Beedie building brighter future in Calgary area

David Parker, (CALGARY HERALD) — When Keith Beedie started his construction company in Vancouver 65 years ago, he never imagined it would evolve into what it is today. Under the leadership of his son, Ryan, Beedie is one of the largest industrial developers in Western Canada, completing more than 25 million square feet of development.

Keith Beedie with the first building built by his company.


It made its first foray into Alberta 10 years ago by buying 220 acres in northeast Airdrie to develop the master-planned Highland Park Industrial.

The first phase of the park soon began to welcome companies attracted by easy access to the Queen Elizabeth Highway and Stoney Trail, lower land costs and taxes compared to Calgary, and the elevated standards of the park that make it an attractive environment to come to work every day.

One of the earlier transactions was to sell a portion of the land for Costco Distribution Centre. Other purchasers include TransCanada Turbines, Belron for its automotive glass warehouse, and the City of Airdrie sharing a building with the RCMP.

Ryan Beedie realized he had to have people in Calgary and five years ago hired Jorden Dawson — formerly with Mancal where he was manager of assets and development — as director of industrial development, who has supervised the development of five other buildings on the land with units to lease or buy.

Dawson sought the help of Cypress Real Estate to promote the park, and partners in the Calgary office — Luke Mayer and Dave Jorgensen — are exclusive agents in the sale of the next phase offering fully serviced lots starting at two acres, allowing flexibility to accommodate a variety of users.

Airdrie and Balzac have become attractive locations for companies with a need for warehousing with transportation links to highways and the Calgary International Airport.

There are significant savings in both land costs and property taxes, and Airdrie has no business taxes. “If you are a CFO in Calgary, you are looking at commercial property tax rates which are 64 per cent higher and industrial land costs 80 per cent higher when compared with Airdrie,” says Mayer.

In Highland Park Industrial, off the QEII on the north side of Veterans Boulevard, Cypress is promoting seven lots ranging from two to 13 acres.

When Beedie moved into the Calgary region it relied on its long-standing Vancouver contacts, but has since been eager to use local companies for its new buildings. They include Calgary architectural firms Riddell and Kurczaba, Zeidler and BCW, who have designed new buildings here and in Edmonton for Beedie’s aggressive push into this province.

In southeast Calgary it has built Glenmore Corporate Centre and a 235,000-square-foot centre in Frontier Business Park. The 93,000-square-foot Ironside Business Centre in Starfield Industrial Park is built and Avison Young has four of the seven units left. The industrial team at Colliers International has only a couple of bays left in the under-construction first phase of Apex at Eastlake, and JLL is marketing Evolve, 125,000 square feet of bays in Melcor’s The District off Country Hills Boulevard in the northeast.

Dawson is also in the early stages of developing 170 net acres of land in Rocky View County east of the city along Glenmore Trail, busy with element Business Centre in Edmonton, and has opened an office in Toronto.

Beedie remains bullish about its presence in the Calgary and area market, continuing to invest in new developments and hiring local companies to do the work.


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