Hungerford Announces Sale of Rivercrest Industrial Business Centre

In 2010, Hungerford Properties purchased Rivercrest Industrial Business Centre, an 11.5 acre site at 1700 No. 6 Road, an industrial area in Richmond, B.C. At the time, it was a single-tenant facility, formerly home to Ball Packaging (NYSE: BLL).

Over six years, Hungerford transformed the existing warehouse into a multi- tenant business centre, with extensive refurbishments to the existing building and offices including a new roof, new office finishes, the addition of loading doors, new paint, landscaping, improved exterior glazing and overall maintenance.

In 2012, Hungerford also completed a build-to-suit facility for Albion Fisheries, a subsidiary of Gordon Food Services, on additional land. The 65,300 SF, sustainable, state-of-the art seafood processing plant, the first new commercial building to be constructed using Richmond’s new green roof building alternatives. The building set new standards for sustainability as well as for health and cleanliness from an operations standpoint.

“Hungerford had a vision to take a single tenant manufacturing building and convert it to a multi-tenant business hub,” says partner, Michael Hungerford. “We’re pleased with how we’ve been able to execute upon it.”

With building improvements and multiple tenants, Hungerford has just sold the property earlier this year, highlighting its success in taking older developments, investing in redevelopment and then selling a successful asset. Hungerford sold the property earlier this year, highlighting its success in repositioning commercial real estate.

Hungerford Properties has built the Nexus, Northwing and Fairmore commercial condominiums in Calgary and is now launching Paragon Business Park in Sherwood Park, just east of Edmonton.

“The attractiveness of commercial condos is that, with a low interest environment, small business owners who are driven by different motivations than larger companies see real value in ownership,” said Hungerford partner Michael Hungerford.

“These businesses are able to grow equity through their real estate. They’re able to improve space and re-invest in it knowing that they’ll benefit once the time comes to sell the property. There are tax breaks for them if they own their own property. They’re able to control their costs and expansion and contraction abilities instead of being at the whim of a landlord.”

Office and warehouse space

The first phase of the development will feature an office building and warehouse comprising 121,000 square feet of leasable space on 11 acres near major transportation routes. The location will include more than 570 parking stalls and bicycle racks and is accessible by public transit.

Site-clearing is complete and Hungerford is waiting for final permits so construction can begin. It’s scheduled to be finished next year and Hungerford said the project will grow according to market demand.

“There are an additional nine acres either for expansion or build-to-suit opportunities for businesses in the area.”

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Click here for the Paragon Business Park website.

Hungerford Properties showed its confidence in Calgary's economy when the company expanded its local real estate holdings with the November 2013 purchase of the Haworth building on 52nd Street S.E.

Built by Calgary visionary Mogens Smed in 1999, the 761,000 square-foot building on 18 hectares of land was the largest manufacturing facility west of Ontario at the time. Described as an "iconic" asset to Calgary, it has since been renamed Icon Business Park. The plan was to transform the building from a single to a multitenant facility and although Haworth still has a presence in the building, its first new tenant was Hagen - a worldwide distributor of pet supplies that leased 195,000 square feet.

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Leasing activity in Calgary’s industrial real estate market in 2014 was the highest it’s been in eight years.

A report by Colliers International in Calgary says there was just over five million square feet of positive absorption – the change in occupied space – last year – the highest yearly absorption since 2006.

Despite the high rate of absorption, only 500,000 square feet of new construction was added to the industrial inventory in the fourth quarter of last year, added the report.

Colliers said the leasing velocity and lower-than-average new construction contributed to produce a lower vacancy rate of 3.82 per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter’s 4.43 per cent.

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Congratulations again to our very own, Andrew Hungerford for winning Business in Vancouver's Forty Under 40!

Andrew Hungerford excelled both athletically and academically before joining his family's rapidly expanding real-estate business, Hungerford Properties, in 2008.

Hungerford, a former winner of Canada's national rowing championship, also has an MBA from Stanford University, a B.Comm from Queen's University and designations as both a chartered accountant and a chartered financial analyst in Canada and as a certified public accountant in the U.S.

In the 13 years Hungerford has been in the real-estate business, he has acquired or managed more than $3 billion worth of real estate globally.

Hungerford Properties, where he is an equal partner alongside father George and brother Michael, is about to go on an acquisition tear.

"We've just raised an institutional real estate equity fund of $120 million, which has the potential to acquire $400 million worth of properties," he said.

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