An Ottawa property management firm says it plans to spend $1.8 million renovating its recently acquired Pembroke properties in a project the company’s president said will “change the downtown landscape” in the Ottawa Valley city.
Conrad Pool emphasized that Sleepwell Property Management’s focus remains on its business in Ottawa, where its revenues and portfolio are growing at 10 to 15 per cent annually.
However, he said the company spotted a business opportunity in Pembroke, which has several major employers in the city and surrounding area: Algonquin College, which also has hundreds of students, the military base in neighbouring Petawawa and the nuclear laboratories and related industries in nearby Chalk River.
“Those are three powerhouse industries that are thriving in the Pembroke area,” Mr. Pool said.
Sleepwell now owns some 100 residential and commercial units in Pembroke, including a 10,000-square-foot former police station that’s being marketed as a professional services building.
It’s hired general contractor TCB Construction to restore the exterior facades and undertake full restorations of the buildings’ electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, as well as other features such as new floors and bathrooms.
Sleepwell’s overall portfolio consists of more than 1,500 residential and commercial units. While the company owns some of those assets, it’s primarily a third-party property manager that’s hired by other building owners as well as condo corporations.
In recent years, the 40-employee firm has capitalized on the rising number of individual real estate investors, many of whom purchase one or two properties to generate rental income but would prefer not to deal with some of the headaches that come with being a landlord.
“They want to own real estate, but don’t want to deal with the day-to-day affairs,” Mr. Pool said.