Real Estate Forum reinforces Halton as an Economic Hot-Spot

ICI development surpassing $1.2 billion

Real Estate Forum reinforces Halton as an Economic Hot-Spot
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Anna Larson

Anna Larson

A Senior Communications Professional with not-for-profit, private and public sector experience in corporate and marketing communications. A solid track record of developing and implementing innovative communications strategies and tactics, business writing, research and proactive media relations. A team player who handles complex and sensitive issues in an unassuming, yet effective way. Specialties: business writing, media relations, communications planning, event management, social media

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Industrial, commercial developers and real estate brokers from the Greater Toronto Area, along with Regional and Local Municipal elected officials and staff, attended the Halton Real Estate Forum in Burlington on Tuesday, October 29.  The event provided an opportunity for businesses to network and learn about economic and real estate performance and trends as well as development cost competitiveness across Halton and the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area.  The session featured a keynote address and panel discussion with industry leaders who provided their analysis and insights on office and industrial development opportunities and why companies are choosing to do business in Halton.


“Last year, 2012, was a record setting year for industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) development in Halton, with ICI development surpassing over $1.2 billion in building permit value,” said Regional Chair Gary Carr in his opening remarks. “Halton has been named the safest regional municipality in Canada for the past five years.  We have a triple A credit rating, location and quality of life that is second to none and incredible talent living within our borders. Judging by our growing ICI development numbers and recent investments by companies such as Target, Siemens, Toronto Premium Outlets and Gypsum Technologies Inc., it is clear that Halton continues to be an economic hotspot.”


Target in Oakville South CentreThe event was hosted by Halton Region’s Economic Development division in partnership with the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and the economic development offices at the Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton and Town of Oakville. This is the fourth year the Region and Halton’s four Local Municipalities have jointly hosted the Halton Real Estate Forum.  Sponsors included Bentall Kennedy, Jones Lang LaSalle and Melrose.


A key message voiced by the speakers was that with its ecosystem of leading companies and exceptional quality of life, Halton is indeed a location of choice – one of the best communities in which to live and work.


In his opening remarks, Halton’s Director, Economic Development, John Davidson provided an overview of trends in the commercial and industrial real estate market in Halton, noting that Halton offers tremendous choice within the community in terms of real estate.  He also highlighted regional efforts to attract investment to Halton through membership in the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, marketing and communications initiatives and the Halton Region Investment Response Team.


Keynote speaker Josh Kaufman, Vice President, Retail and Commercial Development, Dundee Realty Corporation, talked about the retail and industrial market, highlighting the arrival of Target and provided an overview of what developers look for when considering investment, stressing the importance of strong developer / government relations. He illustrated the latter point in a case study on Toronto Premium Outlets, noting that its success is unprecedented and “gave new meaning to the term partnership.”  According to Kaufman, the strong working relationship between the developer, contractor, architect, Region and Local Municipality and agencies, ensured the success of the project.  He also noted that the location itself held a considerable draw in its ongoing success – access to a market of 5.5 million people within a 45 minute drive.


Panellists Kevin Kelley, Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle, Marc Doré, Managing Director – Real Estate, Fengate Capital Management and Anthony Khoraych, President Advanced Test & Automation provided their perspectives on doing business in Halton.  Noted Kevin Kelley, “Halton is one of the regions best positioned to be the “anti-bedroom” community of the future because the human capital is already here.”  All three panelists alluded to Halton’s attractions: business friendly environment, access to skilled workers, customers and suppliers, the entrepreneurial eco-system, excellent infrastructure, location, facilities for innovation and startups, such as HalTech, and proximity to post secondary institutions.


To learn more about Economic Development in Halton Region, dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833 or visit You can find Halton Small Business on Facebook and on Twitter @HaltonEcDev, as well as Halton Tourism onFacebook and on Twitter.



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