B.C.’s largest property managers expand their holdings

Industrial, office space properties account for the biggest increases in square footage

The square footage of property managed by the province’s largest property management firms has increased steadily over the past five years, according to BIV’s Biggest Commercial Property Managers in B.C. list. Since 2013, the largest firms have expanded their portfolios by an average of 16.7%, with the total area under management rising by an average of 553,500 square feet.

Industrial property accounts for the greatest share of growth among B.C.’s largest five firms. In 2017, industrial property made up an average of 49.6% of the top five firms’ holdings; in 2013 it was 46.4%.

The increase in managed office and industrial space came at the expense of retail space, which fell to an average of 25.5% of total holdings in 2017 from an average of 27.1% in 2013.

Office space managed by the top five property management firms in the province remained relatively stable, increasing slightly to 25% of total property managed in 2017 from 24.7% in 2013.

Onni Group of Companies had the largest increase in total property managed, with 7.1 million square feet under management in 2017, compared with 4.6 million square feet in 2013. While Onni Group reported growth across all three property categories, the largest increase came from office space, which increased by 137.9% between 2013 and 2017 compared with a 72.3% increase in industrial space and a 14% increase in retail space over the same period.

The largest property management firm in British Columbia, Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP, was the only firm in the top five that reported a drop in square footage of property managed over the five-year period.

Bentall Kennedy’s managed square footage fell by 22%, dropping from 13.6 million square feet in 2013 to 10.6 million square feet in 2017. The company had a one-year decline of 4.8 million square feet or 31.3% in 2017 from 15.4 million square feet in 2016.