Real Estate Developers Are Huddle's Newsmakers Of The Year In Fredericton - Huddle Today - Canada News Media
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Real Estate Developers Are Huddle's Newsmakers Of The Year In Fredericton – Huddle Today



FREDERICTON – The signs of growth were in the air this year with cranes at work downtown and in Knowledge Park, making real estate developers Huddle’s newsmakers of the year in Fredericton.

Krista Ross, the CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, says a trio of projects highlight a year of rapid growth in the commercial and residential estate markets.

“The Cyber Centre building is the one we think is going to be so impactful on our economy. It will impact employment but also keeps us at the front edge of what’s happening in the cybersecurity industry,” said Ross in an interview.

“We’re also excited by the Ross Ventures building which is coming together and looking really great in our downtown, and last week’s announcement of what’s going to happen with the Centennial building is also super.”

Ross would also add a fourth project to that list, the airport terminal expansion project that began in June, because of the impact it will have on economic growth across the region.

“To help us make those developments [a success] we’ve had a construction project at the airport that was long-awaited and well-underway.”

The construction of the Cyber Centre building was announced in the summer of 2018 but work began in earnest this year. The 145,000-square-foot facility will be dedicated to the cybersecurity protection of critical infrastructures such as transportation, energy, food, environment and defence, says Larry Shaw, CEO of Ignite Fredericton and Knowledge Park.

It will also be a collaboration centre where private businesses, governments and universities can work together on cybersecurity research and development. The University of New Brunswick, Cyber NB, IBM and Siemens are already active players in the sector in Fredericton.

RELATED: Strategic Investments Will Help Grow Key Sectors Like Cybersecurity

The Cyber Centre is on schedule to open in November of next year, and Shaw expects it to be 80 percent occupied by that time.

“With the cyber cluster developing in Fredericton, New Brunswick is in a leadership position in Canada for the protection of critical infrastructure,” said Shaw in an e-mail to Huddle. “We have the opportunity to create hundreds of jobs serving global clients’ research and development in cybersecurity.”

In a commentary published in Huddle, Ross says the centre “is by far the top infrastructure priority of Fredericton’s business community and sets up New Brunswick to be a key player in one of the faster-growing industries on the globe.”

As the Cyber Centre was being constructed in Knowledge Park, Ross Ventures was at work on its five-storey commercial building on Carleton Street downtown.

“The windows are in, the facade is looking good,” says Ross.

RELATED: Ross Ventures Begins Construction Of New Downtown Office Tower

The company has not officially announced the anchor tenant and other businesses that will locate there, but the tenant mix to date are legal and financial services. The building is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

The first office tower with “Class A” commercial space constructed in downtown Fredericton in nearly 20 years will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and smart building technology to increase tenant comfort & reduce energy costs.

“Anytime the private sector shows their confidence by putting together a new project and developing a new opportunity, that certainly bodes well for the community and speaks well of confidence in the economy,” said Ross.

The year ended with another announcement about a downtown private-sector development in the works.

The week before Christmas, the provincial government announced that the Centennial Building downtown will be purchased by a private developer with plans to invest nearly $50-million on a hotel, restaurant and residential development.

RELATED: Developer Buys Centennial Building, Plans Hotel And Residential Complex

Located on King Street, the building started undergoing $78 million in renovations last year, until the then newly-elected provincial government led by Premier Blaine Higgs cancelled the project in November 2018. The government did a call out for private developers to take over the building in the spring.

Centennial Heritage Properties is planning a two-phased approach for the building which will include 240,000 square feet of residential space and 43,000 square feet for hotel and restaurant space.

“Everyone is talking about it,” said Ross. “Everybody is interested to know what hotel [will locate there], what the designs will look like, what will the restaurant be. People are pretty excited that’s something is going to happen.”

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Technology, data, starting to transform commercial real estate: survey – 570 News



TORONTO — A new report says technology and data are finally shaking up the world of commercial real estate, allowing the industry to make more informed decisions and take on more complex projects.

Toronto-based Altus Group says a majority of 400 global commercial real estate executives surveyed are now seeing the disruptive impact of technology on the property sector for the first time in the five years the real estate group has been conducting the survey.

Altus CEO Bob Courteau says executives are starting to see that data, innovation and technology are going to be critical going forward, after some reluctance in the past to invest in areas beyond the bricks and mortar of real estate.

The change is clear at the executive level, where 80 per cent of firms said they have a chief data officer or equivalent senior executive, compared with only 44 per cent four years ago.

The increased data and efficiencies brought on by technology are allowing real estate firms to expand into growing spaces such as multi-family co-living, a sort of dorm-style arrangement with small private bedrooms and shared living and kitchen space, as well as co-working space and new models for retail.

