Tenant focused commercial real estate specialists
Connell Real Estate Ltd. is a multidisciplinary commercial real estate brokerage focused exclusively on the representation of corporate space users. Our singular focus on commercial tenant advocacy allows us to provide a pure service platform, resulting in unbiased and objective results. Supporting the brokerage is our best-in-class Design Services Group, which delivers programming, space planning, design and build-out platforms to our clients.
We service requirements in major Canadian markets including: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. Our strategic alliances also give us market reach across the United States.
When the job needs to be done right, You hire a specialist
Your business is changing; the lease expiry date is not the only point at which you can renegotiate your lease. Lease Recasting or “Blend & Extend” is a process by which corporations renegotiate their lease mid-term.
This process allows you to expand or contract your space, capitalizing on changing market conditions to lower occupancy costs.
If a mid-term change of course is required, we guide our clients through:
- Reviewing the terms of the current lease and utilization of the existing space
- Conducting a thorough analysis of your requirements moving forward
- Implementing a real estate solution at market rates
Space Expansion / Consolidation
Many things can change with your business over the term of your lease. Most leases are static, provide little flexibility and are five or ten years in length.
We know that surplus space acts as an anchor on your bottom line, while inadequate space strangles productivity and growth.
We address this dichotomy by incorporating flexibility into your lease from day one. Documentation is elastic, providing for expansion, contraction and predetermined renewal scenarios. This allows our clients the comfort in knowing they have the flexibility to adapt to market challenges as they arise.
A changing business environment demands lease flexibility. We ensure our clients realize their options by:
- Consolidation benefit analysis
- Expansion negotiations with existing landlord
- Capital cost modelling
New Site Selection & Relocation
Change can be daunting, but it should be viewed as a corporate opportunity. We evaluate your options in terms of timing, access, visibility, tenant mix, space layout, site plan and deal economics. Using a lens of those values most intertwined in your business ensures you spend more time reviewing viable options. In addition to “right-fitting” your space, relocating has other benefits including improved corporate image, client perception and employee morale.
New site success boils down to location and selecting the right markets. Because we work in every major Canadian market, we possess the intelligence required for you to make strong market-based decisions. Members of our team also specialize in land development, so you can be certain we have the expertise to understand and communicate the potential impacts this process will have on your business operations.
Successful relocations involve an analysis of capital costs vs. budget considerations, real vs. perceived needs and the evaluation of market alternatives. Properly balancing all considerations requires an integrated plan implemented by the right team.
We guide corporations by providing:
- National market overviews & intelligence with local site comparison analyses
- New build process & land acquisition expertise – leasing vs. purchasing
- Evaluating a multi-tiered space analysis to achieve the “right fit”
Renewals are generally more challenging for companies than the original lease negotiation. Landlords believe that a renewing tenant should pay a premium for the convenience of avoiding relocation. Lease transactions are the landlord’s core business; this provides them significant advantage in direct negotiations with their tenants.
We guide you through the tumultuous waters of an expiring lease with a logical and defined process that leads to renewals at market rents. We create a competitive marketplace for your tenancy by leveraging all potential market opportunities. Forcing your landlord to compete with others in order to retain your tenancy moderates the eventual renewal rate.
We level the playing field by:
- Reviewing the terms of the current lease to establish a baseline
- Understanding existing market conditions
- Understanding the dynamics affecting the landlords negotiating position
When realigning your space, Precision is required
Our General Contracting Team has over 30 years’ experience working on complex projects requiring a high degree of technical leadership, organization and project management. Whether the business case calls for a single demising wall or the full build-out of new space, we ensure delivery of your design solution on time and on budget.
- Report directly to and coordinate with the Designer and Client
- Apply for and obtain any and all building permits, certifications, inspections and/or approvals to complete the work as required for building occupancy
- Track project milestones and work-back schedule allowing the Designer to anticipate decision windows and action items
- Prepare, maintain and monitor a detailed Construction Cost Estimate which shall be a “Control Budget”
- Identify all subtrade divisions applicable to the project scope of work and the build tender package to be issued
- Pre-qualify a minimum of three quality subtrade contractors and/or suppliers for each trade division applicable to the scope of work and prepare a “Recommended Bidder’s List”
- Evaluate and process all change notices, change orders, and site instructions to conform to contract documents
- Arrange and conduct deficiency inspections and expedite corrections
- Manage the contract and permit close-out process
For us Design is so much more than picking the finishes. When realigning your space, effectively managing your brand and conveying corporate values is integral to the overall success of the project.
In addition to the practicalities of way finding, your space should reflect “who we are” and “where we’re going.” We believe in space that dramatically communicates with both employees and visitors.
The Interior Design phase is also where we establish budgets for construction and implementation. We ensure cost calibration with the capital realities of your business.
Space Planning / Concept Drawings
Space Planning is the intersection point between the Programming Report and your company’s culture. It is the initial step in physically repositioning your current space or assessing the suitability of potential new premises.
Our Space Planners produce Concept Drawings that fuse input from employees and key stakeholders with overall business objectives.
Concept Drawings imagine what is possible to revolutionize your corporate culture in terms of employee satisfaction and production, wellness and wayfinding in the office.
Space Utilization Assessment
Transitioning your corporate space, be it consolidation or expansion, requires an understanding of the current space utilization of your business. Our Space Utilization Assessment is a deep scrub of how your employees have traditionally worked and realigning that model to the digital realities of a remote workforce.
This process of benchmarking and consultations with key stakeholders culminates in a Programming Report which numerically details what is possible for your business and the way your employees interact with it. A clear study of space requirements allows our Planners to align your future space utilization with your business plan.
