Avenue Living Asset Management has aggressively grown its portfolio of multi-residential rental units in the Calgary market in less than two years with a strategy to continue ambitious expansion.
Two years ago, Avenue Living had less than 100 units in the Calgary and area market, explains David Porter, Avenue Living’s Senior Vice-President of Operations for Southern Alberta. We have now surpassed 1,000 units with our latest acquisition in the southwest of Calgary.
“We’ve grown from being a relatively small presence in Calgary less than two years ago to over 1,000 units today,” explains Porter, adding that the growth has consisted of properties both large and small.
“Despite the recent challenges in the oil and gas industry, Avenue Living has found that our target market — workforce housing — is still rewarding us with residency. They find our affordability and the product offering fits their needs,” says Porter, “There’s opportunity here where we can buy strong assets, with a good unit mix, in an area that is growing and diversifying its economy.”
The Right Market
Uplands Manor, which was constructed in the community of Bankview in 1965, fits the bill both geographically and operationally for Avenue Living. In the coming years, we plan to make capital improvements to the vintage building to keep it up to date and comfortable for our residents.
Avenue Living, which has 12,500 residential rental units across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and into the United States, completed the purchase of our largest acquisition to date — 1,566 apartments and townhomes in Edmonton at the end of June.
“Calgary is now second as far as number of units in our company, just behind Edmonton,” says Porter.
“Our occupancy in Calgary has always performed extremely well. We buy in the right areas of town and there’s a lot of inventory that fits the type of acquisitions we target.”
Porter says the overall occupancy is 94.2 per cent for Calgary residential properties, with the Calgary portfolio making up about eight percent of the company’s overall multi-family portfolio. Beyond that, the city is affordable and offers great lifestyle factors for residents. Calgary gives people access to beautiful parks and amenities, and is just a short drive west to the Rocky Mountains.
“We’ll continue to buy in Calgary. We’re aiming to strategically grow in the Calgary market when those opportunities arise,” adds Porter. He says that the properties Avenue Living purchases in Calgary are maintained to a high standard, and, when coupled with the organization’s strategy of making capital improvements, Avenue Living can deliver quality but affordably priced homes that fit our workforce housing demographic. Even with COVID-19, this segment of the economy has remained stable.
Investing in Our Backyard
Being a Calgary-based organization, we feel it’s important to invest in our own backyard and a reason why our portfolio has burgeoned here in the last two years.
The proximity of the Calgary properties to our head office allows us to test new initiatives such as signage and suite standards. It’s also a great opportunity to develop internal staff training programs. “Avenue Living is focusing on our staff and their ability to deliver resident satisfaction. Those training programs are critical to our future,” says Porter.
He says the expansion of the Calgary portfolio has also triggered employment growth with Avenue Living and is home to many employees that make up our platform which allows us to quickly grow and scale as we acquire more assets.
We are proud to have remained a net positive employer throughout the pandemic, when many Canadian businesses were forced to lay off some or all of their teams.
“We’re providing employment to a significant number of Calgarians, and intend to continue that growth,” says Porter.
This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at www.avenuelivingam.com for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.