“You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Logistics is an interesting field.
Much like industrial real estate, it was never considered ‘sexy’ until one-click purchases and same-day deliveries became ingrained in the zeitgeist of society.
If you look back ten or twenty years, all the flash and pizzazz was surrounding downtown office leasing, major infill development projects, and prominent retail brands expanding into the Canadian market with hip flagship stores.
At that time, industrial product was typically seen as older, unclean, and boring. Today, modern warehouses boast beautiful facades, high ceilings, vast windows, bright lights, spotless floors, and cutting-edge technologies.
Industrial deals are shattering records. Values are creating generational wealth for sellers and long-term cashflows for investors. Tenants are receiving world-class product to help execute their business objectives and capture explosive demand for goods and services. Brokers are earning sizeable fees and the asset class, in general, is viewed as a sturdy ship sailing perilous seas.
And the reason is – because while alternative asset classes such as office and retail struggle due to reduced demand – people continue to insist that goods are made and moved at incredible speeds.
This non-negotiable need from consumers means that brands must be able to have their goods physically present in proximity and ready-to-ship at any moment’s notice. And while the logistics behind this process is incredibly complex, the crux of fulfilling these promises lies in being located as close as possible to the delivery destination.
Similar to our recent newsletters covering up-and-coming submarkets on the periphery of the Greater Toronto Area, the rising cost of living and ability to work remotely has caused large numbers of people to move further away from the City core.
Brantford – being a well-located municipality with a strong manufacturing and warehousing business base – has attracted its fair share of this movement.
Thus, where people go, businesses follow. And this dynamic has resulted in submarkets such as Brantford – which are typically between 45 and 90 minutes outside Toronto along a major transportation route – have gained notoriety as secondary regional hubs for major logistics and warehousing companies looking to take advantage of an expanded consumer base, an educated labour pool, and a discount in costs.
That’s why, in the coming weeks, we will analyze a number of sought-after periphery markets within the broader Greater Toronto Area and Greater Golden Horseshoe. We will aim to provide some deep insight into each, as well as provide some detail on potential opportunities that may fit in with your real estate or investment strategy.
For this week’s newsletter, we’ll feature the City of Brantford and examine the state of its industrial market, including trends, transactions, and developments.
Located about 90 minutes southwest of Toronto along Highway 403, the City of Brantford – which is a self-governing municipality within Brant County – has become a growing industrial node due in large part to the availability of development lands and location in proximity to the GTA, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, and the US border.
Below, we are featuring five of the most recent, larger, state-of-the-art distribution facilities that are either under construction or in final planning stages.
Granite Telephone City Logistics Centre, Brantford. Source: JLL & Granite REIT.
Granite REIT is building up to 1.76 million square feet at the Granite Telephone City Logistics Centre in Brantford, Ontario.
The project will initially see approximately 1.25 million square feet over three buildings delivered in Q4 of 2023, of which, Building 1 (totalling 410,040 SF) has been pre-leased to Swiss-based chocolatier Barry Callebaut. Buildings 2 and 3 will be 727,307 SF and 113, 635 SF in size, with 65 truck-level and 2 drive-in doors, and 12 truck-level and 1 drive in doors, respectively, along with 40 foot clear heights.
An additional Building 4 consisting of 93,881 SF is planned but not actively being pre-leased. JLL is managing the leasing of the assets.
Brant Business Park, Phase 1. Source: Crestpoint.
Crestpoint is constructing the a 400,000 square foot industrial facility within the Brant Business Park, with expected delivery in Q2/Q3 2025. The facility features 40’ clear height, 63 truck-level and 2 drive-in doors, and 73 trailer parking spaces.
Located just minutes from Highway 403, the business park has 1.4 million square feet of industrial space over 8 buildings. CBRE is managing the leasing of the project.
RiverRail Business Park, Brantford. Source: JLL.
Lanca Contracting Limited is developing the River Rail Business Park, consisting of three industrial properties, in Brantford, Ontario along the Highway 403 corridor.
With Sites B and C already sold, the design-build opportunity at Site A offers up to 175,000 square feet of warehouse space with 28’ clear heights and ample shipping. JLL is managing the sale of the asset.
Panattoni is bringing to market approximately 1.8 million square feet of industrial space over 6 buildings on Bethel Rd – in the Rest Acres Road Business Park, in Brantford, Ontario.
The warehouses will be 671,162 SF, 392,398 SF, 319,865 SF, 133,483 SF, 126,099 SF, and 352,318 SF in size, respectively, and feature 40 foot clear heights. Expected delivery is in 2024.
Mitsui’s new facility addition at 60 Fen Ridge Court, Brantford. Source: InvestOntario.
According to InvestOntario, Mitsui High-tec (Canada) Inc. has just announced plans to invest $102.3 million to construct 103,500 square feet of additional industrial space at its 60 Fen Ridge Court location to manufacture motor core components for electric vehicles.
The announcement reads, “the company’s initial investment in Brantford in 2015, followed by a recent expansion of 100,000 square feet earlier this year, demonstrates their commitment to meeting the increasing demand for electric cars while strengthening Ontario’s manufacturing capacity. These investments bolster the province’s competitiveness for future ventures and make the province more competitive for new investments.”
With the Greater Toronto Area noticeably more expensive than some of its counterparts, such as the municipalities of Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo, it is no wonder that businesses and investors have turned their eyes westward to municipalities with greater development opportunities and with connectivity to major transportation routes.
The GTA itself will continue to command premium rents and pricing which will be paid by investors and occupiers looking to remain in one of North America’s premiere markets. That said, acquiring or leasing is difficult to execute due to competition and cost. As K-C-W, like many of its counterparts in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, attracts people leaving the big city, businesses and capital are following close behind.
In the coming weeks, we will continue our examination of various submarkets with the aim of uncovering potential opportunities and strategies for industrial Owners and Occupiers. In the meantime, if you are an owner of industrial land or property with redevelopment potential, there are plenty of institutional and private buyers who would be willing to pay a premium to take it off your hands.
For a confidential consultation or a complimentary opinion of value of your property please give us a call.
Until next week…
Goran Brelih and his team have been servicing Investors and Occupiers of Industrial properties in Toronto Central and Toronto North markets for the past 30 years.
Goran Brelih is an Executive Vice President for Cushman & Wakefield ULC in the Greater Toronto Area.
Over the past 30 years, he has been involved in the lease or sale of approximately 25.7 million square feet of industrial space, valued in excess of $1.6 billion dollars while averaging between 40 and 50 transactions per year and achieving the highest level of sales, from the President’s Round Table to Top Ten in GTA and the National Top Ten.
Goran is a Past President of the SIOR ‐ Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, Central Canadian Chapter.
Industrial Real Estate Sales and Leasing, Investment Sales, Design-Build and Land Development
About Cushman & Wakefield ULC.
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 53,000 employees in 400 offices and 60 countries.
In 2020, the firm had revenue of $7.8 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com.
For more information on GTA Industrial Real Estate Market or to discuss how they can assist you with your real estate needs please contact Goran at 416-756-5456, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.goranbrelih.com.
Connect with Me Here! – Goran Brelih’s Linkedin Profile: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/goranbrelih
Goran Brelih, SIOR
Executive Vice President, Broker
Cushman & Wakefield ULC, Brokerage.