawa Housing Market, RealEstating, REITs, Ottawa Government

I was fortunate to attend the Ottawa Real Estate Forum in October. This is a full day event which offersvaluable insights on the market trends, statistics, investment strategies, and opportunities in our National Capital Region.
 
I wanted to share my notes with you so that you too, can stay connected and up to date with where the City is headed. I’ll be putting together a second set of notes for investors, if you’re interested in receiving these notes please send me an email!!
 
Thank you and enjoy!
 
 
Guest speakers included developers, government representatives, City planners, REIT CEO’s and VP’s including:
Derek Holt, VP and Head of Capital Markets Economics, Scotiabank
Kevin Radford, Assistant Deputy Minister, Real Property Branch, Public Works & Procurement Canada
Stephen Willis, General Manager, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department, City of Ottawa
Bernie Ashe, Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group
Mark D’eon, Senior Vice-President of Leasing, Trinity Development Group
Josh Kardish, Vice President, eQ Homes
Jonathan Westeinde, Chief Executive Officer, Windmill Development Group
Michael Simon, Director of Financial Services, CLV Realty Corporation
Julie Taggart, Vice President, Operations & Leasing, Taggart Realty Management Inc.
Stuart Craig, Vice President, Planning & Development, RioCan REIT
Sebastian Greenall, Senior Vice President, Architecture & Design, The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited
Alf Hendry, Chief Executive Officer, Homestead Land Holdings Ltd.
Mike McGahan, Chief Executive Officer, InterRent REIT
 
 
LRT – game changer for the City
                        Top stations with great walkscores:

  1. Rideau (99% - walker’s paradise)
  2. Bayview
  3. Lyon
  4. Parliament
  5. St Laurent

 
 
New neighbourhoods and developments that will/are already changing Ottawa:
ZIBI
37 acres
2,247 residential units
3,962,872 sq feet of GFA (gross floor area)
1,496,673 sq feet of non-residential space
Absorption rate: Ottawa 12yrs, Gatineau 20yrs
Waterfront project; vibrant, active and with a fun factor
 
Lansdowne
40 acres with 18 acres of park land
360,000 sq feet of retail
233 condos, 47 towns
100,000 sq feet of office
24,000 seat stadium
10,000 seat arena
2 heritage buildings
2017: 3.5M visitors
Community-proud, close to the Canal
½ billion investment across Lansdowne
 
Lebreton Flats
53.4 acres
4,400 units, +/- 7,000 people
2.8M sq feet office/retail
800 hotel rooms
250,000 sq feet multi-purpose sports facilities centre, 2-rink sensplex
18,000 seat event centre
 
Greystone
+/- 1,000 housing units
Commercial at grade along Main Street
Community-based uses throughout
Mid-sized buildings with single detached homes (unique to Ottawa)
 
Trinity Centre at Bayview Station
Corner of Albert Street and City Centre Avenue
130,000 sq feet retail
200,000 sq feet office
Residential: 1,150m000 sq feet (1,400 units)
Retail podium/residential at top (Podium-Station pedestrian walk)
Transit riders 18,000 during peak hour (Bayview Station)
Breaking ground this week!
Largest project for Trinity (developers)
Retail, office and residential
 
Wateridge Village
Former Rockcliffe CFB (Canadian Forces Base)
310 acres
5,300 units, 10,000 residents
Village Centre
 
The City is experiencing organic growth. Among the contributing factors: a recovering tech sector in Kanata, the new DND headquarters on Carling Ave and LRT.
 
All of these projects are options for diversity, making Ottawa fun again which will help retain people, students and immigrants –it’s a great place to raise a family! Very livable.
 
 
City of Ottawa’s perspective:
City Official Plan – 20 year plan the City has been working on.
 
Benefits of intensification:
·         Suburbs not getting quality amenities
·         Suburbs don’t get same quality of care as the core
 
Stitsville – largest growing area in the city.
 
City not opposed to 55-60-storey buildings near transit stations.
 
 
Public Works’ Kevin Radford (Assistant Deputy Minister) input on Governmental Real Estate
We have 330,000 government employees in the Nation’s Capital.
Government aiming for a carbon-neutral approach for their buildings (zero to negative carbon footprint) –saving on utilities and following the green-initiative.
 
Gov’t Office Space
80% in Ottawa
20% in Gatineau
 
52% (lease and lease-to-purchase), 48% owned by gov’t.
 
DNDà94,000 employees who might be moving from core and Orleans to Kanata and the West-end. Mostly the ones and Orleans as they are very hesitant about the commute.
 
In the next 36 months, many gov’t leases (10 million square feet) are coming up for renewal.
 
Gov’t preference is to avoid moving, as moving can get very expensive.
 
New indigenous initiatives will be needing space.
                                   
 
Why REITS eyeing Ottawa?
·         Best place to live for new Canadians.
·         One, if not the best, “tech hubs” in Canada.
·         Cost of living makes it an appealing place to live.
·         Best place to live in Canada.
·         No traffic compared to Toronto!
·         138,000 students in Ottawa (20% are in science, math and tech careers)
 
 
Multi-unit Landscape
·         Ottawa doesn’t have enough 3-bedroom units in the core.
·         Between 2014-2016 Ottawa experienced rapid growth and now there’s a deficit.
·         In 2017 we are seeing a drastic increase in prices.
 
 
Retail Landscape
We are experiencing a big retail disruptor: AMAZON –Amazon has increased 1,700% in the last decade.
 
 
More info available at: https://issuu.com/greatrivermedia/docs/boma_2017-18/8

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