Montreal-based BTB Real Estate Investment Trust has purchased eight industrial properties in the Edmonton area as part of $94 million in Western Canada acquisitions announced in December 2021.
The deal also includes one office property in Edmonton and a Saskatchewan industrial site.
The acquisitions allow BTB to increase its exposure to the industrial sector, the trust says in the announcement, and to expand its operations into Western Canada.
The nine industrial properties total about 406,000 square feet and are in Leduc, Acheson and Edmonton in Alberta, as well as in Saskatoon. The office building, of 14,475 square feet, is located on 91st Street in Edmonton.
BTB waived conditions on the portfolio and the sale closed late in 2021.
BTB said it intends to finance the acquisitions through $62 million in mortgages, about $19 million from an Ontario property disposition and the remainder through cash-on-hand and its credit facilities.
In a national report on the industrial market released January 10, 2022, CBRE noted the improved outlook for Edmonton.
“Edmonton’s industrial market finished 2021 strong with 2.1 million square feet of positive net absorption, the highest quarterly level since Q3 2013,” the report stated. “Abundant new supply is expected in 2022, particularly in the Acheson and Northwest submarkets, that will offer sizeable distribution spaces for occupiers.”
As of Q4 202, the Edmonton industrial vacancy rate was 7 per cent, however, one of the highest in the country and well above the national average of 2 per cent.
Edmonton, with an inventory of 143.1 million square feet of industrial space – fourth highest in Canada – has the most expensive industrial lease rates in Alberta.
The net industrial rent in Edmonton averages $10.17 per square foot, CBRE noted, compared to $8.59 per square foot in Calgary. The average sale price of industrial property in Edmonton as of year-end 2021 was $138.83 per square foot, compared to $180 in Calgary and a national average of $214.75 per square foot.