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COVID-19 Impact: BC Real Estate – Real Estate and Construction – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts

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With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in business closures across
British Columbia (BC), both the BC and federal governments are
taking steps, including those to address real estate-related
concerns, to support businesses struggling with the economic
fallout of COVID-19. Below is a roundup of these recent real estate
developments relating to COVID-19 that are of relevance to
businesses in BC.

Reduction of School Tax Rates for Commercial Properties

On March 23, 2020, the BC government introduced its $5 billion
COVID-19 Action Plan, which includes a real estate tax reduction
for businesses. Specifically, the BC government announced a
reduction to the provincial school property tax rate for commercial
properties (Classes 4, 5, and 6) by 50% for the 2020 tax
year.1 It is anticipated that this reduction will
provide $500 million in immediate relief for businesses that own
their property and will allow commercial landlords to pass these
savings onto their tenants in triple-net leases.2

Reduction of Commercial Property Tax Bills

On April 16, 2020, the BC government announced that it is
“providing further support by making additional temporary
property tax changes to provide province-wide relief for business
and local governments.”4 Specifically, the BC
government introduced a further reduction to the provincial school
property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average
25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most
businesses.5 This new reduction enhances the previously
announced 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate,
discussed above.

Additionally, the BC government postponed the date that late
payment penalties apply for commercial properties in Classes 4, 5,
6, 7, and 8 to October 1, 2020.6 This postponement will
provide businesses and landlords with more time to pay their
reduced property tax, without penalty.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

On April 16, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program. The program is
intended to provide rent support to small and medium-sized
businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 for the months of
April, May, and June 2020.7 The federal government will
be working closely with the provincial governments to bring the
program to fruition. Additionally, the Minister of Finance, Bill
Morneau, stated that the federal government would be offering
loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial landlords who
offer rent reductions to businesses across Canada. Further details
on the program are anticipated in the upcoming days.

The Cassels
Real Estate Group
is continuing to monitor the developments
relating to COVID-19 that impact businesses and will provide
updates as they become available.


Additional resources related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
can be found here
.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

Footnotes

1. Government of British Columbia, “COVID-19 Action
Plan: BC’s first steps to support people, businesses”
(March 23, 2020), BC Government (website), online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0013-000545.
2.Ibid.
3.Government of British Columbia, “New COVID-19 supports for
businesses, local governments” (April 16, 2020), BC
Government
(website), online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0020-000703.
4.Ibid.
5.Ibid.
6.Kerri Breen, “Coronavirus: Trudeau promises rent relief for
small and medium-sized businesses” (April 16, 2020),
Global News (website), online: https://globalnews.ca/news/6826484/coronavirus-trudeau-business-rent/.
7.Ibid.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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Slate Asset Management Unveils Canadian Real Estate Special Situations Strategy; Doug Podd Joins as Managing Director – Canada NewsWire

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“Slate has identified an immediate opportunity to provide transitional capital to the Canadian real estate market through a blend of credit and structured equity. Our investment platform, institutional relationships and operational expertise uniquely position the firm to address this gap,” said Blair Welch, Founding Partner.

In conjunction with the strategy’s unveiling, Slate has appointed Doug Podd as Managing Director in the Toronto office, effective immediately.  Doug joins Slate with more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate lending and previously served as Canadian Lead for Brookfield Financial’s debt advisory business, where he directly placed in excess of $4.5 billion of real estate and infrastructure debt.

“We are delighted to welcome Doug to the firm. His debt advisory and commercial lending background in the Canadian real estate market will be a significant value add to this strategy,” continued Welch.

Slate is offering quick execution and closing certainty on:

  • Bridge and Transitional Lending Solutions: As the financing environment tightens, Slate will assist borrowers on new acquisitions and refinancings, offering a mix of whole and junior loans;
     
  • Acquisition and Restructuring of Loans: Slate will work with lenders facing impaired performing and non-performing loans and securities to re-package existing positions; and
     
  • Flexible Liquidity Solutions for Assets, Funds and Sponsors: Slate will use preferred equity to help stabilize balance sheets where existing debt or equity is constrained.

About Slate Asset Management

Slate Asset Management is a leading real estate-focused alternative investment platform with over $6.5 billion in assets under management. Slate is a value-oriented manager and a significant sponsor of all of its private and publicly traded investment vehicles, which are tailored to the unique goals and objectives of its investors. The firm’s careful and selective investment approach creates long-term value with an emphasis on capital preservation and outsized returns. Slate is supported by exceptional people, flexible capital and a demonstrated ability to originate and execute on a wide range of compelling investment opportunities. Visit slateam.com to learn more.

For Further Information
Investor Relations
+1 416 644 4264
[email protected]

SOURCE Slate Asset Management L.P.

