City real estate continues to evolve

Winnipeg Free Press

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The dynamics of commercial and industrial real estate markets in a city like Winnipeg do not change overnight. For the longest time — think back to the mid-’90s when the Jets 1.0 left town — it would have been accurate to describe the commercial real estate market in the city as boring and stagnant….

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Bryn Oliver Joins The Capital Commercial Investment Services Team

Capital Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. (“Capital”) has expanded their footprint in Winnipeg with the strategic hire of Bryn Oliver as Principal.   Bryn is a respected industry leader and joins Capital after a nearly a decade with a competing firm.  Based in Winnipeg, Bryn joins the Capital Commercial investment services team of Trevor Clay and Luke Paulsen, along with a highly skilled brokerage services support team.

Bryn brings to Capital extensive experience in real estate brokerage services, notably in investment sales transactions.  He is well-connected and has strong relationships with both local and national investors and tenants, private syndications, institutional investors and public REIT’s.

As established industry leaders, Bryn and Trevor look to grow their market share under the Capital Commercial banner.

Revitalized Downtown Shines In Tour

winnipeg free press

by: Martin Cash

Winnipeg’s downtown was looking busy and smart as Susan Ainley of the Downtown Business Improvement Zone took a group of about 30 downtown economic development officials from all over the world on a walking tour.

Some of the 600 delegates from the International Downtown Association’s conference in Winnipeg this week strolled up Carlton Street past the True North Square construction site with St. Mary’s Cathedral in the background, past Bell MTS Place and over to the Cube at Old Market Square and the Esplanade Riel.

On a warm, late-summer day, the organizing host committee — including the Downtown BIZ, Exchange District BIZ and West End BIZ — could not have asked for a better day to show the city off.

Rennie Zegalski, chairman of the West End BIZ and a principal at Capital Commercial Real Estate Services, said while there was justifiably a lot of attention and public awareness for this year’s Canada Summer Games, the significance of landing the IDA conference isn’t lost on the city’s community economic development professionals.

“We’ve got 600 of the most influential folks in downtown industry internationally,” he said.

“They come here, they blog, they are experts, they shape conversation. These people are here looking at every corner, every experience, every piece of litter, every homeless person. It’s a great opportunity to give that one-time first impression.”

Wednesday saw a series of events leading into the conference, including an information-packed workshop called The Future of Physical Retail in the Age of Online.

But mostly delegates had a number of organized tours of the city to choose from.

Carla Duval-Tyler, chairwoman of the Riversdale Business Improvement Zone in Saskatoon, was impressed with the Exchange District.

“It was lovely to see all the great historic buildings and the vibrancy of that area and we had a great little breakfast at Clementine,” she said.

“Seeing the old buildings being utilized was good because our area in Saskatoon is up and coming the same way. It’s an older neighborhood in the process of resurgence and revitalization.”

The Winnipeg organizing committee pitched the IDA on the success of the public-private partnerships in downtown’s development and decided on “Authenticity” as the theme of the event.

Kay Miller, executive director of Biloxi Main Street, from Biloxi, Miss., was a little bit disappointed that the weather here was not much different than southern Mississippi.

Susie Salisbury, vice-president of community development from Charleston Area Alliance of Charleston, W.Va., loved Assiniboine Park.

“You can tell the city is under rebuild,” Salisbury said during the walking tour.

“There’s lots of history here, lots of the 1960s too and (looking at the True North Square construction site) you can also see lots of the future.”

Stan Henry, operations manager at the Kansas City Main Street Corridor Development Corp., said there are peculiar issues to every city that they have to deal with, but there are also many that are common to the downtown revitalization process everywhere.

“You guys have different ways of doing things in Canada because of infrastructure and government, but the reality is I think everyone understands for downtown revitalization there are some certain elements you are going to have to have,” he said.

“You need to create more housing and the struggle is to be able to make it equal, to include affordable housing.”

Henry said a new light-rapid-rail transit line into the Kansas City downtown is already having a positive impact on what he referred to as “nuisance” housing. It’s also encouraging corporate headquarters to move downtown after having vacated to the suburbs.

Walking along Graham Avenue during the lunch hour, with the usual mix of pedestrian traffic, Henry said, “one thing I appreciate about every Canadian city I have been to is the embracement of immigrant communities.

“I see it and you get that sense that they have a level of ownership in the community,” he said.

Your Seat is Waiting

UM Alumni Today

Alumni can make a difference in the lives of students and our community with a seat on the Board of Governors – nominations are now open

Rennie Zegalski didn’t plan on spending nine years around the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors table. Now, after three, three-year terms he’s stepping down.

With the end of Zegalski’s term, a seat on the U of M’s Board of Governors is open for an alumni representative and nominations are currently being accepted.“I am a little bit sad,” says Zegalski. “After you do something for so long it’s hard to leave.”

Zegalski graduated from the U of M in 1995 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Back then it was simply known as the Faculty of Management, but it already had a reputation as a high-calibre business program among other Canadian business schools.

