Blair Sinclair, senior development manager for theCalgary/Edmonton office of Chicago-based First Industrial RealtyTrust Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that infrastructure work will beginin the spring, with ready-to-go lots for vertical constructioncoming online in the fall. He says the JV is weighing the prospectof jumpstarting First Park Nisku with some spec product. Thedevelopment land is less than one mile east of the airport andfronts Queen Elizabeth II Highway, a thoroughfare traveled by60,000 vehicles per day as people shuttle between Calgary andEdmonton.

|

TheCalSTRS-funded JV bought the marketed land from residentialbuilder Beaverbrook Developments of Edmonton. The purchase price isoff limits, but to put the build-out value into perspective,Sinclair says construction costs in the region can range from $60per sf for "a simple warehouse" to $100 per sf for a showcasebuilding.

|

Sinclair says the FirstCal fund is focused on western Canada dueto dynamics like Edmonton, which has a 90-million-sf industrialinventory and 1% vacancy. On average, rents for 10,000-sf to20,000-sf small-bay spaces are running $10 per sf to $11 per sf and100,000-sf bulk spaces are fetching $7 per sf to $9 per sf.Sinclair admits tight markets can be nice, but says "in a tightmarket like this, everything is expensive."

|

Sinclair and Dana Schmidt, senior development manager, led theFirst Industrial team for the acquisition. CB Richard EllisInvestors is CalSTRS' adviser for the fund. Thomas Ashcroft, apartner in the Edmonton office of Avison Young Commercial RealEstate Services, brokered the land deal.

|

"This will be First Industrial's first opportunity in theEdmonton market to showcase its expertise," Sinclair says,confiding that its 22-acre buy in early January in southeastCalgary might be flipped. He says a group is pursuing the deed orjoint venturing on the development of the prized acreage, which wasbought for a 425,000-sf project from Edmonton-based Ronmor HoldingsInc. The land is a prime infill location at the intersection of94th Avenue and 52nd Street.

|

"We are continuing to look at strategic land opportunities, bothshort term and long term," Sinclair says. "We're all pleased thatwe've got two strategic locations in the first seven months ofoperating in western Canada."

|

Toronto is the fourth-largest industrial market in NorthAmerica, so it too is on FirstCal's radar screen, particularlysince it's a primary distribution hub for Ontario, NorthwesternQuebec and Northeast US. Calgary is a major western distributionhub for Canada, while Edmonton holds a key positioning as adistribution and service center for the natural resourceindustries.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.