Friday, April 8, 2011

The Evolution Of The Canadian Mall & What It Means For Investors

Our shopping habits may have changed a lot in some ways since the construction of the first covered Canadian shopping mall in 1950. Though in many ways they have stayed the same, and so has the way people enjoy shopping.

While the first monster sized shopping mall, Park Royal in West Vancouver, has certainly had its successes, not everyone wants to have to go to a large mall every time they need something. More and more shopping centres are being converted, or are developing plans to be converted, into large, mixed use, luxurious malls, though many Canadians say they love their local shopping centres just the way they are. People still prefer buying from faces they recognize and who know their names, and perhaps more importantly, don’t want to have to take 15 minutes to park and then walk equally as long to get to a single store they want to visit. They like the small local shopping centre feel. Some citizens are even very actively protesting against this new breed of mall.

Likes and dislikes are one thing, and no matter what you do, and how well you do it, there will always be critics. But the real question is, what does this trend means for investors? Of course brand new super malls demand higher rents and can accommodate more tenants, however this doesn’t always mean higher profits, and certainly means waiting longer for significant returns. For those investing in shopping malls, major renovations can mean having to pay out big figures to tenants and extended periods without income. Plus those projects that include residential units don’t always provide the best possible use of the available square footage.

For those looking into commercial real estate investment through shopping centres and who are seeking immediate income along with larger lump sum profits down the road, it is often best to put your money into existing small and medium shopping malls that already offer established tenants and rents. Should you really desire to do some type of renovation to boost your equity you will often find that the best returns are to be had from simple extensions to parking, improved signage and basic cosmetic updates to the fascia.

What about those who say that ‘malls are dead’, and that the Internet is the future of shopping? Studies show that while consumers are certainly doing a lot of research and window shopping online they are still choosing to head to the local shopping centre to execute their purchases for the most part. So there is no need for the Internet to mean doom for smaller retailers or franchises. In fact they are often best served by sticking with affordable rents in smaller shopping malls and focusing a good portion of their marketing budget on Internet and mobile marketing that drives traffic in their physical doors.

Want to learn more about how commercial real estate, or get information on some of the great deals that are available? Contact Howard Manley of Redev Properties today by phone at 1-866-668-7344 or via email at

Thank you for reading,

Richard Crenian

Canada Ranks 7th In Global Commercial Real Estate Investment Study

The recently released report, the ‘International Investment Atlas Summary 2010’ from Cushman & Wakefield places Canada seventh in global investment in commercial real estate. Even better, this report shows that commercial real estate investment volume is up 150% over the previous year!

The other leaders in this study included:

1. China

2. USA

3. UK

4. Germany

5. Japan

6. Hong Kong

While China is certainly huge and attracted about $200 billion in commercial investment, it obviously has it’s own complexities when it comes to investing for the average individual. Plus, government manipulation of the market and the threat of sweeping changes at any moment are always scary. Obviously the US made it on the list from sheer size, not because of performance which continues to weaken. While similarly the UK, especially London, an old favourite, finds its way on the list due to the incredibly high prices, even though it is also still battling the credit crunch in a big way. Germany may have seen impressive economic growth recently, but it is not the easiest of countries for foreign investors to try to invest in, and definitely presents a number of challenges including the high cost of entry. Then there is Japan which is going to be a seriously scary place for anyone to put their money for a long time due to the recent tsunami.

The report further praised Canada for having one of the most stable banking sectors in the world, and pointed out the improvements in employment figures and the stabilization of commercial rents. In fact they did not go far enough to recognize that cities like Calgary are currently sitting on an almost zero vacancy rate in the retail sector.

What does this all mean for Canadians who are looking for the best place to invest their money? Clearly for many reasons Canadians are much better off keeping their money at home these days, and will also see their investments further boosted by outside attention from foreigners looking to capitalize on the country’s strength and growth.

Commercial real estate investment is a fantastic choice for those looking for an income investment and equity growth in a vehicle that provides great security and solid returns. While every commercial property and area is slightly different, recent official reports have put the average returns for commercial real estate investors as high at 11-15.7% in places like Vancouver and Calgary.

The retail sector in the Western Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in particular, offer many great opportunities for the individual investor looking for a safe and secure place to put their money to work for them, while realizing above average returns. This has led many of the most savvy investors to start picking up more and more retail properties, such as local shopping malls and plazas.

