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EDMONTON, ALBERTA-Aided by financing from GE Real Estate Canada, the Paramount Group has acquired a nine-story, 134,000-sf office building overlooking the Provincial Legislature complex. Located along 110th Street, Capital Centre has traded for nearly $35 million.

The subsidiary of Stamford, CT-based GE Capital Real Estate provided a $25-million loan for the class A property, a portion of which will be used to repair a parking garage used by tenants of Capital Centre. GE Real Estate director Cameron Grieve says the pedigree of the veteran Paramount Group combined with solid fundamentals in the city’s economy enticed GE to make the commitment.

“The Edmonton office market has improved in recent months,” Grieve says, citing a rebound structured largely on the strength of the oil and natural gas industries that have become an integral piece of the Alberta economy. Vacancy rates in the past year have fallen into the single digits in Downtown Edmonton, Grieve reports, allowing office rents to double into the low $20 per sf range. Capital Centre also benefits from serving tenants related to the government activities of the legislature and other agencies.

According to Grieve, GE’s “flexibility, versatility and creativity” were key to forming its inaugural relationship with Paramount, a notion shared by the firm’s CEO, Samir Sawhney. “GE Real Estate worked diligently with our company to structure a mutually beneficial debt financing,” says Sawhney, whose company is an established real estate investor and operator focused on the Alberta market. GE Canada’s performance “has resulted in the formation of a strong corporate relationship between our two firms,” he adds, “and we look forward to financing future acquisitions with them.”

Grieve expresses similar hope that his company can do future business with Paramount as well as other Canadian investors and property owners. The GE North American lending division has handled a variety of product types in the country in recent months, including industrial, multifamily, office and various retail concepts ranging from malls to outlet centers. Among its larger deals this year involving GE Canada was another Alberta loan that provided $65 million for purchase of a 1,000-space parking garage.

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