One of the country’s largest commercial real estate brokerages has turned to a veteran industry executive from Quebec to lead its Ottawa practice.
CBRE announced this week that Louis Karam has been named senior vice-president and managing director of the firm’s office in the capital. Karam takes over for Shawn Hamilton, who left the company last November and is now Canderel’s VP of business development for the National Capital Region.
An industrial engineering graduate of the University of Montreal, Karam has spent nearly a decade with CBRE in various project management roles.
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Most recently, he was managing director of project management at the firm’s Montreal office. His resume also includes a five-year stint as a project manager at engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin.
CBRE Canada president and CEO Werner Dietl called Karam a “dynamic” leader who will help grow the Ottawa office as the city looks toward a post-pandemic economic rebound.
“The stability of the Ottawa marketplace, its growing tech sector and strong real estate fundamentals have increased the city’s profile with businesses and investors across the globe,” Dietl said in a post on the company’s website.
“Ottawa is about to get an additional boost from an expected rebound in economic growth, and Louis Karam’s perspective on end-to-end real estate solutions will help owners and tenants achieve their business goals and better their bottom line.”
Karam’s hiring comes amid mixed signals on the health of the city’s commercial real estate sector.
Ottawa’s overall office vacancy rate stood at 9.6 per cent at the end of March, CBRE said in its most recent market report, up nine-tenths of a percentage point from the previous quarter as tenants continue to shed office space during the pandemic.
On the flip side, the availability rate of industrial properties fell nearly a full percentage point last quarter to 3.2 per cent on the strength of the region’s emergence as an e-commerce fulfilment hub.