CBRE’s National Apartment Group has brokered the largest single asset multi-residential sale in Ottawa’s history, with Homestead Land Holdings acquiring Island Park Towers for $267 million.
The sale of the iconic three-tower, 642-suite site on Clearview Avenue was the result of a collaborative effort between CBRE advisors in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. This culminated in high watermark pricing for the private Montreal ownership group, and for Kingston-based Homestead, the rare acquisition of a quality large-scale apartment community in the nation's capital.
“This is a hugely significant deal for Ottawa,” says CBRE Executive Vice President David Montressor, noting that there was strong interest in the site from a variety of prospective buyers who were attracted to what he describes as a “premier value-add offering.”
The sale of Island Park Towers—the largest complex of its kind in Ottawa when it opened in 1966—is one of the biggest multifamily deals in Canada in 2021. It ranks second to a deal brokered by CBRE's Lance Coulson in Vancouver in January: the sale of 15 properties totaling 614 units for $292.5 million to InterRent REIT and Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd.
Investors like Ottawa
Homestead’s purchase of Island Park Towers underscores how favourably Ottawa is being viewed by investors these days.
“All eyes have been on the capital lately because of the federal election, but the real story here is that investors have become bullish about Ottawa commercial real estate,” says CBRE Ottawa Managing Director Louis Karam. “Ottawa is being mentioned in the same breath as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and the potential for investor upside in our market is significant.”
Investment volumes in the city totaled $766.7 million over 174 transactions in the second quarter of 2021, according to CBRE’s new Investment MarketView report.
Multifamily was the second most active asset class in Ottawa in the quarter after retail, representing $143 million of the Q2 volume, including the $43.8 million sale of a 200-unit apartment complex at 324 Cambridge St. to a private investor.
“We’ve been experiencing strong interest from multifamily investors for several years now,” says Montressor. "Particularly those looking for larger deals."