Avison Young has added two veteran real estate brokers to its Ottawa office, the latest in a string of recent hirings aimed at expanding its presence in the National Capital Region. The company announced last week that Giorgio DiNardo and David MacLeod have joined its Ottawa office leasing team as vice-presidents. Both executives come to […]
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Avison Young has added two veteran real estate brokers to its Ottawa office, the latest in a string of recent hirings aimed at expanding its presence in the National Capital Region. The company announced last week that Giorgio DiNardo and David MacLeod have joined its Ottawa office leasing team as vice-presidents. Both executives come to Avison Young from Colliers, where they specialized in office leasing and sales, working closely with local and multinational clients. “They’ve got a really good handle on our market, and they’ll dovetail in with everybody,” said Michael Church, managing director of Avison Young’s Ottawa office. “They’re really, really well-liked. They fit well with our culture and they’ve got lots of energy. It’s nice to have what I call the next generation of leadership.” Church said the hiring of DiNardo and MacLeod is part of Avison Young’s “larger strategy” to bolster its service offerings in the nation’s capital. Their arrival comes less than a month after longtime commercial broker Graeme Webster and two of his associates joined the company to lead its capital markets team. That followed former human resources specialist Emily Quinn’s hiring in September as an office and industrial sales representative. Joe Almeida, managing director of Avison Young’s Ontario operations, said the company wants to keep expanding its capabilities in the nation’s capital by adding expertise in areas such as property management, evaluation and appraisal services. “We see lots of opportunities,” Almeida said in an interview with OBJ last week. “We see a lot of collaboration with our Montreal office and our Toronto teams. Having a strong presence in Ottawa allows them to do a better job.” With the addition of DiNardo and MacLeod, Avison Young now has 12 licensed brokers in Ottawa and a total team of 17. “We’ve got a nice mix of people, and it’s only going to get better,” Church said. Avison Young’s expansion push comes at a tumultuous time for the commercial real estate industry. Ottawa’s office vacancy rate remains in record-high territory as tenants rethink their need for space amid a widespread shift to hybrid work. Undaunted, Almeida said he believes the sector will bounce back. “We’re seeing more activity, and Ottawa is a strong office market,” he said. “We may still see vacancy go up a little bit more. Ottawa obviously is a unique market, with the government controlling so much of the space. We need the economy to co-operate and inflation and interest rates to stabilize.” Church said tenants appear to be slowly regaining their appetite for traditional rental agreements of five years or more. “Fifteen to 18 months ago, nobody would even consider a long-term (lease),” he said. “The fact that people are committing for a slightly longer term tells us that the green shoots are there now.”