Forge & Foster’s 190,000-square-foot adaptive reuse project at the site of a former twine factory in Brantford, Ont. is another example of how the firm sizes up a heritage property that’s past its prime, assesses its redevelopment value and makes a final investment decision with something akin to love in its heart.
The firm’s director of strategy and research Alex Manojlovich and director of asset management Jess Malta frequently use the word “beautiful” when describing the 120-year-old Cordage Heritage District property at 111 Sherwood Dr.
The original twine factory, Brantford Cordage, at one time employed 900 people with rail cars that would be loaded for export. It was the largest rope manufacturer in Canada before its demise in 1968. A rope and twine-making operation is still present on the property.
Enter Forge & Foster, which is redeveloping the four existing brick buildings into a mixed-use commercial community. The project boasts a growing and eclectic list of tenants including a church, cycle shop, event space, bridal centre, craft brewery, poutine shop and pottery space.
The week saw below-average transaction levels. However, it’s typical to see regressed transaction levels right after the beginning and end of the month.
In Hamilton, the largest transaction was Fengate Asset Management‘s purchase of a house on 2.25 acres for $2 million ($888,889/acre). The property is adjacent to the 75 acres of airport land Fengate purchased in April 2021. This new purchase provides them with street front access to Airport Rd.
The week’s largest purchase in the area was in Waterloo, where IN8 Developments purchased an office building for $9 million ($169/sqft). It’s an interesting purchase because IN8 Developments is known mainly for residential developments. As an office acquisition (as opposed to residential), the dollar value per square foot is low. It could indicate some vacancy, high capital expenditures or softening office values.
Recently, office transactions are becoming more frequent, however, not all office transactions are at peak values. In any case, it’s great to see demand increasing to pre-pandemic levels.
In the news, the American venue group OVG will take on their first Canadian project with the renovation of Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre (formerly Copps Coliseum); Hamilton City Council and Vrancor have reached a deal for 354 King St. W.; and in downtown Hamilton, a three-alarm blaze levelled a 1920s-era building slated for redevelopment.
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