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Concert fund pays $133.8M for Calgary distribution centre

The 1.2 million-square-foot facility on 69.6-acres – and under a long-term lease to Lowe’s Canada – is the latest in a string of big industrial deals in Calgary region this year
The giant new distribution facility is in Balzac, north of Calgary.| Concert CREC Commercial Fund

Concert CREC Commercial Fund has closed on its biggest industrial acquisition in the Calgary region with the $133.8 million purchase of a 1.2-million-square foot distribution centre just north of the Calgary city limits.

The centre, completed this June, is on 69.6-acres in the High Plains Industrial Park in Balzac. It is fully leased on a long-term basis to Lowe’s Canada.

“We’re very excited to have secured a superb facility in an exceptional and increasingly important location”, says Brian McCauley, Concert’s president and CEO. “This is a coveted and key distribution hub for national and North American companies and the purchase captures a tenant in an active home improvement sector.”

The newly constructed facility sits has easy access to Calgary International Airport, CN’s Calgary Logistics Park and two key transportation corridors, Queen Elizabeth II Highway and Stoney Trail.

In recent years, Balzac has become a major distribution hub, as land constraints in Vancouver and Greater Toronto push national and multinational industrial users to look elsewhere. The facility features 36-foot clear heights, ample trailer and car parking and will serve as the primary Western Canadian distribution facility for Lowe’s Canada.

Headquartered in Boucherville, Quebec, Lowe’s Canada has been successfully operating in Canada since 2007 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lowe’s Companies Inc. The company is one of the largest home improvement retailers in the world.

The Calgary acquisition caps a year of growth for the Concert CREC Commercial Fund. Created five year ago, its purchases have included the L’Oreal Distribution Centre in Quebec, and two office buildings near Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Concert’s fully-subscribed CREC Commercial Fund LP is a diversified Canadian portfolio supported by multiple Canadian pension funds and institutional investors. The fund has an asset value in excess of $2.3 billion and more than11.5 million square feet of leasable area.

Concert’s acquisition is among several big industrial deals in Calgary this year.

On July 12, Toronto-based Skyline Real Estate Investment Trust paid $67 million for a near-500,0000-square-foot Canadian Tire distribution centre in southeast Calgary.

“We are witnessing a surge of industrial investment sales activity due to pent-up demand from investors seeking yield, desirable fundamentals, and the competitive landscape relative to the Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver markets,” Colliers noted in its third-quarter 2021 report on Calgary’s industrial market.

The sales are driven by a momentum that has seen more than 3.5 million square feet of Calgary industrial space absorbed in the first nine months of this year, 1.2 million square feet of that taken up in the third quarter.

Colliers suggests that western investors are turning to Calgary from Vancouver, because of both lower land prices and higher yields in the Alberta city.