CANADA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
REAL ESTATE CHALLENGE
Canada Life Insurance Company had taken back the property at 150 Montreal Road in Ottawa, Ontario, from the owners due to a mortgage default. The company then engaged Geoff to come up with a sales strategy to sell the property.
The property was 70% vacant and in a poor state of repair.
Fifty percent of the property (ground floor) was made up of seven small, sloped movie theatres with concrete block demising walls, a large lobby to accommodate ticket sales, and a waiting area for movie patrons.
The building was sitting on leased land owned by the City of Vanier.
The building only had 50% of the required parking to undertake a conversion. The parking situation came about as a result of a deal made at the time with the City of Vanier due to the fact the movie theatre operated in the evening only.
One of the two buildings directly behind the subject property belonged to a bank due to a mortgage default and the second, belonging to a charitable organization, was three years behind in real estate taxes. Geoff arranged for the purchase of both buildings by the prospective purchaser with its intention to tear them down to increase the parking for 150 Montreal Road.
Buildings on leased land are very difficult to finance. Geoff outlined the purchaser’s intentions to the City of Vanier (landowner) and convinced to the city to sell the land − along with 150 Montreal Road. The sale was conditional on the purchaser arranging for additional parking to be added to the site.
The concrete block walls between the theatres were removed, crushed on site and used as a portion of the fill to backfill the sloped floors to create a 25,000 square foot ground floor space for medical retail.
Leases were completed with Shoppers Drug Mart, Hakim Optical, Dynacare Labs, an x-ray clinic and a physiotherapy clinic. Shoppers Drug Mart’s lease was conditional on signed leases with a least 25 doctors and the Hakim Optical lease was conditional on the building signing leases with two eye doctors.
Geoff created an incentive program in concert with Shoppers and Hakim to attract the required doctors and the lease goals for both were achieved.
Canada Life Insurance Company sold the building to a local investor, who then executed the plan.
The building was 100% occupied within 19 months and recorded a 363% increase in value.
The City of Vanier solved a parking problem it had created due to poor planning.