The property, rebranded as Meridian Business Park, was purchased two weeks ago for an undisclosed price.
It includes a 121,000-square-foot building completed in 1998 and 13 acres of additional land in a commercial and industrial hub in the St. Boniface area that offers easy access to major transportation routes, including Lagimodiere Boulevard, Regent Avenue, Mission Street and Dugald Road.
“It was well-conceived and state-of-the-art in its day when it was built,” said Hungerford. “It needs some capital and needs an owner that’s willing to put some money into it to make it relevant for today’s market.”
(The former Maple Leaf Foods property in Winnipeg is shown on the top in the image and Icon Business Park in Calgary is the lower building.)
Similar projects in other cities
The Vancouver-based and Western Canada-focused real estate investment, development and management firm previously revitalized and repositioned older industrial buildings in cities such as Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Hungerford draws comparisons between Meridian Business Park and Calgary’s 45-acre Icon Business Park, which his company acquired in late 2013.
“With that building, we made some significant investments and have been successfully leasing the property out to a number of good companies that are taking advantage of a great value-to-quality ratio,” said Hungerford.
A substantial amount of money will be put into a Meridian Business Park redesign that will include customizing the interior to meet the requirements of new tenants. The building offers a flexible work space of 20,000 to 120,000 square feet for warehousing and adjoining office space.
It features good ceiling height, car and trailer parking, outdoor storage capacity, above-market loading ratio and ample power supply.
“Winnipeg market is diversified”
“The Winnipeg market is diversified and I think the building lends itself to a broad spectrum of potential tenants, from logistics and warehousing uses to manufacturing,” said Hungerford, who added some prospective tenants have already been through the building and that the response has been favourable.
“We think that new market entrants or existing tenants in the market that have upcoming lease renewals will look at this option and explore it and reach the same conclusion that we have, that this is a great opportunity and a great value.”
Hungerford said Winnipeg has a lot of older industrial buildings and the ability to offer an additional 13 acres of land for outdoor storage or further construction provides Meridian Business Park with a competitive advantage.
“We absolutely could build more improvements on the land. It’s going to be driven by the requirements of the businesses.”