Several ‘high-quality’ tenants interested in leasing space

The long-vacant floors of Executive Place should soon start to fill.

The long-vacant floors of Executive Place should soon start to fill.

The 12-storey office building at 4900 50th St. in Red Deer received a boost last month when Stantec Inc. moved its local operations into the top 5 1/2 floors. Now Chad Brennand, an associate with Executive Place’s leasing agent DTZ Barnicke in Edmonton, says he’s negotiating on most of the remaining 55,000 square feet.

“We have enough interest in the building that the remaining vacancy would be full,” Brennand said Wednesday. “And that’s not with a single occupier; that’s with a number of groups.”

He said interest has come from a number of “high-quality national tenants.”

These include Nova Chemicals Corp., confirmed Rick Van Hemmen, Nova’s Joffre site leader. (See related story.)

Brennand said DTZ Barnicke has also gotten queries from smaller local businesses, but wants to accommodate the needs of big lessees before carving out space for others.

This is particularly true for the first floor, which is designated for retail use.

“What we’ve been doing is getting interest from a number of different parties and trying to get the best mix of tenants for the main floor,” said Brennand.

That could include medical or dental professionals, and/or various other businesses.

“We haven’t ruled out a large restaurant — somebody that could service both the coffee side as well as the sit-down restaurant side.”

As the tenant mix on the floors above become known, it should be easier to get commitments for the higher-priced space on the ground level, said Brennand. That’s because they’ll likely rely on trade from Executive Place’s occupants, as well as customers from the outside.

Executive Place was developed at a cost of about $40 million by Beca International Ltd. and Clark Builders. Completed two years ago, it suffered from the poor appetite for lease space that accompanied the recession.

Brennand thinks the resurgent energy sector, and the absorption of surplus office space in Red Deer, are now driving prospective tenants to Executive Place.

“It’s just over the last six to nine months we’re starting to see some renewed interest in it and some traction with new tenants to the market.”

Another factor has been Stantec’s commitment to Executive Place, he suggested.

“As soon as you put a large tenant and a respected tenant like Stantec into a building, it doesn’t matter what market you’re in, it adds credibility to the project.”

Brennand has no doubt that a building of comparable quality in Calgary or Edmonton would have filled long ago.

“I think the dynamics of the Red Deer market are a little bit different. In the tenant base there’s not as much depth.”

Stantec relocated from its existing space about a block east on Ross Street. It spent more than $3 million renovating the seventh to 12 floors of Executive Place to meet its needs, including extending a open staircase between the 11th and 12th floors down to the 10th.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com