Q2 2021
Commercial Real Estate and Community News from Waterloo Region
Whitney & Company commercial real estate

I wish I could say “What a difference a year makes!”

 

Unfortunately, we are still hampered by the Pandemic and just through the third wave. Finally, the vaccine rollout has been gaining speed in Waterloo Region, so hope is in the air.

 

We are witnessing an incredible increase in the residential and industrial real estate markets. Prices have increased 30% + in both markets since last year.

 

We are happy to say there is finally optimism in the office market. It’s tricky because only a few companies are back to occupying their offices. However, most companies have continued to hire employees. As plans are being made to return to the office, many companies are trying to understand their physical space needs. Office decisions will follow.

 

Summer is upon us, so let’s all enjoy the great outdoors! Stay safe, and let’s hope we will be back to the office and our kids back in their classrooms this Fall.

John Whitney, SIOR

Broker of record, ceo

New SIOR Member, Michael Lambert

The Canada Central Chapter of SIOR welcomes the latest member, Michael Lambert. Michael is the Industrial Specialist working at WHITNEY & Company Realty. Michaels’ background is in competitive sport representing Canada. He competed for the Canadian Snowboard team for 10 years, earning a Top 3 World Ranking, World Cup Gold Medal and competing in 2 Olympic games; Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. Read Michael’s thoughts on becoming a SIOR member:

 

How did you learn about SIOR and what made you decide to pursue the designation?

I had the good fortune of being mentored by John Whitney, who is a long-standing member of SIOR. While working with him early in my career I could see the value SIOR could bring to my own business and my clients.

 

How do you think your background as an elite athlete helps you in your work in CRE?

I hold close the belief that the only true form of competition is with yourself. I don’t concern myself with what other people are doing or accomplishing.

 

What are you most looking forward to as a SIOR member?

I am looking forward to connecting with other professionals to learn about the different clients they work with, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. I find industrial manufacturing very interesting and enjoy that as Brokers, we get a front row view of how they operate.

 

Everyone at WHITNEY would like to say congratulations to Michael Lambert on his SIOR designation!

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

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Growing Lowland Group Adds to Industrial Portfolio

Lowland Properties Group spent almost three years “pretty quietly” acquiring a few properties in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region west of Toronto. During the past year, the Toronto-based firm has made a lot more noise, with several acquisitions including its latest and largest: three adjacent light industrial properties in Kitchener.

 

 

“About 18 months ago it became a lot more real and a lot more active,” Lowland principal Tim Kennedy told RENX. “Especially over the last 12 months it’s become very busy, we’ve had four acquisitions totaling just over 300,000 square feet of space across office and industrial mainly, and we bought a small infill townhome site as well.”

 

 

259-335 Gage Avenue, in Kitchener, Ontario, is a 160,000 square foot industrial portfolio that includes a stretch of three neighbouring properties. The buildings sit on 9.36 acres in the heart of Kitchener. With Belmont Village and Catalyst 137 only 1km away, Gage Avenue enjoys a location that is strategic for a variety of uses.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate
Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Whitney & Company Sponsors 2021 BESTIVAL

WHITNEY & Company is happy to announce that we will be sponsoring the 2021 BESTIVAL Event in Belmont Village in Kitchener. BESTIVAL will once again find a creative way to deliver programming this year. The goal is to safely and responsibly inch closer back to a normal full, live, music and arts festival. The modified festival will proudly bring a full palette of live programming to real, controlled-size audiences, throughout the entire summer. 

 

 

The festival is also working closely with Zehr Group to transform 660 Belmont Ave. (formerly the Dettmer Tire Auto Centre) into a creative works-place called “Workshop 660.” This space will provide a pop-up retail experience and house “Super Saturdays” where family fun will invigorate the daytime hours, and live bands will shake the early evenings. Please reach out to the organizers if you or your business would like to support live art and music and be a part of the magic that will be BESTIVAL 2021!

Enjoy a patio this summer and support our local businesses

Budd Industrial Park Sale

Perimeter Development Corporation has announced that it has completed a joint venture acquisition with Crestpoint Real Estate Ltd. The 37 acres of property at the corner of Homer Watson and Bleams will be the future home of the Homer Watson Business Park.

 

Perimeter said in a release it will immediately begin pre-development in order to begin construction in the third quarter of 2021 and deliver the state-of-the-art industrial space by mid-2022.

 

“We are excited to bring these high-value industrial lands to market in Kitchener.” said Craig Beattie, Perimeter Chief Executive Officer in a release. “This important site represents a rare, large infill site in the heart of the most well-established employment area in Waterloo Region. The Kitchener market is experiencing an unhealthy deficiency of available quality industrial space, which is inhibiting growth prospects for many companies. Our Homer Watson Business Park will help fill this glaring need and its proximity to available workforce makes it an ideal location for growing local businesses who need space to expand and companies looking to relocate to Waterloo Region.”

