The Medicine Hat market has become a perfect fit for Avenue Living Asset Management’s business model focusing on workforce housing.
The Calgary-based real estate company has increased its residential rental portfolio in Medicine Hat with six key strategic acquisitions, adding 230 units in the past year.
David Porter, Senior Vice-President with Avenue Living, said the most recent acquisition in the Hat was Mayfair Manor, which was 92 residential units.
“The demographics of the Medicine Hat market very much fit our workforce targeted population,” said Porter. “In spite of the oil and gas busts and booms, Medicine Hat is a very stable community.”
Five buildings purchased in the last year were from one vendor in the community.
“They were all higher-end properties, all in very, very good shape. The other thing that’s quite interesting about Medicine Hat is that our buildings are spread throughout the city, rather than being congested in one specific area. It allows us to service a much wider percentage of the population,” said Porter.
“Our residents have the ability to live within their desired neighbourhoods because we have such a wide variety of units available. We believe we have a selection that will service the community.
“As the market continues to stabilize and go into growth mode, we’re always looking at acquisitions.”
Part of Avenue Living’s success is its corporate philosophy of supporting its communities of operation. In Medicine Hat, the company has been very supportive of the city’s food bank.
Porter said Mayfair Manor is scheduled for a $100,000 renovation on common areas and two different amenity rooms. Avenue Living has also already spent a significant amount on elevator repairs in the building.
“The buildings are in tremendous shape. The suites are clean, crisp, customer-ready and it’s showing in our occupancy percentage. Interest is increasing month over month, demonstrating that residents of Medicine Hat are happy with what our offer is, the building conditions and, most importantly, the value we provide. I think we offer tremendous quality the community,” said Porter.
Medicine Hat’s economy has plateaued as far as the oil and gas industry is concerned, but the city is working on diversifying the economy as much as possible.
“And we are seeing that a lot of that diversity fits our target market,” added Porter.
“The growth market is service-orientated, transportation-orientated and there are specific industries opening up in the area that haven’t been there before. One would be the future cannabis plant and in addition there’s some agricultural processing development that wasn’t there before.”