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Report says Ottawa real estate holds on while other cities slump – Ottawa Sun

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The capital is relatively insulated by jobs in the federal government and the technology sector, Real Estate Investment Network says.

Real-estate markets all over the country are slumping, except Ottawa’s, a report from the Real Estate Investment Network says.

Major real-estate markets are in the beginning to the middle of a slump, says the organization that advises investors.

The report divides real estate markets into three phases — slump, recovery and boom — and then segments each phase into beginning, middle and end.

According to the REIN analysis, Toronto and Vancouver are at the beginning of a slump, while Edmonton and Calgary are in the beginning to the middle of a slump because of COVID-19 restrictions.

However, Ottawa is at the beginning to the middle of a boom, said the report, which assesses 16 indicators, including employment, net migration, vacancy rates, affordability and number of days to sell, as well as market influencers.

“The coronavirus has been the greatest market influencer of all time,” said Jennifer Hunt, REIN’s vice-president research.

Ottawa is an “outlier” because it is relatively insulated by jobs in the federal government and the technology sector, Hunt said.

“There are so many strong fundamentals in the Ottawa market. The fundamentals are there.”

The report suggests the effects of COVID-19 on the indicators will move most real-estate markets further into the slump phase in the coming months.

As for the Ottawa market, it’s hard to say how long it will be insulated, Hunt said.

“We don’t have that crystal ball.”

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PC Urban, KingSett acquire Richmond industrial property – Real Estate News EXchange

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The Viking Way Business Centre has been acquired by PC Urban and KingSett Capital. The firms plan to redevelop the 9.7-acre property. (Courtesy PC Urban/Kingsett)

PC Urban Properties and KingSett Capital have partnered to purchase the multi-building light industrial Viking Way Business Centre in Richmond, B.C.

In an announcement Monday, the companies said current buildings on the 9.7-acre property, which include 160,000 square feet of leasable space, are 100 per cent occupied. PC Urban and KingSett plan to announce redevelopment and repositioning plans for the property this fall.

“This is our largest acquisition to date and it’s a well-positioned, well-known industrial property in a desired sub-market of Richmond where there is currently less than one per cent vacancy,” said Brent Sawchyn, CEO of PC Urban Properties, in the release. “For us, this acquisition is a natural progression of our growth and we are excited to be working with KingSett on reimagining and repositioning this property.”

Financial details have not been disclosed.

The property is located in Crestwood, the largest and most active sub-market in Richmond for industrial properties. The new owners say Viking Way Business Centre boasts a highly functional design, extensive frontage, an attractive look and design, and offers proximity to highways and transit.

Viking Way Business Centre

The single-storey, small-bay buildings are home to numerous light industrial businesses in biotech, electronics, aerospace, building products distribution, media, technology, textile and service businesses.

Demand for Viking Way Business Centre remains strong due to the park’s maintenance and appearance, along with its mix of unit sizes and dock/grade loading options.

“This partnership was attractive to us for a number of reasons,” said Andrew Kirkham, the Western Canada vice-president for KingSett Capital.

“Working with PC Urban Properties allows us to leverage local area knowledge and they have a strong track record for redeveloping industrial assets across Western Canada.”

Market rents have grown rapidly in North Richmond during the past three years, with strong demand for light industrial space, extremely limited options for tenants and a competitive atmosphere that includes multiple offers for most available spaces.

The average net rental rate in North Richmond increased more than 40 per cent from 2017 to 2019.

South Richmond has lagged behind due to the delayed George Massey Tunnel replacement and associated highway congestion. With no relief in sight for businesses located in South Richmond, PC Urban and KingSett believe demand will further increase for space in North Richmond.

PC Urban, KingSett partnership

IMAGE: Aerial view of the Viking Way Business Centre in Richmond, B.C. (Google Maps)

Aerial view of the Viking Way Business Centre in Richmond, B.C. (Google Maps)

In creating their partnership, PC Urban and KingSett are part of an emerging trend in the Metro Vancouver region, where local developers partner with institutional investors.

As noted in the CBRE 2020 Canada Market Outlook report, strong commercial real estate fundamentals attracted more investment capital to Vancouver in Q1 of 2020. CBRE is projecting that institutional investors, including Blackstone, Crestpoint and KingSett, will increasingly partner with local firms to gain a foothold in the market.

“Investors are still drawn to Vancouver in a big way and we’re seeing a growing number of institutional investors partnering with local operators in Vancouver,” said CBRE Vancouver managing director Jason Kiselbach, in the release.

“They’re looking at our fundamental lease rates and growth and buying as much as they can in office, industrial and multifamily, driving further construction of new projects.”

RELATED ARTICLES

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* PC Urban to build office, commercial strata in Kelowna

* PC Urban launches new IntraUrban build, mulls spinoff firm

* Starlight, KingSett bid $4.8B for Northview Apt. REIT

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