Avenue Living to Aggressively Expand Calgary Portfolio

Avenue Living Asset Management has built its vast Western Canadian portfolio of residential rental properties outside the major market of Calgary.

But the Calgary-based company is now poised to aggressively expand into the city, actively looking to acquire both residential and commercial real estate assets.

“Historically, we had focused on secondary Prairie markets but have been able to develop a solid pipeline of investment opportunities in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina. We are actively seeking to expand our exposure to Calgary,” says Dave Smith, Avenue Living’s Chief Operating Officer. “Over the last 2 years, pricing has become more attractive supported by strengthening fundamentals. We have a view that long-term future job growth will, in turn, drive rent revenue.”

“We’re really actively looking and trying to grow this portfolio over the next three to four months.”

Avenue Living Asset Management has ambitiously built a portfolio of more than 8,500 residential rental units across Western Canada in just 13 years. The company’s journey began in 2006 with the purchase of 24 rental units in Brooks, Alberta for $3 million.

The company, which has just over $1.3 billion in assets under management, also has more than 400,000 square feet of commercial space.

In Calgary, however, its presence is limited.

Avenue Living currently owns 303 multifamily residential units in Calgary – a combination of townhomes and apartments.

“We’ve made four multi-family acquisitions in Calgary since 2018,” says Smith. “Currently we are working on about 750 units in Calgary and expect to close on these transactions over Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. Finding the right opportunities continues to be a challenge, but we continue to develop relationships In Calgary to generate our pipeline. For us, having over 1,000 units in the market, diversified across sub-markets, allows us to establish a strong operational platform in the city.”

On the residential side, part of the reason Avenue Living had not entered the market earlier was due to investment yields. In the years of 2013, 2014 and 2015, it was also hard to develop a solid strategy for investors as the market became quite volatile. Now there is a much more stable picture of where economic indicators are pointing.

Avenue Living has also acquired its first retail asset in Calgary on Stephen Avenue in the downtown core.

“We are working on acquiring more commercial assets in the market,” says Smith, as the company seeks to grow that aspect of the business to more than one million square feet overall. “Our strategy in Calgary is not limited to just multifamily. We’ve identified opportunities across the office, retail and industrial asset classes.”

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