Want to learn more about how commercial real estate, or get information on some of the great deals that are available? Contact Howard Manley of Redev Properties today by phone at 1-866-668-7344 or via email at

Thank you for reading,

Richard Crenian

Best Canadian Cities For Commercial Real Estate Investment


Calgary is perhaps the most buoyant and brightest commercial real estate market in the country with retail sales already seeing the second highest growth rate in Canada, and predicted to soon become number one. This is a pole position expected to be held until at least 2015 with many retailers choosing Calgary as the location for their first and second Canadian store openings. In fact this jewel in Alberta’s commercial real estate crown already boasts a vacancy rate of just 2.4% with some areas as low as 1.7 percent!


Commercial real estate investment in Vancouver has rebounded at an amazing rate. British Columbia saw a 58% surge in dollar volume last year alone, with Vancouver making up a good portion of that figure. While aggressive growth is expected to continue during the next 5 years, investment returns are also staying high. At second place for the entire country average commercial investment, returns here averaged an appetizing 13.7%. Each of the 4 major sectors of the commercial property market performed well, but retail remained in the lead for a 2nd year running, with returns at an incredible rate of 15.6%.


While perhaps not in the headlines as often as some of the bigger metropolitan cities, Edmonton is still a thriving location with excellent business opportunities and a great place to live. In comparison to Calgary, you will find commercial real estate prices more affordable, yet still providing healthy returns. The city’s appealing lifestyle will continue to attract more residents and businesses during the coming years, providing excellent growth for investors. What to invest in? As the home to Canada’s 1st mall, the Westmount Centre, and the largest mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall, you can be sure shopping is big business here: and retail outlets offers many opportunities.


Nicknamed the ‘Sunniest Capital City in Canada’, Regina, in the western province of Saskatchewan, is an important economic hub and a highly desired location for both business and Canadians looking for a sunnier place to live. Real estate here is known for being very affordable, and as the country rebounds, it is certain there will be plenty of profits to be had, especially for those investing in shopping malls, and those who benefit greatly from the big tourist influx.


Victoria felt much less of the effects of the global economic crises than other cities in BC, and has always been considered to be more stable. This commercial property market has continued to see a great upward trend since the second half of 2009, with retailers exceeding expectations, which has led many local businesses to launch plans for expansion including a number of car dealers announcing multimillion dollar construction projects.

Want to learn more about how commercial real estate, or get information on some of the great deals that are available? Contact Howard Manley of Redev Properties today by phone at 1-866-668-7344 or via email at

Thank you for reading,

Richard Crenian

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Howard Manley" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs

May 3, 2009

“My Partner Howard!”

You all know that my business partner, Howard Manley, is a Saskatchewan native born and bred; He was born in a little town called Midale, just outside of Weyburn, in the South Eastern part of the province. Howard is a great guy- let me tell you how.

I always stress family and It is unbelievable to me that Pat, his wife and Howard are now married for 43 years!! That is a long time. He has three adult children and three grandchildren which he never stops talking about. The two older grand kids, are both boys, and Howard refers to them as his boys.

His little baby granddaughter, is referred to as “my little girl!” You could not have anyone as proud of his kids and grandkids as Grandpa Howard.

Howard and I go back since December 1976. That is a long time! He is my mentor and was my big brother that I never had. He was the most hardworking guy, yet full of fun and spirit in everyway. Leon, who works with us, another great guy, grew up with Howard in Midale. How small is this world. Leon would like to believe that he is retired, (no you are not Leon) and was another guy that worked hard all his life.

These two gentlemen are the picture of what a dictionary call hard work, honesty and caring people I know. Why, they still call their wives Ma’am! (Ok so I am only kidding about that part!) Respectful and full of ethics, their have great families and enjoy life to the fullest. Aren’t those men successful in their own right? Call Howard and ask him what his philosophy to a good life is……? 403-630 4544. He would be happy to share.

Richard Crenian

"Instant Success!" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs
May 5, 2009

“Instant Success”

It is always unusual when people look at other people who are successful are call them Instant Successes! I am always amazed by this quick rush to judgment.

My definition of instant success is “Years of Hard Work and Tears of Experience!”
We know how hard it is for us and long it takes to be successful.

