The Saddledome shown in Calgary on Sept. 15, 2017. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Alberta slump cited in court process to sell dozens of office buildings

CALGARY — A major player in Calgary’s depressed office real estate industry is putting dozens of Alberta office buildings under court protection from creditors while it tries to sell them.

Riaz Mamdani, CEO of Strategic Group, says the move is being made because of a prolonged downturn in the Alberta economy over the past five years that has resulted in office vacancy rates of around 25 per cent in Calgary, Canada’s major oil and gas hub.

The company says it has lost 78 tenants — some of which are no longer in business — occupying almost 54,000 square metres under lease since mid-2014 and the situation is expected to worsen in 2020.

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has appointed Hardie & Kelly Inc. as monitor of proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act for 50 properties in Calgary and six in Edmonton.

Mamdani says the proceedings will not affect the rest of the private company’s 171 office, retail and apartment properties from Vancouver Island to Atlantic Canada.

In its third-quarter office market report, realtor Avison Young said the overall Calgary vacancy rate was 22.3 per cent but the downtown rate was 24.6 per cent.

“The end goal is to make sure that all of the lenders and creditors are fully paid and that there’s a portfolio left at the end of it that’s a viable portfolio in this current economy,” said Mamdani in an interview.

The company says the affected properties in Calgary represent about five per cent of total Beltline and downtown Class B and C office space and about seven per cent of Class A suburban space.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2019.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Alberta landowners urge farmers to cut power to wells with unpaid debts

A group of Alberta landowners is asking farmers and ranchers to fight… Continue reading

‘A little love can go a long way,’ says a Red Deer opioid user who supports overdose prevention

The OPS means higher survival rates and less needle debris, he adds

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Pearman: Bohemian Waxwings the consummate nomads

It is always a treat when a winter flock of Bohemian waxwings… Continue reading

Shots from stands, women’s 3-on-3 highlight NHL skills event

ST. LOUIS — Shooting pucks from the stands and some of the… Continue reading

Canada beats U.S. in 3-on-3 women’s game at NHL all-star skills competition

ST. LOUIS — Melodie Daoust and Rebecca Johnston scored to give Canada… Continue reading

Lowry, Siakam lead Raptors past Knicks for 6th straight win

Raptors 118 Knicks 112 NEW YORK — Kyle Lowry scored 26 points,… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Most Read