Industrial investment gears up in Winnipeg

“This is the best the industrial market has been in Winnipeg in 50 years,” says president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield

Western Investor
November 16, 2018

CentrePort rendering.

The last time things were this rosy in Winnipeg’s industrial real estate market, everybody was feeling groovy, man.

A pair of announcements for 10-figure investments in CentrePort Canada, a 20,000-acre inland port and free-trade zone in the rural municipality of Rosser, has players in the city’s industrial market harkening back to the good old days.

“This is the best the industrial market has been in Winnipeg in 50 years,” said Martin McGarry, president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield/Stevenson.

Freightliner Manitoba, a local provider of service, sales and support to the trucking industry, is preparing to build a new 78,000-square-foot building on more than 13 acres in Brookside Industrial Park Phase 3, and Canada West Ltd., a privately-owned real estate investment group headquartered in Edmonton, plans to build up to eight buildings encompassing 350,000 square feet.

Canada West’s $60 million commitment to the city was garnering the most attention for a couple of reasons: the company is based two provinces away, and it’s building largely on spec.

“That’s a big amount of capital. That’s pure cash because you usually don’t finance land. That’s a big statement. You’re not investing that kind of money and building those kinds of buildings if you’re not confident that it’s all going to get absorbed,” McGarry said.

Diane Gray, president and CEO of CentrePort, said industrial buildings have gone up on spec since, well, practically forever.

“The developers believe we’re on the precipice of preparing for massive growth," Gray said.

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