On the heels of another acquisition, record revenues and a profit streak that stretches back almost to the beginning of the millennium, Kanata’s Calian Group is on the move.
The company confirmed this week it is pulling up stakes from its longtime home at 340 Legget Dr. in the Kanata North business park and moving to new, larger digs at 770 Palladium Dr., a stone’s-throw from the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata South. Calian is taking over two floors and 35,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by IBM in the four-storey building that is part of Cominar REIT’s three-structure commercial complex on Palladium Drive.
A Calian spokesperson said the company’s first official day at its new headquarters will be Sept. 17. The firm would not give specific details of the lease, but Cominar vice-president Marc Shank described it as a “long-term deal.”
In a statement emailed to OBJ, Calian chief information officer Jerry Johnston called the move a reflection of the firm’s overall growth.
Calian recently announced it acquired Calgary-based health-services firm Priority One, the Ottawa company’s seventh acquisition in the past six years. Calian posted record revenues of $77 million in the second quarter and followed that with third-quarter revenues of more than $73 million, up nine per cent year-over-year, while running its string of consecutive quarterly profits to 67 with a net income of $3.9 million.
“While the move to Palladium Drive does reflect our growth and success as a company, it does not represent any changes in Calian's business direction,” Johnston said. “We believe our new headquarters will be more representative of who we are as a company while providing room for future growth.”
Shank said Cominar took a “fresh approach” to revamping the Palladium Drive property in anticipation of Calian’s move, adding new conference and training rooms as well as a cafe, gym and yoga studio. The facilities will serve all three Cominar buildings at 700, 750 and 770 Palladium Dr., which are now 94 per cent leased, Shank said.
“There are some tremendous pros of Kanata South, but amenities were perceived to be on the short side, so that’s one thing we sort of upped our game on, and it’s proven to be a successful strategy,” he said.
Shank said fast-growing tech firms often try to set themselves apart from the competition through amenities such as upgraded office space, and Calian is no exception.
“They are definitely in a very competitive industry ... They use new or like-new or modern office space to attract and retain talent.”
Shank said Cominar is planning to construct another building at 800 Palladium Dr. While the three nearby properties are between 65,000 and 85,000 square feet, the new addition will be larger at about 100,000 square feet. Shovels are expected to be in the ground by the fall, with a targeted completion date of 2020, he said, and pre-leasing has already begun.
It’s just one more sign that Ottawa’s commercial real estate market is heating up after years of treading water, Shank added.
“Tired and aging office properties are just not competing as well as more modern or renovated products,” he said. “You see that in every class. It is exciting times in Ottawa right now. You’re seeing revamped demand, and it’s good for everyone.”