In 1975, an even mix of young passion, entrepreneurial torque and relentless work ethic created an idea. An idea that would soon develop and grow into one of Canada’s most powerful real estate firms. When now Chairman, then 25-year-old Jonathan Wener, started Canderel in Montreal he likely had no idea what it would turn into; part of North America’s real estate landscape. He did, however, know that his new company would always strive to create value for clients, enhance communities and be quick on its feet – regardless of the project. He wasn’t far off.
The driving force was Jonathan Wener, an entrepreneurial 25-year-old who was passionate about buildings and architecture. He started with a powerful work ethic, an exciting vision and a risk-management approach to execution.
This was Jonathan’s first development under the Canderel banner.
In this built-to-suit project, when the tenant requested that the office building be connected to the manufacturing & warehousing facilities, Canderel decided not simply to create a corridor but to do something completely different. For about the same cost, the three components were linked under one roof, with the upshot being that office and production personnel could easily circulate and communicate in the atrium. This innovative design led to the building being featured in Architectural Digest. The tenant was so proud of its large new meeting space that it became the venue for many corporate functions.
Considered in a business class of its own, this 1 million square foot, three tower, 20-storey office complex occupies a full city block in the downtown core of Ottawa. Set in motion by Canderel in the early 80s, and developed in three distinct phases, this complex sets new standards for Class A office accommodations for private and public sector users in Ottawa.
8 Place du Commerce
The three-storey property was built on land purchased from Sam Gewurz of Nuns’ Island Investments. This land purchase and Sam’s admiration at the speed & quality of the building built by Canderel was the catalyst to a long-standing partnership.
The thinking in the late 1980s was that a 34-storey office building in the heart of Montreal’s financial district would be an excellent addition to Canderel’s portfolio. The company proffered a bid, but it fell short. Several weeks later a call came on a Friday afternoon with the news that a buyer had left the negotiating table. “If you can close by next Tuesday,” the caller said, “the property is yours.” Canderel mobilized, with everyone working day and night to put all the pieces in place to close this complex $65-million transaction. Following the purchase, the building was gutted and renovated into a completely modernized, technologically advanced Class A office space.
Following two successful projects on Nuns’ Island, Jonathan Wener and Sam Gewurz decided it was time to have a more profound and long-lasting relationship. The first project developed from their joint venture was 14 Place du Commerce a 90,000 sf multi-tenant facility. Jon remembers his discussion with Sam regarding quality “we wanted our office park on the Island to stand out from all of the suburban alternatives. We wanted urban quality architecture in a lush urban environment”. Looking at this project 25 years later it is evident that the commitment Sam and Jonathan was a wise one as the building today is still held in high esteem by the real estate community.
The development of NorthTech Campus is probably one of Canderel’s major real estate accomplishments in the Ottawa area. Completely conceived by Canderel’s in–house talent, this 150-acre business park started off as a farmer’s field in the heart of Kanata, a western suburb of Ottawa, and finishes as a quality business park serving the area.
Canderel sold its assets to Oxford but retained its management and development teams.
One Riverside Drive, DaimlerChrysler Headquarters
With its re-entry into the south west Ontario market in 1997, Canderel also initiated a number of commercial projects there. The first was the development of the DaimlerChrysler headquarters in Windsor, Ontario.
In 1997, Canderel Stoneridge acquired a prime lakefront property on the former motel strip in Etobicoke. Since the late 1980’s, no condominium development had been built on the strip. The result was nothing less than spectacular. The building sold out in record time and started the transformation of the strip into a mixture of condominium and retail developments by other developers in the city. The success of the building led to the developer acquiring the site next door to build one of its most ambitious projects, the Waterford Condominiums in 2004.
915 King Street West, Massey-Harris Lofts
It took rare foresight and appreciation to believe that a legendary but derelict former office building could be transformed into Toronto’s most sought-after condominiums.
1010 de La Gauchetière W., Place du Canada
Rising 22 storeys above Place du Canada, one of central Montreal’s most prominent green spaces, this office building gives Canderel a strong presence in the downtown core. Only months being mandated the role of property and leasing manager, Canderel reduced operating costs and took the vacancy rate from 20% to below 5%. Credit Suisse retained Canderel’s services when they became the owners in 2006.
Canderel’s marketing team hired multi-award-winning II BY IV Design Associates, which created open-concept layouts studded with luxurious additions such as stainless steel appliances, gas ranges and granite countertops. Soon DNA became known to the real estate community and buyers as one of Toronto’s hottest properties. Sales were brisk. Then came DNA2, which mixed spacious layouts with retail shops at the building’s base. Sales were off the charts. Resale values today are some of the highest in the King West area.
Pursuing this transaction took a strong ability to recognize value and market trends. Closing it in 60 days took superb negotiating skills. For its efforts, Canderel was awarded Deal of the Year by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
When Canderel purchased the land at 763 Bay Street and began planning a 658-unit, 51-storey residential condominium in central downtown, it was the largest project of its kind in Toronto
Bell’s request for an interactive headquarters resulted in an ultra-modern campus constructed in only 17 months.
There was substantial vacancy when Canderel became involved in this upmarket retail complex on one of Whistler’s main walkways, but by the time the renovations were done its value had been realized. One reason is Art Gallery Row, which grew from three to five spaces under Canderel’s management.
This built-to-suit project was the largest single-phase office construction in Ottawa in 25 years. A 19-storey joint venture between Canderel and Broccolini Construction, its value exceeds $150 million.
Acquisition of Humford Management Inc., a property management company that was established in 1996. Located in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Fort McMurray.
With over one kilometre of frontage along highways 40 and 13, NEXUS 40–13 is the most recognized suburban business park in Quebec.
An architectural landmark and retail mecca, Aura is Canada’s tallest residential condominium and the inspiration behind the revitalization of one of Toronto’s most important neighbourhoods.
Canderel expanded its portfolio in the Toronto area with the acquisition and property management contract that spreads over 42 acres.
The Tsuut’ina Nation and Canderel have partnered to develop Taza — one of the largest First Nations developments in North America. Master-planned to embrace culture, sustainability, and forward-thinking solutions, together we are creating experiences and opportunities like no other.
Tour des Canadiens, Phase 1
Tour des Canadiens, Montreal’s first condominium with a sports-and-entertainment brand, provides stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the city’s exciting downtown.
Tour des Canadiens 1’s 555 units sold out in record time.
545 Lakeshore is the last major redevelopment site in the downtown west harbor front and presents an exciting opportunity for Canderel to develop a significant mixed-use project that will include residential, office and retail uses.
Architectural magnificence and one-of-a-kind amenities distinguish YC Condos, which was 100% pre-sold before construction began. Its soaring tower will bring new excitement to this rejuvenated stretch of Yonge Street.