Students of the faculty were encouraged to participate in conferences and business competitions. Zegalski remembers these Canada-wide events as one of the highlights of his time at the U of M and was part of the first group that went to the Undergraduate Business Games (UBG).

“One of my best experiences was travelling, representing the university and competing at every level,” says Zegalski. “We ended up winning the spirit award and these schools that didn’t think the U of M existed as a business school, they saw our group had great energy, they could tell were smart and were a lot of fun to be with, I think we really surprised a lot of people.”

Zegalski was also highly involved in student governance, ranging from faculty associations to the University of Manitoba Students’ Union. This engagement foreshadowed his ethos and participation in boards throughout his career. In addition to wrapping up his role as finance chair on the U of M’s Board of Governors, Zegalski is also currently vice president of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, past chair of the Winnipeg Convention Centre; past-chairperson of the West End Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone and past-president of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association.

In the early 2000s, just five or six years after graduating, Zegalski became involved in the U of M’s Alumni Association, eventually becoming president. He says that experience gave him behind-the-scene insight, which sparked his involvement with the university’s Board of Governors.

“That was a great experience because you get invited to the yearlong activities of the university. You really get a front row seat to seeing all that the university is involved in,” says Zegalski.

As Zegalski finishes his third, three-year term, he now has time to reflect on what his time on the board of governors has meant to him.

“I enjoyed the first three years, which was a real learning experience to understand the governance and what the board does. The next three years I dug in a little deeper and the last three years I served as chair of finance, served on the executive and took on a more senior role,” says Zegalski.

As a principal and founding member of Capital Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., Zegalski was particularly interested in the development of Investors Group Field, ARTlab, the Active Living Centre and the Southwood Lands.

“The Southwood Lands for example, was starting at the ground level. This was 100 acres of a blank slate and could have huge impact for the university and the future of the U of M,” says Zegalski. “Through my nine years of involvement on the board, that’s played out so that it’s now ready to put a shovel in the ground so to speak. These were all files that started out as ideas and went through the funding process and development and I feel very blessed to be part of that and seeing how something can lead from an idea to being built. That’s really what drove me to go back year after year.”

Zegalski finds the work very fulfilling. He compares the U of M to being the third largest city in the province after Winnipeg and Brandon and makes the point that the impact the U of M has on Manitoba is equally as big.

“I don’t think people understand the role the U of M plays in society, beyond educating students. That’s a very important part and they will go on to be our future leaders,” says Zegalski. “Here’s a chance as an alumni to have a big impact in the society you live in.”

On top of that, Zegalski says the role of the board is to provide guidance in the governance of the university, to help educate students and contribute to research that helps improve the lives of people all over the world. Some of that research has helped the U of M play a key role in protecting Canada’s Arctic as well as creating more sustainable agricultural methods or developing a vaccine for Ebola.

“If there’s a message to alumni, it’s that it’s a great institution and it’s doing so many great things. When you see it on the inside, you see how important the work that happens at the U of M is and how far-reaching it is.”

JLL Forms Partnerships With Regional CRE Firms


JLL has formed a national strategic partnership with commercial real estate service providers from three different Canadian regions where it doesn’t have corporate offices or licensing.

Capital Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. is based in Manitoba, ICR Commercial Real Estate is in Saskatchewan and Partners Global Corporate Real Estate covers Atlantic Canada.

“Our attention over the short term has been to concentrate on major markets,” said JLL Canada president Brett Miller. “However, some of our national and international clients need representation in these additional provinces, so we turned to the best-in-class local firms to partner with us.

“We have a long history with them, they hold deep market knowledge and also demonstrate JLL’s core values of excellence, integrity and teamwork.”

JLL has presence around the world

JLL has more than 280 corporate offices in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. It provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a four-billion-square-foot portfolio and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015.

The three new partnerships will allow JLL to better service clients in the respective regions and expand its brand.

“Our strategic partners will help JLL through impeccable service delivery in their niche markets,” said Miller. “In turn, JLL will provide them access to a global network and best-in-class tools and technologies.

“The teams will work collaboratively on assignments, share revenues from those assignments and pursue business in a synergistic manner.”

Capital, ICR and Partners

Capital Commercial is based in Winnipeg and provides: retail, office and industrial sales and leasing; investment property sales; and development services. It also provides professional property management services through Capital Property Management.

ICR was founded in 1993 and is Saskatchewan’s largest privately owned real estate company. It has four offices in Saskatoon and Regina and also services the province’s smaller markets. ICR employs more than 120 people and manages more than $2 billion in real estate assets for its clients. The firm specializes in selling and leasing commercial properties and is known for its expertise in commercial development and repurposing existing buildings.

Partners Global was founded in 2003 in Halifax by Larry Sowerby and Brian Toole. It has since opened New Brunswick offices in Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton as well as a Newfoundland office in St. John’s. Partners Global has leased in excess of six million square feet of commercial office space and sold commercial real estate valued at more than $100 million. The company has extensive experience in: tenant and build-to-suit advisory services; leasing; sales; and site selection.

“These partnerships were not created overnight,” said Miller. “They developed through years of successful shared transactions, client service and friendship.”

by: Steve McLean