BridgePort, Colonnade to merge, become city’s largest landlord

Two of the city’s leading property managers announced Tuesday they are joining forces to become the largest commercial landlord in Ottawa.

Colonnade Management and BridgePort Group of Companies said they have agreed to merge with an eye toward expanding their combined portfolio in the Greater Toronto Area.

The amalgamated company, which will be known as Colonnade BridgePort, will offer a range of services, including property management, leasing, development management and asset management.

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“Toronto’s obviously a very large growth market for real estate,” said Colonnade president Steve Kaminski. “For us, we’re not really there yet, so it’s something that is a core part of the strategy, for sure.”

Colonnade is currently the third-largest property management firm in Ottawa with a commercial portfolio totalling about 4.2 million square feet, according to OBJ’s Book of Lists. The new company will have a combined portfolio of about 5.5 million square feet at 90 properties in the National Capital Region, making it the largest commercial landlord in the city.

Mr. Kaminski said Colonnade and BridgePort, which have a total of more than 90 employees, are “very like-minded in the way that we approach the market” and felt they had a better chance of succeeding in their Toronto expansion if they worked together.

“We just think it’s a good fit,” he said. “For us, long-term steady growth is really the key. Between BridgePort and ourselves, I think we have a much greater likelihood of good, long-term steady growth.”

BridgePort, which manages more than 6,000 residential properties in addition to its 18 commercial holdings, has a wide variety of tenants and prefers a buy-and-hold strategy, managing director Hugh Gorman told OBJ in a 2013 interview.

“Our job is to be investors in real estate first and foremost … I wouldn’t say we’re turners of capital for the sake of turning capital,” he said. “We’re not trying to assemble a portfolio to take it public or sell to a pension fund.”

Mr. Kaminski said the company would release more details about the deal in the new year.

“There’s lots that we still have to work through in terms of our longer-term strategy,” he said.

The players:

BridgePort Group of Companies

Key local executives: Hugh Gorman, partner and managing director; Pierre Hurteau, partner

Key properties: 81 Metcalfe St., 319 McRae Ave., 1600 Merivale Rd., 580 Terry Fox Dr.

Size of local commercial portfolio: 1 million square feet of commercial; 6,000 residential units under management (as of 2013)

No. of commercial properties managed locally: 18

(Source: Bridgeport Group of Companies)

Colonnade Management

Key local executives: Steve Kaminsky, president; Greg Johnston, vice-president of property management

Key properties: 106 Colonnade Dr.; 1150 Cyrville Rd.; 2405 St. Laurent Blvd.; 250 Tremblay Rd.

Size of local commercial portfolio: 4.2 million square feet

No. of commercial properties managed locally: 72

(Source: OBJ Book of Lists)

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