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Edmonton Commercial Developers Association Expands Through Downturn

NAIOP Edmonton, the industry association for commercial real estate development in Edmonton announced today that it has hired Anand Pye as its new Executive Director and will be setting up a permanent Edmonton office in 2017.

NAIOP Edmonton was founded in early 2013 in response to a need for networking, education, and advocacy initiatives specific to Edmonton’s commercial development industry. NAIOP International evolved over 50 years into one of North America's largest, most prestigious and valuable commercial real estate organizations, and described the launch of NAIOP Edmonton as the most successful Chapter launches in its history. “This past year the association grew at one of the highest rates of any NAIOP Chapter, reflecting the need for a dedicated voice for commercial real estate in the Edmonton Region” Says Gino Bit, Vice President of Operations at Krahn Group of Companies, and current President of NAIOP.

Edmonton’s commercial real estate industry has grown at a record pace over the last ten years in line with the wider regional economy. Edmonton’s market has also evolved with more emphasis on mixed use development and sustainability, says Mr. Bit meaning the industry needed to continue to grow its voice to reflect the aspirations of owners and developers. “Our developing market and increased demand from members led us to look for an addition to our team who understood the worlds of development and municipal government, and it is very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Anand’s caliber to fulfill that role”.

“The delta between what can be achieved with a strong and focused industry association, and what would happen under the new “status quo,” is larger than it has ever been in Alberta,” says Mr. Pye. “Political leaders, outside investors, potential tenants, and the public need a better understanding of the market, from an industry-wide perspective, as it becomes more nuanced”. Provincial and Federal policy changes combined with the sharp drop in oil prices have affected business confidence, but Edmonton’s commercial real estate industry remains actively focused on delivering successful and innovative projects. Remarks Mr. Pye, “Political, administrative and business people need to show leadership in order to continue to find opportunities and grow. It won’t always be easy, but it can be done.”

Through 2017, NAIOP Edmonton will be releasing proactive policy proposals to attract new financing, new tenants and encourage development. NAIOP also intends to continue to share best practices with its members. Says Alex Thomson, Senior Vice President, Operations & Asset Management at Canada ICI, and President Elect of NAIOP, “Hiring an Executive Director to engage our members, the wider industry and the community is an important step in demonstrating NAIOP Edmonton’s commitment to advancing the commercial real estate industry in our region.”

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