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Leduc grows, neighbours quarrel | Print |  Email
Monday, 14 October 2013 00:00

 

The City of Leduc is growing by leaps and bounds these days.

The latest census data from the Edmonton-area suburb show Leduc grew by 6.9 per cent from 2012 to 2013, hitting a population of 27,241.

The one-year 6.9 per cent growth rate exceeded the city's five-year annual rate of 5.8 per cent.

Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke said, "It would be a safe bet that Leduc will surpass 30,000 citizens in the next two years."

Of note, the city is looking less like a suburb. The latest data found that only 20 per cent of employed residents commute to Edmonton for work while 70 per cent work in the city itself and another 10 per cent work in the area outside Edmonton and Leduc.

Growth for Leduc will also be automatic come January 1, 2014. That's when the city will grow by another 1,329 acres, which it will annex from Leduc County.

While the county supported Leduc's annexation, it is resisting a much larger application by the City of Edmonton to take control of a large swath of land south of the Alberta capital.

Edmonton wants to annex about 38,000 acres of land - that's roughly five times the current size of Leduc and includes Edmonton International Airport.

The county strongly opposes the application and has been trying to rally opposition to such a large land grab.

According to county officials, Edmonton's proposal would siphon off 17 per cent of the county's tax base and lead to a 10 per cent property tax hike in the remainder of the county. It would also mean a potential 62 per cent tax hike for businesses and residents in the annexation area, county officials contend.


from Western Investor October 2013

 
Three Sisters lands sold under sealed court order | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 00:00

 

Three Sisters lands sold under sealed court orderAfter more than four years tied up in receivership, lands connected with Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) in Canmore have been sold to its former owners.

A Court of Queen's Bench judge approved the sale of Three Sisters assets to 1712841 Alberta Ltd. in early September. While a redacted copy of the sales agreement was released, the court sealed the price.

Western Investor sources, including an unsuccessful bidder, estimate the sale price at from $30 million to $50 million, with the consensus at the lower end. The secured creditors were owed roughly $90 million, according to documents filed by receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers.

1712841 Alberta Ltd. is affiliated with Blair Richardson and Don Taylor, two men who have been part of TSMV ownership in the past and who were among the secured creditors left holding the bag when a collapse in the resort real estate market in early 2009 put TSMV into receivership.

Exactly what will happen with the 1,495 acres of prime mountainside real estate involved in the sale remains to be seen. The purchaser can't sell the property as part of one massive deal for at least a year.

PwC had been pursuing a new area structure plan (ASP) for the land to increase its sales appeal in the Rocky Mountains resort community, but opposition to its plan, which included fencing off wildlife corridor spaces from development areas, stopped the ASP process in the spring.

As a former bidder noted, the uncertainty surrounding rezoning and allowed use of the property is among the reasons why a discounted price is likely.

The new owners have some history with the community, which may help move future plans along once the fall municipal election results are clear in late October, and the developer knows what kind of political environment it will be facing.

Chris Ollenberger, a former CEO and president of TSMV, will be working on behalf of the new owners to steer the initial post-purchase activities.

He said the new owners haven't settled on a vision for the property yet, and want to get a good handle first on the state of the land and what's been done since they were last involved before settling on what new direction they might take.

"The owners are still interested in health and wellness as an overall thought and process and vision to the property, but the details of how that would actually be worked out and what that would look like and the next steps moving forward is completely up in the air at this point," Ollenberger said.

The 2004 plan called for a high-end spa and golf course, which are now in limbo.