What is success….ahhh that is another definition.

To me a success is a person that is a good and kind human being. Nothing short of that.
Everyone that you read about always associates people with money as successful. They could be the biggest donkeys, but because they have what other people define as money they are great guys.

Not true. I would rather hang with guys that are black and white, and tell it like it is than jerks that think that their pooh poohs don’t stink even though they do! Who would you like to hang out with? Who would you like your kids to be friends with?
It is so great to see my friends that are salt of the earth, and good human beings. Their families are the same with good intent and based on loving, hardwork ethics that will survive them the test of time.

Howard my partner has taught me lots. He is that kind of person. He is hard working, a great family man, and been fortunate in business. He believes, like me in the slow and steady safety of investment, so that his kids and family can be taken of. Call Howard and ask him how he does it. 403-630-4544.

Richard Crenian

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Garnet and Gordon Campbell" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs
May 3, 2009

“Garnet and Gordon Campbell-Canadian Heroes”

Canadian Men’s Brier Curling Champions, 1955.

Lloyd Campbell (lead), Donald Campbell (third), Glen Campbell (second), Garnet Campbell, (skip).

Amazing story, it was famed that Garnet and his brothers, learned their trade in a barn frozen likened to an ice rink. We shall keep that folklore alive I am sure.

Garnet and Gordon farmed together in the Avonlea area, Saskatchewan and Brother Lloyd farmed just west of Regina.

Garnet’s and Gordon’s father started that farm just south of Avonlea, Gordon still lives on the same site.

Garnet’s wife Daverne and Garnet are both doing well.
Garnet may be close to 80 these days. He and young and only wife Daverne, are doing well these days with kids, Vern in Calgary, married with kids and their daughter Cassandra, is busy with her Hair Styling shop in California!

Garnet and Daverne spend six months in a suburb NW Phoenix, during the winter escaping the cold weather of Saskatchewan.

Lloyd I heard has had 2 hip replacements and still a good golfer.

I was always impressed with this family. Such hard working, soil of the earth people who were long on honesty, integrity and represented the spirit of Canada as it always should be. I have been blessed to have had them enter my life and bestow upon me their goodness and laughter.

Hardwork, good fun, good humor and a great family. Shouldn’t they be recognized as heroes?

Howard my partner is also part of this group. He works hard for his money, and enjoys his life. Howard has a ton of stories. Ask him. 403-630-4544.

Richard Crenian

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Canadian Heroes!" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs
Apr. 30, 09

“A Canadian Hero!”

Too often we hear about heroes and what they accomplished in business.

We have heroes like Obama too, the most likely NOT to be President, and here he is 100 days later.

What about the Canadians?

Having going to high school in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, it would only seem fitting to call the Canadian Farmer Canadian Heroes.

Hardy, hardworking, honest and unwilling to call defeat, the Canadian Farmer has suffered much and only lately been given an opportunity to earn some monies.

Here is what they faced when they first came to Canada to toil the land:
“For many immigrants, life on the Prairies was more akin to a nightmare than a dream — a point underscored in the final section of the exhibition. When homesteaders first arrived, their "farms" usually consisted of virgin prairie, a survey stake and a swarm of mosquitoes. Once the land was broken, the bountiful crops promised in the advertisements were sometimes devoured by insects, ruined by frost or shrivelled by drought. Some immigrants faced discrimination and venomous insults; two newspapers quoted in the exhibition labelled immigrants as "the scum of other lands" or even "the refuse of civilization".
With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, about 80,000 immigrants were declared "enemy aliens" under the War Measures Act and over 5,000 were sent to internment camps. The Golden Age of Prairie settlement had come to an end.
Chronologically, Acres of Dreams ends with the Great Depression — a supreme test of the settlers' mettle and ingenuity. Objects featured like a quilt fashioned from uniforms discarded by a baseball team in Moose Jaw or a violin made from packing crates and harness supplies illustrate the resourcefulness of settlers during this testing period of Canadian history.”
At the end of the story their second and third generations made it. Families and farmland, the heartland of Canada. I am proud of those that I know, so many of them. Howard is a good farm boy from Midale (near Weyburn), Saskatchewan. He knows the value of a buck. Ask him how he invests…..403-630-4544.
Richard Crenian