Newsletter: April 2012

As promised. Here is the other late newsletter.

There were a total of 15 sales reported in the month of February with a total value of $131,175,800. Retail building sales accounted for 6.9% of the total, industrial buildings 0.8%, office buildings 85.0%, apartment buildings 1.4%, special buildings 0% and vacant land 5.9%.

Sales data has been provided by RealTrack, Inc. For more information visit http://www.realtrack.com or call 1-877-962-9033

SALES

There were five transactions in the RETAIL market with a total value of $9,055,000. The largest transaction within the sector was the sale of 261 Centrepointe Drive. The property was purchased by 2311251 Ontario Inc. from 994106 Ontario Inc. for $3,325,000 or $228/sf. It is improved with a one-storey, retail strip plaza. The plaza was 94% occupied at the time of sale. Stephen Rothman and Todd Beech of Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa were the agents involved with this sale.

1450 Merivale Road represents another large retail transaction. The property sold to FCHT Holdings Ontario Corporation from Private Individuals for $2,350,000 or $267/sf. It is improved with a single-storey concrete block commercial building that was constructed circa 1965. The building formerly housed a Harley Davidson dealership and sold vacant to the purchaser.

There was one INDUSTRIAL building sale during the month of February. 877 Boyd Avenue sold to 2318139 Ontario Inc. from 1055793 Ontario Inc. for $1,075,000 or $123/sf. It is improved with a two-storey industrial/office building that was constructed in 1955 and later expanded in 1991. The building was 51% occupied by three tenants at the time of sale and the purchaser intends to occupy the vacant space. Rob Quinn of Metro Suburban Realty Ltd. was the listing agent with regards to this sale.

There were four OFFICE sales with a total value of $111,516,000. The most notable transaction was the sale of 40-46 Elgin Street. Chambers Building (Ottawa) Inc. acquired the property for $96,000,000 or $453/sf. It is improved with a Class "A" office development comprised of a 14-storey office tower constructed in 1994 and heritage components including the four-storey Scottish Ontario Chambers which was constructed in 1883, the six-storey Central Chambers, constructed in 1891 and the Bell Block which was constructed in 1867. The heritage component was gutted and renovated in 1994. The complex was 96.5% occupied at the time of sale. The entire development is subject to a land lease. Trevor Blakely, Keith Jameson & Walid Cheaib of BMO Capital Markets and Nathan Smith of Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa were the agents involved with this transaction.

282-292 Dupuis Street represents another significant office building transaction which occurred in the month of February. The property sold to Complexe 240-234 Inc. from L. Nicolini & Associates Limited for $13,570,000 or $250/sf. It is improved with two Class "B" office buildings, one four-storeys and the other six-storeys in height, that were constructed in 1989. The purchaser also acquired properties on the southwest and southeast corner of Montreal Road and Dupuis Street and intends to develop the properties with two additional office buildings.

There were two transactions in the APARTMENT market during the month of February with a total value of $1,830,800. The largest transaction was 1921 St. Laurent Boulevard which was purchased by 1786232 Ontario Inc. from a Private Individual and Honey Management Inc. for $1,250,000 or $156,250/unit. It is improved with an 8-unit apartment development consisting of seven, three-bedroom townhouse units and a three-bedroom second-storey walk-up apartment unit.

There were no transactions in the SPECIAL building market.

There were three vacant LAND transactions during the month of February for a total consideration of $7,699,000. Of the three transactions, there were two residential land sales and one commercial land sale. The largest transaction was for a 57,059 square foot parcel of commercial land located on 250 Montreal Road. The property was purchased by Complexe 250 Inc. from 250 Montreal Rd Inc. for $4,030,000 or $71/sf. The purchaser intends to develop the property with a seven-storey 103,674 square foot office building with a ground floor commercial component. The majority of the proposed building will be owner-occupied. The proposed development represents the first of a two-phase office project. The second phase will be located on the southwest corner of Montreal Road and Dupuis Street, which the purchaser had acquired in January 2012. The two phases will be connected by an elevated walkway.

Another significant land transaction is the purchase of 390 Bank Street. Urban Capital (James Street) Inc. acquired the property from 176929 Canada Inc. for $3,000,000 or $261/sf. It is improved with the James St. Pub, a single-storey restaurant, but was purchased for land value. The purchaser intends to redevelop the site with a nine-storey condominium apartment building.

NEWS

The local unemployment rate as reported by Statistics Canada for the month of February rose to 6.0% from 5.7% in January. The provincial rate for February however fell to 7.6% from 8.1%. The national overall unemployment rate also saw a decrease to 7.4% from 7.6% a month prior.

According to CMHC's news release, the number of residential units under construction during the month of February decreased 4.1% year over year to 4,396 units. Housing Starts for the month on the other hand increased 5.7% from 297 units in 2011 to 314 units in 2012. Year-to-date housing starts have risen 55.6%, from 513 units in the first two months of 2011 to 798 units in the first two months of 2012.