Ottawa-based KRP Properties has acquired nine new properties, expanding the company’s presence in Kanata and – for the first time – in other parts of the National Capital Region.
By Jacob Serebrin
The deal, valued at $70 million, will see KRP take possession of nine buildings with a total of about 426,000 square feet of commercial office space.
The private equity real estate company currently owns and manages 2.8 million square feet of commercial office space, mostly in Kanata North.
“Two of the key properties in this portfolio are located in Kanata North, and they represent properties that would enable us to provide greater flexibility to the tenant base,” said KRP president Martin Vandewouw.
Those properties, consisting of three buildings in the Kanata North Tech Park on Innovation Drive and three buildings at the Kanata Research Park on March Road, will “enable us to accommodate smaller tenants and startups better than our ability to accommodate them today,” Mr. Vandewouw said.
“The other properties – there’s one on Queensview Drive, one on Capella Court and another property in Gatineau – enable us to expand our wheelhouse from being just Kanata,” he says. “It’s our first foray into owning and managing properties outside of Kanata North.”
Mr. Vandewouw said that while there might be some capital investments, the buildings KRP is acquiring are, for the most part, already leased out.
“The buildings are on average, across the whole, 94 per cent occupied,” he said. “They’re in good shape.”
While KRP is now expanding its reach beyond Kanata, it remains focused on its customer base, which is mainly tech companies.
“We’re really trying to create an environment that allows the tech companies in this area to thrive,” Mr. Vandewouw said.
That includes ensuring there are amenities in the area. KRP offers perks such as free yoga and networking events for the employees of its tenants.
“The challenge for most technology companies is the attraction and retention of top talent, so making sure that you’re in the right location, making sure that there’s amenities, making sure that you’re providing the right kind of office environment, making sure that you’re providing them with challenging things to work on, is all part of the equation,” Mr. Vandewouw said.
“A lot of the smaller companies are budget-limited but still want the amenities that you see Shopify and some of the other innovative tech companies providing for their employees.”
KRP’s sister company, the Brookstreet Hotel, is also in the process of expanding and creating a new conference facility in the area.
KRP says the new properties in Kanata will allow it to offer greater flexibility to its tenants.
“It’s one of the unique things that we as a real estate company are able to offer tech tenants,” Mr. Vandewouw said.
“A technology company has a hard time forecasting beyond maybe 18 months, yet they’re signing up for space in five-year or three-year increments and sometimes they get it wrong, where the space they’ve signed up for isn’t big enough or it’s too big, and given the size of our portfolio and the buildings all being in the same area, we have the flexibility to help those tenants out if they’ve made the wrong call.”
The properties are located at:
1125 Innovation Dr.
1145 Innovation Dr.
1135 Innovation Dr.
300 March Rd.
320 March Rd.
340 March Rd.
7 Capella Court
2625 Queensview Dr.
22 Varennes St., Gatineau