Calgary commercial real estate relatively unaffected by economic slowdown

by Ephraim Vecina21 Jul 2017
Amid the residential and office sectors’ current struggles in Calgary, a new analysis by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield revealed that the industrial commercial property segment is enjoying relatively robust activity.

The study found that between mid-2014 and Q1 2017, Calgary’s industrial real estate market grew by 2.6 per cent, a noteworthy result in light of the dramatic economic shocks brought about by the oil price crashes.

Companies like Walmart, Sobeys, Canadian Tire, and Home Depot currently maintain major distribution operations in Calgary. The city’s economy also plays host to almost 5,000 logistics and transportation businesses, representing nearly 71,000 jobs.

“Given the turmoil in Calgary’s downtown office sector, it is remarkable that Calgary’s industrial market took third place in the ranking,” the report stated, as quoted by the Calgary Herald. “Its importance as Western Canada’s distribution hub has been clearly established in recent years.”

“The office sector itself will be a much slower effort towards that recovery,” Cushman & Wakefield national director of research Stuart Barron added. “Industrial has outperformed itself and has essentially put itself in a position where we can expect recovery far more rapidly.”

Ontario-based company GESCO is among those intending to capitalize on the health of Calgary’s industrial property segment as it rolled out plans for the expansion of its existing facility in the city to 170,000 square feet.

“We looked at a variety of locations and chose Calgary for good reasons,” GESCO chief financial officer Mike Devon said earlier this week. “It’s in the middle of Western Canada and it has good access north, south, east and west. And I think the infrastructure is good….”

“The Alberta economy has been a challenge for us for the last year or so, but we’re confident long-term it’s a good investment.”

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