Whitney & Company commercial real estate
Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Oktoberfest Building Sold by Whitney & Company

WHITNEY & Company is pleased to announce the sale of 17 Benton Street. This iconic Downtown Kitchener building will be undergoing an amazing restoration and we can’t wait to see it completed. Congratulations to Jane Klugman and Steph Snyder.

 

A joint project between Woodhouse Group and Brightpath Capital Corporation, the plan is to reveal more of the building’s century-old brick and beam character. The castle facade of the building is also expected to be stripped. Brightpath will occupy offices on the second and third floors, while the main floor and basement will be renovated for a restaurant or retail space. KW Oktoberfest will move its headquarters to 2 King Street West in Kitchener, the former BMO building.


Construction is set to begin in early June, with occupancy expected early next year.

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Waterloo Region Tech Update

Source – Chris Wormald, Waterloo Tech Highlights

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Magnet Forensics began trading as a public company. The first IPO from Waterloo in a long time, they managed to raise their price late in the process due to strong demand, raising just over $100M. They are trading on the TSX under the ticker MAGT.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Axonify sold a majority stake in the company to Luminate Capital Partners, who invested C$313M and valued the company at C$438M. The founders will remain with the company, who plan to accelerate their growth.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Intellijoint set new records for daily and weekly surgical volumes. They’re growing with over ten open positions. They also received authorization to market and sell Intellijoint HIP in Japan. 

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Nicoya outlined the progress on a rapid, portable COVID test kit. They hope to be in market with FDA approval by the end of the year.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

ApplyBoard, the online platform that empowers students around the world to access top quality education, announced it has raised C$375 million  in Series D funding at a post-money valuation of C$4 billion. The round was led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Online wholesale marketplace Faire, which was created to make life easier for small retailers, artisans and mom-and-pop manufacturers, now is valued at $7 billion following the latest infusion of funding. Faire’s valuation tripled as a result of the funding round.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Mappedin has more than doubled its number of customers since the start of the year, as they expand their mapping platform beyond retail. They have signed a deal with Arabian Centers, the largest owner and operator of malls in Saudi Arabia.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

SkyWatch Space Applications Inc. has announced the completion of a $17.2M USD Series B round of financing to further democratize access to Earth observation data. The Series B financing builds on an exceptional first half of 2021 for SkyWatch, which is seeing revenue growth in excess of 450% over the same period last year.

Faire Acquires Office Space as Growth Surges

Since Marcelo Cortes co-founded Faire in 2016, the startup has raised a total of $700 million US, or more than $866 million in Canadian dollars. It is one of the best-funded startups to ever come out of Waterloo Region or anywhere else in Canada and is now valued at $7 billion US.

Cortes began his week off work doing an interview in the startup’s custom-built offices on the second and third floors of 165 King St. W. in downtown Kitchener.

After using the 16,000-square-feet of space for five months the pandemic struck in March 2020 and everyone had to work from home. During that time, the number of employees in Kitchener increased to 175, up from 55. So, Cortes and Faire took over the 60,000-square-feet of new office space at 85 Willis Way in UpTown Waterloo. He believes Faire will eventually need two or three large offices in K-W.

 

The workforce has more than doubled every year, so the space on Willis Way, which was built for Shopify, will be full within two years. Shopify decided to keep its workers at home permanently. But Faire believes the post-pandemic future will combine remote and in-office work.

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

“We are trying to maximize flexibility so we can almost satisfy everybody, if possible, but we definitely want to keep our office locations,” said Cortes.

KWAR Membership Milestones

Each year, KWAR  (Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors) celebrates long-term milestone achievements. This year the 2020 recipients were invited to share their journey as a member of KWAR. Usually there is an Annual Spring Gala, but this year a video compilation was created. 

 

WHITNEY & Company has two members celebrating milestones. John Whitney with 45 Years and Ginger Whitney with 10 Years. Congratulations!

New Business Updates

Canna Cabana

Bud & Sally’s is now Canna Cabana at 32 King St S, in Uptown Waterloo.

Abe Erb

Abe Erb is re-opening at 15 King St S in Waterloo with the Kitchener location also re-opening soon. 

Swine & Vine

Swine & Vine is moving to 15 King St N in Waterloo which was formerly the Captain’s Boil.

The Olive Board

The Olive Board is opening a location at 74 King St S in the old SASS location. 

Globally Local

Globally Local, a vegan fast food chain, is opening at 75 King St S (previously Booster Juice).

Pure + Simple

Pure + Simple is opening at 4 King St N in the old Symposium location.

Babylon Sisters

Babylon Sisters, a wine bar, is opening at 23 King St N in the former Settlement Coffee location.

Ghost Light Cafe

Ghost Light Cafe has moved to a permanent location at 188 King St S in Waterloo.