A three-building rental apartment complex in Westboro has sold for $267-million in what is likely the largest residential real estate transaction in Ottawa history.
Homestead Land Holdings purchased Island Park Towers at 185, 195 and 200 Clearview Ave., just west of Island Park Drive, in a deal that closed last week. CBRE, which helped broker the sale, said the previous owner was a private developer from Montreal that had owned the buildings for more than a decade.
According to LinkedIn, the previous property manager was Montreal-based Acmon Inc.
Nico Zentil, senior vice-president of capital markets at CBRE’s Ottawa office, said a residential transaction of that size in the city is unprecedented.
“It’s extremely rare you would see something of this scale and quality ever surface in a market like Ottawa, which is pretty tightly controlled,” he told OBJ.
The buildings contain 642 suites and two commercial units. According to Homestead’s website, the apartments are being upgraded with new cabinetry and stone countertops as well as new appliances, lighting and flooring.
The Kingston-based company already owns and manages two dozen properties in the National Capital Region and recently filed an application to construct a 25-storey apartment tower with 235 units near Baseline and Greenbank roads.
Homestead did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Zentil said CBRE’s Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal offices started marketing Island Park Towers in May. He said the properties were “hotly pursued” and attracted multiple bidders, calling the price “a testament to the strength of the Ottawa residential market right now.”
While Ottawa’s rental vacancy rate more than doubled to 3.9 per cent last year as a flood of new units came online at the same time as the city’s population of students and new immigrants – groups that typically rent rather than buy – plummeted in the wake of the pandemic, Zentil predicts the market will bounce back quickly.
“The appetite for large Ottawa multi-res deals seems to be pretty consistent,” he said, adding that institutional investors tend to view the city as a “safe haven” for capital due to its steady economy and comparatively large student population.
Zentil said the volume of commercial deals in the capital is also starting to pick up as confidence in the economy slowly rebuilds.
“We’ve had a bit of a sleeper year,” Zentil said. “I think that by the end of 2021, we’re all going to be pleasantly surprised at the level of investment volume that we’ll see in this city.”
Real estate secrets; Family blindsided after others profit off obituary; CBC's Marketplace Cheat Sheet – CBC.ca
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Real estate agents caught on hidden camera breaking the law, steering buyers from low-commission homes
Marketplace’s latest investigation is uncovering some shady real estate practices.
Posing as homebuyers and sellers, Marketplace tested if real estate agents are engaging in steering, an anti-competitive practice that steers potential homebuyers away from properties that offer agents lower commission. The team’s hidden cameras found some agents deceiving the buyers they are supposed to represent in an effort to pad their own bottom line.
Experts and industry insiders say what Marketplace has uncovered is indicative of an industry working for the benefit of real estate agents at a cost to home sellers and buyers.
“There’s a huge inertia, and maintaining the status quo, it absolutely benefits existing realtors 100 per cent,” said broker and real estate agent Michael Walsh, one of the few speaking out on this issue.
After learning about our findings, the Real Estate Council of Ontario issued a notice about steering to more than 93,000 real estate agents, brokers and brokerages under its purview, noting that such behaviour breaches their code of ethics. Read more
Family blindsided after marketing company, funeral home cash in on father’s obituary
Before pancreatic cancer took his life in April, John Rothwell made his dying wishes clear: if mourners wanted to donate to a cause in his name, the money should go to an educational fund he and his family set up.
Instead, family and friends unwittingly paid for a product that puts money into the pockets of companies profiting from grief, says son Nathan Rothwell
Rothwell told Go Public that while he knew the obituary would be on the website of the Mackey Funeral Home in Lindsay, Ont., he made sure it included a request for mourners to consider donating to the educational fund, in lieu of flowers.
What no one told his family is that Frontrunner — a Kingston, Ont.-based marketing company that runs the funeral home’s website and many others across the country — uses obituaries to sell what it calls “memorial” trees and other products.
The obituary included links that said, “Plant a tree in the memory of John Rothwell” and led to a different website where mourners paid for products the family knew nothing about, said Rothwell.
“Family and friends spent money out of their own pockets for what they thought were my dad’s wishes,” Rothwell said.
After Rothwell complained and got a lawyer involved, Frontrunner doubled what mourners paid for the trees, and donated that money — more than $2,000 — to the educational fund. The company maintains that it did nothing wrong. Read more
The U.S. land border is reopening, but Canadians with mixed vaccines are still in limbo
While it’s welcome news that the U.S. will reopen its shared land border with Canada to non-essential travel on Nov. 8, some Canadians with mixed vaccine doses aren’t celebrating just yet.
That’s because at the same time the U.S. reopens the land border, it will start requiring that foreign land and air travellers entering the country be fully vaccinated.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently doesn’t recognize mixed COVID-19 vaccines — such as one dose of AstraZeneca and one dose of Pfizer or Moderna — and hasn’t yet said if travellers with two different doses will be blocked from entry when the vaccine requirement kicks in.
“CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized later this month,” spokesperson Jade Fulce said in an email on Wednesday. Read more
What else is going on?
What we know about kids and COVID-19 vaccines
If parents feel heard and understood, they’re in a much better position to make decisions, say pediatricians
Zellers returns — kind of — but the lowest price isn’t quite the law
Discount store brand reappears months after HBC appears to lose trademark registration.
Sweatpants forever? Why the ‘athleisure’ fashion trend may outlast the pandemic
The pandemic has changed fashion trends — and experts say our desire for comfort is here to stay.
Canada seeks to claw back $25M in COVID relief from thousands of fishers
More than half of the harvesters affected by the repayment request are in Nova Scotia.
Specialized Tarmac SL7 Bicycles recalled due to fall hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the bicycles and contact an authorized Specialized retailer.
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Real estate secrets – CBC.ca
Canada has among the highest real estate commission rates in the world.
Our investigation found real estate agents breaking the law by steering buyers from low-commission homes. Hidden cameras caught them in the act.
Watch our full investigation anytime on CBC Gem.
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