Before we can design, plan, consolidate and execute you need to know the numbers. The Programming Report delivers them.
Toyota Industries Commercial Finance Canada
I would like to thank you and your team for your excellent representation and services level in assisting us with our relocation.
Based on your extensive knowledge, negotiating skills and service level, I would be pleased to recommend Connell Real Estate to anyone seeking representation for their commercial real estate requirements.
Parkland Fuel Corporation
Connell Real Estate’s understanding of the development approval process and complex deal structures for new builds enables us to source a tremendous number of sites to fill our 3-year pipeline. This coupled with Paul Richardson’s vast knowledge of the quick serve restaurant industry permits us to co-develop our sites.
Our development pipeline is getting stronger by the day and we look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Connell Real Estate.
Branded Alliances Manager, Canada
Laurentian Bank of Canada
During the entire process your firm was professional and courteous and it was a pleasure to deal with you. As a result of your involvement, the bank’s Real Estate Management Department was able to achieve below market rates.
Real Estate Management
We recently had the opportunity to work with Connell Real Estate, who assisted in the evaluation of several scenarios in the Ontario marketplace. Their market knowledge ensured a comprehensive review of those scenarios delivering prudent market information in a well organized manner – ultimately providing a professional level of service.
Vice President - Store Development & Real Estate
Connell Real Estate guided our organization through a comprehensive process that skillfully accommodated all stakeholders. Of particular value was Fraser’s in-depth analysis of required capital expenditures which allowed us to engineer a pliable lease scenario that addressed our growth plans. The entire process was methodical, timely and lead to a stress-free move.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Pace Credit Union
As a result of the counsel from Fraser Connell and Paul Richardson, Pace Credit Union has been able to capitalize on the changing Canadian real estate landscape. Additionally, their skillful and creative negotiations have allowed us to maximize the return on our retail network.
Canna Cabana Inc.
Fraser and Paul represented us in a professional manner and ensured that our goals were met – from the site selection, right down to the details of our lease agreements. Their endless hours produced an incredible foundation for our growth in Ontario.
As they continue to draw on their vast network of contacts and knowledge of the retail landscape, we will maintain a strong development pipeline for future locations. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Connell Real Estate.
President & CEO
Fraser educated us with respect to our market options, and his specific knowledge of recent transactions in the GTA have led us to arrive at “better than market terms” with our various landlords. As a direct result of his representation of our organization, we have been able to consistently lower our occupancy costs.
Chief Executive Officer
I have found there is never a shortage of brokerages or agents attempting to meet my firm’s every need. There is, however, a shortage in the number who can deliver on their commitments. Paul Richardson and Fraser Connell have been indispensable in providing services tailored to our needs, and they work tirelessly until the results we were after are produced.
Real Estate Manager – Central Canada
Vice President, Tenant Advisory
Recognized as one of Toronto’s top Tenant Representatives, Fraser develops leading real estate solutions for major corporations.
Vice President, Multi Market Tenancy
Established as one of Canada’s top retail development & leasing representatives, Paul drives results for publicly traded corporations, private equity firms and independently owned operations of various sizes.
Recognized as one of Toronto’s top Tenant Representatives, Fraser develops leading real estate solutions for major corporations. Serving as an advocate and consultant in providing best-in-class real estate services, Fraser and his team conduct comprehensive studies of the clients’ business in order to develop sound real estate strategies that accomplish long term organizational goals. His excellent track record includes work with over 700 corporations and individuals totalling in excess of 4.15 million square feet leased or sold.
Fraser began his brokerage career in 2002 as part of the Corporate Services Team at Cushman & Wakefield. Over the course of the next seven years he worked with some of Canada’s largest companies helping them to analyze portfolios and dispose, relocate and restructure existing lease obligations.
In 2009, Fraser joined Connell Real Estate Ltd. Since that time, Fraser has grown the firm’s business lines in the representation of companies in the auto, banking and oil & gas industries to include: Toyota, Bank of Montreal, Laurentian Bank of Canada, Wellington West (National Bank), Bank of China, China Trust Commercial Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, Pioneer Energy, Parkland Fuel Corporation and Couche-Tard.
Fraser completed his studies in Honours Economics at the University of Western Ontario.
Established as one of Canada’s top Corporate Leasing Representatives, Paul drives results for publicly traded corporations, private equity firms and independently owned companies. With a fundamental understanding of national leasing dynamics, Paul engineers macro multi-market real estate strategies, which is followed by his team’s coordination of the micro market specific execution. Paul’s team tailors solutions in alignment with his clients’ business plan.
Paul began his career in 2002 as an urban planning consultant before joining the Capital Markets Team at Cushman & Wakefield in 2005 specializing in large value transactions. Paul then spent 10 years in corporate real estate, working to analyze national real estate portfolios, implement 5-year capital plans and coordinate leasing for three of Canada’s largest retailers: Couche-Tard (Circle K), Tim Hortons and McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada.
In 2018 Paul joined Connell Real Estate Ltd. as Vice President of the Multi-Market Tenancy Group. In this capacity, Paul implements national leasing optimization for the firm’s largest clients, negotiating with landlords on their behalf from coast to coast.
Paul completed his studies in Honours Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Windsor. He also holds Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and Professional Land Economist (PLE) designations.
Join the team
We are always looking for talented and ambitious individuals who thrive in a growth-oriented, entrepreneurial environment. At Connell Real Estate Ltd., we foster an atmosphere of empowerment, mutual respect and enjoyment. Are you passionate about serving clients, working together and sharing our values to achieve our client’s goals? Then please consider joining our team.
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