Altus says a wave of investment in startups focused on real estate tech, or proptech, has created a huge number of players and the sector is ripe for consolidation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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'Proptech' is finally disrupting the world of commercial real estate –



Technology and data are finally shaking up the world of commercial real estate, allowing the industry to make more informed decisions, respond quicker to consumer trends, and take on more complex projects, says consultancy Altus Group.

The Toronto-based real estate firm said Monday that for the first time, a majority of 400 global commercial real estate executives polled said they are seeing the disruptive impact of technology on the sector.

The shift comes as the wave of investment and startups in recent years are starting to show results and shift perspectives, said Altus CEO Bob Courteau.

“There’s a bunch of really aggressive companies that came in to real estate globally, and they came in with a whole different view of the importance of data and technology.”

New companies, and new executives at existing ones, have caused a significant shift in thinking on the role in technology in the space, he said.

“The orientation of the management teams of historical commercial real estate was to put their investments in the ground, not into things like data and technology.”

The change is stark at the executive level, where 80 per cent of 350 firms surveyed now say they have a chief data officer or equivalent senior executive, compared with only 44 per cent four years ago.

“The last couple or three (years) has seen an explosion in change,” said Courteau.

WeWork may be the most well-known company in the space, but new entrants number in the thousands, by some estimates.

Real Estate giant Brookfield Asset Management, through their venture arm Brookfield Technology Partners, has recently invested in companies such as leasing software provider VTS, automated door hardware provider Latch, and contractor software provider Building Connect.

Meanwhile, real estate service provider Jones Lang LaSalle IP, Inc. launched a US$100 million venture fund in 2018 to invest in the property technology, or “proptech” space, joining an increasingly crowded field.

In Canada, the tech sector has seen numerous startups enter the space including Yuhu, which offers software for building managers, Breather, an on-demand office space provider, Lane, a mobile-focused tool for tenants, and MapYourProperty, which provides analytics for land development.

Early proptech entrants were focused more on efficiencies, like lower energy costs or automating repetitive tasks, but with the wealth of data available there’s the potential to improve future planning and tackle some of the more difficult decisions, said Courteau.

“What am I going to build, what’s the cost to build, what are the consumer trends, what are the upcoming neighbourhoods, how do I create a mixed environment…this is a data rich environment that can have a significant impact on the value of this new building that you’re about to build.”

The survey noted that technology has enabled numerous disruptive trends including multi-family co-living, a sort of dorm-style arrangement with small private bedroom and shared living and kitchen space, as well as co-working spaces and new models for real estate on the retail side to provide more brand exposure and entertainment options.

While adoption has been slower in Canada, many global markets have also started to take advantage of online marketplaces to cut out intermediaries in lending, investment, leasing, and property exchanges. The survey notes that the explosion of proptech firms likely means a significant consolidation is pending, with most Canadian executives polled expecting consolidation within the next 12 to 24 months.

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Toronto Regional Real Estate Board Unveils New Branding – Toronto Storeys



The Toronto Real Estate Board has revealed a modern new look that includes a revamped name, logo, and colour scheme.

Now, the company will officially go by Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) to reflect the regional nature of the company that has been in place since 2002. The brand refresh shows the evolution of the company’s members, the organization, and the real estate industry since its founding 100 years ago.

“Having been at the forefront of the real estate industry since 1920, this change, although subtle, is significant to benefit our 56,000 realtor members and their clients,” reads the company’s website.

READ: Rising Condo Prices in Toronto Could Have Negative Impact on Investors: Report

In the summer of 2018, TRREB says it began an extensive research and feedback process with key stakeholders, which included the board of directors and members. Through numerous surveys and focus groups, the company says it gained a better understanding of how it felt about the existing brand and how to show its growth.

The new logo reflects some of the key competencies that came from the research and speaks to the company’s leadership in the fields of market facts and data, technology, innovation, and professionalism.

“The icon in the new logo is meant to represent Toronto Regional Real Estate Board Members as a unified force for positive (upward) movement of growth in the real estate profession. It showcases the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board as a progressive and transformative force in the industry,” said TRREB President Michael Collins.

“It is also suggestive of a built form, whether you see a traditional home roofline or a condominium. All of the fifteen circles are a different size, create a sense of movement and momentum,” continued Collins.

“The new tagline, ‘Professionals connecting people, property and communities’ speaks volumes about who the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board Members are and what the organization is,” said Toronto Regional Real Estate Board CEO John DiMichele.

“Above all, the new tagline emphasizes the professionalism of our Members. It puts their good name first by highlighting what our Members do – they build communities and help people find their dream homes.”

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