If you want a sign that Saskatoon’s real estate market is rock-solid, Tom McClocklin believes the recent purchase of the downtown Scotiabank building is all the proof you need.
Local firm Pillar Properties Ltd. recently purchased the five-storey tower, at the corner of Second Avenue and 22nd Street for $18 million. But the Colliers managing director says the bigger news is that the building at the city’s busiest intersection received multiple offers from across the country and sold in just three weeks.
“That says people are confident in the long-term prospects for Saskatoon and Regina. [The Scotiabank building] is high-quality real estate and people from Toronto to Vancouver were interested in being a part of it,” McClockin said.
Pillar’s intentions are purely investment-based and it plans to reinvest in the property, maintain its high standards and hold it for the long term. The acquisition represented the biggest sale of a commercial building in Saskatchewan in 2016, McClocklin said.
The Scotiabank building is home to Scotiabank and the international potash-marketing firm Canpotex Ltd.
The financial institution is just one of three banks at the heart of Saskatoon’s downtown - BMO and National Bank are the others. Activity at the intersection is expected to pick up in the near term as the fourth corner, which is currently empty after a building was demolished, will surely generate significant interest from developers, McClocklin said.
It’s not surprising that Scotiabank put the building up for sale, as it’s the last of the major Canadian banks to have a large real estate portfolio, McClocklin said.
Four years ago, it sold the Scotia Plaza tower in Toronto for $1.27 billion, the highest price paid for a Canadian office building at the time.