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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

U of C sketches massive mixed "village" proposal | Print |  Email
Monday, 09 September 2013 00:00


U of C sketches massive mixed The University of Calgary's West Campus Development Trust has big plans for land on the western edge of its site.

Those plans, unveiled this summer after neighbourhood consultation, call for 6,500 multi-family homes in an urban village concept to be developed on land north of 16th Avenue and east of Shaganappi Trail.

The project would also include roughly 2 million square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of retail space within 15 minutes of Calgary's downtown.

While the trust wants to see development on the land, it's intending to lease the property for 99 years rather than sell it off.

The development lands encompass approximately 170 acres, stretching north to 32nd Avenue.

Residential neighbourhoods within the project are likely to have significant appeal for staff at two of the city's major employment clusters: the university itself and a large complex of health-care facilities and offices encompassing the Foothills Medical Centre just south of 16th Avenue. Foothills is the province's largest hospital. The project would also surround the Alberta Children's Hospital on three sides.

A separate developer is also poised to move forward in planning for the Stadium Shopping Centre project immediately north of Foothills Medical Centre on the north side of 16th Avenue. Western Securities owns the aging strip mall, which was developed in the 1960s on 6.1 acres. Calgary city council has approved a higher-density, mixed-use project that could include a major hotel.

"We are excited to be moving forward to the next stage of detailed development planning where we can use this blueprint to create a master plan for an innovative, dynamic area that will serve this area for years to come," said Mike Brescia, vice-president with Western Securities.

from Western Investor September 2013

B.C. real estate to be sold at unreserved auction | Print |  Email
Thursday, 22 August 2013 18:32
Four real estate parcels, including a Queen Charlotte fishing lodge, are to be sold an unreserved auction on September 4-5 in Edmonton by Ritchie Bros. Auctions.
Unreserved means the properties will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the price. "There are no minimum bids or reserve price," said Ritchie Bros. sales manager Jim Rotlisberger.
The properties are:
_ The 24-room Sandspit Adventures sports fishing lodge at Sandspit. Queen Charlotte Islands, which includes 6.8 acre site.
_ Two houses and a residential building lot, Sandspit.
_ Four residential building sites in Twin Bays Village, Kootenay Lake, near Creston, B.C. The lots will be auctioned individually.
_ A 1.3-acre residential property with a two-bedroom house and two outbuildings, Creston.
Bids will accepted online through
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