Located in Alberta, Edmonton is the provincial capital and serves as the staging point for the large-scale oil sands projects based in the northern part of the province. World-leading oil and gas exploration, production and service companies maintain large operations here and, due to its central location between BC and other Prairie provinces, the city provides a regional transportation link to Asia, the U.S., and Canada’s North while fostering national and international trade.
Edmonton’s position as a leader in global energy markets has led to a diverse, highly-educated, and rapidly-expanding population of more than 1.2 million, which exceeds national averages in income, employment and several other categories. In addition to energy, major industries include tourism, transportation and high-technology, which all benefit from the presence of internally-renowned post-secondary educational facilities. Accordingly, Edmonton has a thriving commercial real estate market, which has displayed resilience to global economic challenges. Thanks to the city’s wide-open landscape, real estate market expansion faces few geographic barriers and benefits from a high level of available land.
Located in the heart of the provincial capital, the downtown office market is heavily leased by Alberta and federal government entities. Edmonton is also home to numerous major regional financial institutions that occupy a sizable portion of the city’s office space. Engineering firms also have a strong presence in the office market.
Gaining from steady growth in employment and income levels, the retail sector has expanded steadily over the past five to 10 years. Large Canadian chains have steadily expanded existing operations, and increasing numbers of American retailers have entered the market. Thanks to these expansion efforts and the internationally-recognized West Edmonton Mall, the city routinely leads the nation in per capita square footage for retail space.
Edmonton’s industrial real estate sector benefits from the presence of expanding local, national and international oilfield service, warehouse, distribution, and transportation firms. Unlike many other cities, Edmonton is not limited by a lack of industrial land.
Institutional investors, including pension funds, REITs and public companies, are attracted to Edmonton in increasingly large numbers, along with private players who favour Alberta’s low corporate tax rates and the absence of a provincial sales tax. While institutional investors dominate the office sector, they have also invested billions in the retail, industrial and multi-residential markets. Private investors tend to have stronger footholds in the retail, industrial and multi-residential sectors.
Avison Young opened its office in Edmonton through the formation of Graeme Young & Associates in 1978. Since that time, Edmonton brokers have been market leaders in all asset categories while partnering on major projects with other Avison Young offices in Canada and the United States. Avison Young’s Edmonton office is well-suited for all types of commercial real estate transactions, and collaborates frequently with the Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto locations on a variety of office, retail and industrial leasing activities, and acquisitions and dispositions.
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