from Western Investor October 2013

 
Three Sisters lands sold under the gavel | Print |  Email
Monday, 09 September 2013 18:53
After more than four years tied up in receivership, lands connected with Three Sisters Mountain Village in Canmore have been sold to its former owners.
A Court of Queen's Bench Judge approved the sale of Three Sisters assets to 1712841 Alberta Ltd. in early September. While a redacted copy of the sales agreement was released, the court sealed the price.
Western Investor sources, including an unsuccessful bidder, estimate the sale price at from $30 million to $50 million, with the consensus at the lower end. The secured creditors were owed roughly $90 million, according to documents filed by receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers.
1712841 Alberta Ltd. is affiliated with Blair Richardson and Don Taylor, two men who have been part of TSMV ownership in the past, and who were among the secured creditors left holding the bag when a collapse in the resort real estate market in early 2009 put TSMV into receivership.
Exactly what will happen with the 1,495 acres of prime mountainside real estate involved in the sale remains to be seen. The purchaser can't sell the property as part of one massive deal for at least a year.
PwC had been pursuing a new area structure plan for the land to increase its sales appeal in the Rocky Mountains resort community, but opposition to its plan, which included fencing off wildlife corridor spaces from development areas, stopped the ASP process in the spring.
As a former bidder noted, the uncertainty surrounding rezoning and allowed use of the property is among the reasons why a discounted price is likely.
The new owners have some history with the community, which may help move future plans along once the fall municipal election results are clear in late October, and the developer knows what kind of political environment it will be facing.
Chris Ollenberger, a former CEO and president of TSMV, will be working on behalf of the new owners to steer the initial post-purchase activities.
He said the new owners haven't settled on a vision for the property yet, and want to get a good handle first on the state of the land, and what's been done since they were last involved, before settling on what new direction they might take.
"The next steps moving forward is completely up in the air at this point," Ollenberger said.
 
Canada ranks 5th as global real estate investment | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 19:08

Canada is in fifth spot worldwide when it comes to real-estate investment and is the only developed nation to break the top five, according to the results of an EY survey published August 29.
The top four countries on the list are all emerging markets: India, China, Quatar and Chile. Criteria for the ranking included credit availability and economic stability.
"Investors are looking beyond the developed world - with the exception of Canada - and focusing their investment strategies in emerging markets with immense growth potential," said Krista Blaikie, EY's national real-estate leader.
"Canada, on the other hand, continues to attract the attention of investors searching for a stable political and economic environment not found in the Eurozone."
The survey also found that 85 per cent of real-estate industry executives believe the global economy is stable or improving - a significant improvement compared with the results last year (53 per cent).

- Business in Vancouver

 
PwC will sell Canmore lands | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00

 

The firm in control of almost 1,500 acres of Canmore development land has decided to abandon its plans to obtain a new area structure plan for the massive Three Sisters development.

Receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has instead been granted court backing to sell assets of Three Sisters Mountain Village in order to recover money owed to HSBC Bank, the primary secured creditor for the failed land developer.

PwC's proposed new development plan failed to win civic or public support.


from Western Investor September 2013

 
Work starts on new bridge | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00

 

Edmontonians living south of the North Saskatchewan River and working downtown will have a new bridge to drive across in early 2016, if all goes well.

After months of prep work, the City of Edmonton started construction in early July on the new $155 million Walterdale Bridge.

The arch bridge will be a landmark spanning the river and will carry three lanes of northbound traffic as well as cyclists and pedestrians.

It will replace the existing two-lane, century-old bridge that currently carries northbound commuters into the core.

The existing bridge will remain open during the 30-month construction phase for the new bridge, with some temporary or partial closures of connecting roads during the construction process.

Still, the city is warning motorists to expect delays, particularly during the peak of construction activities in the summer months.


from Western Investor September 2013

 
Airdrie building pushes $200M | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00

 

City of Airdrie figures show the community was close to $200 million in building permits for the first half of 2013.

New-permit values hit $198.7 million, up over 23 per cent from 2012 and almost double the same period in 2011.


from Western Investor September 2013

 
Offices: Tale of two cities | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:00

 

Colliers International concludes in recent reports that the Edmonton and Calgary office markets are heading in different directions.

Calgary's downtown office market experienced net negative absorption for the second quarter of 2013 and its vacancy rate grew to 5.03 per cent, up from 4.35 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. It's a trend that started in 2012.

The best properties have only a 1.62 per cent vacancy rate, but that rate is 6.88 per cent for Class B office space.

In Edmonton the downtown office vacancy rate dropped to 9.53 per cent in the second quarter on the strength of 72,000 square feet of positive absorption.


from Western Investor September 2013

 
Fort Mac buying 55,000 acres | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:00

 

The provincial government is selling more land to accommodate new development in Fort McMurray.

The government recently announced it will sell about 55,000 acres around the oilsands capital to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which encompasses Fort McMurray.

The land would free up space for development east, west and south of the city.

"This is about creating an even better quality of life for residents of Fort McMurray, a thriving community that is expected to more than double in population by 2030," said Energy Minister Ken Hughes.

The long-awaited land is part of what's known as the urban development sub-region for Fort McMurray.

"It means stability in our housing market and a new world of business, cultural and recreational opportunities," said Fort McMurray Mayor Melissa Blake. 


from Western Investor September 2013

 
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