Shawn Hamilton has been promoted to managing director of CBRE Limited’s Ottawa office with a mandate of building more comprehensive relationships with existing clients and winning over new ones to build the company’s brand in the city.
Hamilton grew up in Ottawa and was previously CBRE’s vice-president of office leasing for the city. He says his new role will make him “a resource for all of the other salespeople in the office across all lines of the brokerage business” to help them plan and grow their business.
“Shawn’s dedication to his clients and colleagues, combined with his knowledge of the market, will allow him to target new opportunities and elevate the CBRE brand,” says CBRE president and chief executive officer Mark Renzoni.
“Full line of services”
“We have a full line of services, ranging from brokerages to project management, evaluation services and property management,” says Hamilton. “I want to find ways that we can integrate all of our services to bring value to our clients.
“For instance, if you’re a building owner, not only can we list the building to find tenants for you, we can property manage the building for you and project manage any construction work that needs to be done.”
Hamilton has represented office tenants in the Ottawa region for more than 21 years.
He joined CBRE as associate vice-president in 2004 and has specialized in tenant representation services to corporations in the Ottawa area, accounting for several million square feet of office space renewal and/or relocation. He believes the market is going through fundamental changes on several fronts.
“The federal government is in the process of making more efficient use of its people and its space, much like any large corporation would do. Our dependence on the federal government is becoming less and we have to see how the private sector takes up that slack. They’ve been slow to take up that slack but they’re showing signs that they’re here for the long haul.
“Technology is certainly going to be one of our bigger industries that will help with the growth of the city.”
Helps the feds with advisory and brokerage services
CBRE is contracted to provide lease brokerage and advisory services by Public Works and Government Services Canada (Public Works), a relationship that reflects the federal government’s increasing reliance on the private sector to help manage its real estate portfolio.
“We’re just there to become their trusted adviser as they need us to help them renew leases and offer advice on the goings-on in the market,” says Hamilton. “I call it a macro-economic overview.”
Hamilton has worked with a wide range of clients, including Export Development Canada, the Bank of Canada and Public Works. He managed Nortel’s real estate requirements and advised the company on the re-positioning of approximately 270,000 square metres (three million square feet) of leased properties. He was part of a team split between Ottawa and Toronto that executed two Nortel design-build projects totalling more than 27,000 square metres (300,000 square feet) and negotiated several hundred thousand square feet of new leases and renewals.
Hamilton has been a strategic real estate adviser for Entrust since 1996, and assisted the company with the design-build of a 13,500-square-metre (150,000-square-foot) facility in Ottawa and managed its growth across the United States. He also provided corporate solutions to Cisco Systems across Canada by facilitating its relocation and lease renewals.
Optimistic about Ottawa’s future
Hamilton won’t comment on any of CBRE’s current Ottawa properties or projects, but looks forward to the way the new Light Rail Transit system will change the way the city flows on an east-to-west basis and act to bring the suburbs into closer contact with the downtown core. He’s also optimistic about current and future development in and around Lansdowne Park, the Domtar lands redevelopment and LeBreton Flats.
“We have all of this change, and change is good. We just haven’t really figured out what it’s going to mean and how the investment world and the tenant world are going to adapt to this. They will, but we just have to figure out how they’re going to do that.”
CBRE began operations in Canada in 1983 under the name Coldwell Banker Canada Inc. and became a national corporation with offices in major cities across the country by 1994. The Ottawa office opened in June 1999 and now employs 22 people on the brokerage side, including 15 brokers as well as support staff and researchers.
CBRE Group, Inc. is headquartered in Los Angeles and is one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firms. It has approximately 31,000 employees and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices worldwide.
CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for: property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting.