Crown Enters Ottawa Office Market

The company acquired Carling Executive Park and is set to begin large-scale capital improvements at the three-building, 289,000-square-foot asset.
Carling Executive Park. Image courtesy of Crown Realty Partners
Carling Executive Park. Image courtesy of Crown Realty Partners

Crown Realty Partners has closed on its acquisition of Carling Executive Park in the Ottawa, Ontario, submarket of Ottawa West. QuadReal Property Group sold the property, which encompasses three office buildings totaling 289,000 square feet, for $56.5 million CDN or $42.7 million, Emily Hanna, Crown partner, told Commercial Property Executive.

The asset, located at 1525, 1545 and 1565 Carling Ave., is adjacent to Highway 417 and is also served by the OC Transpo. It borders Carlingwood and Westboro Village, two popular residential neighborhoods. The park, which is Crown’s first property in Ottawa, was 74.1 percent occupied at the time of sale, Hanna added.

The acquisition was made on behalf of Crown’s fourth value-add fund, Crown Realty IV Limited Partnership. Crown will act as asset manager and has engaged Glenview Management Ltd., the site’s original developer, to oversee property management. Last year, the company teamed up with Crestpoint Real Estate Investments to acquire a 416,600-square-foot Toronto office asset.

This fall, Crown and Glenview will begin large-scale capital improvements, including upgraded common areas, a WorkFit by Crown fitness center, a new tenant conference center and a model suite program.

Carling’s tenants are predominantly in the FIRE industries, according to Hanna, and include Sun Life Assurance, CH2M Hill Canada and MD Financial Management, a ScotiaBank unit.

Public vs. private

The overall office vacancy for metro Ottawa declined in the second quarter to 7.0 percent, the lowest point in 10 years, according to a second-quarter report from Cushman & Wakefield. That for Ottawa West was even more landlord-friendly, at 6.1 percent as of the second quarter. Average Class A asking rents in that submarket were $34.39 per square foot, versus $40.90 for the metro overall.

As to Ottawa’s economy going forward, Cushman & Wakefield notes a potential collision, between budget-tightening by the federal Liberal government and expansion by tech companies, which in some cases have taken over office space previously occupied by the federal government.