Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of the OMERS Worldwide Group of Companies, announces its industrial portfolio has exceeded over 10 million square feet, comprising high-quality assets across Canada’s core markets. In order to capitalize of the growing demand for modern, well-located buildings in Canada’s major cities, Oxford also intends to develop an additional 5.1 million square feet over the next three years.
Through both acquisition and development, Oxford aims to double the size of its industrial portfolio by 2018 to over 20 million square feet. “To reach this milestone through both development and acquisition is testament to our belief in the solid fundamentals of this asset class,” said Jeff Miller, Vice President of Industrial at Oxford Properties.
Industrial assets in Canada’s core markets demonstrate favourable demand/supply dynamics particularly in its major cities. New demand drivers, such as the increasing share of retail spend from delivery based e-commerce, have intensified the demand for modern and effective distribution hubs as logistics operators and retailers continue to respond to the structural shift in consumer spending patterns.
Oxford’s industrial portfolio currently comprises the following completed and development assets:
– Greater Toronto Area – Totalling 7.3 million square feet and primarily comprising the Vaughan Industrial Park and Brampton Business Park, both of which are approximately 3 million square feet, Oxford’s GTA portfolio is currently 98.5 per cent leased to a variety of national and international customers.
– Calgary – Oxford is currently in the second year of a five year development plan for developing and leasing phase I of Oxford Airport Business Park, a 4 million square foot master planned business park of Class A industrial buildings with future plans for office, retail and hotel space located just 500 metres north of the entrance to Calgary International Airport. Phase I, comprising four buildings totalling approximately 1 million square feet, is nearing completion and its premium location will create a first class distribution hub into the city of Calgary and the west of Canada as a whole.
– Vancouver – Oxford is set to commence a 1.1 million square foot industrial business park on 64 acres in South Burnaby. The site is located inside all of greater Vancouver’s bridges and rivers and is one of the closest industrial locations to serve Vancouver’s core population.
– Edmonton – Totalling 1.8 million square feet, Oxford currently owns the Cityview and Northport business parks which are both 100 per cent leased. Oxford has plans to develop several more facilities in 2014 into a supply constrained market which has witnessed increased demand due to the macroeconomic growth of the city and, in particular, demand from operators related to the energy sector. Edmonton demonstrates arguably the most compelling supply/demand dynamics across all Canadian industrial markets with a vacancy rate of only 2.6 per cent and 4.3 million square feet of positive absorption in 2013.
“Our mantra of core assets and core markets has driven our strategy to develop and to acquire industrial assets in markets have high sustainable demand for high-quality and well-located modern stock,” added Miller. “In addition, by developing business parks, as opposed to individual assets on a one-off basis, we are able to develop an Oxford brand including design standards, maintenance programs, and customer service attributes required to deliver first-class spaces and service to tenants.”