Special Purpose / Mixed Use

Special Purpose Property: gasoline service stations, automobile dealerships, churches, self storage facilities, golf courses, convents, armed forces campuses, bowling alleys, vineyards, summer camps, etc., share many of the challenges faced by Mixed-Use property. Each is unique ... all require a tailored approach frequently requiring a multi-disciplinary skill set and always involving "thinking outside the box" in their marketing. Fortunately we bring both attributes to bear: our Consulting Divisions (Counselling, Valuation, Planning, Economic Intelligence, Property Tax, Lasercad® space measurement) field a catholic but complementary array of expertise our Brokerage Division can draw on as they require.  As for creative thinking, well that's baked into our DNA, the result of a seven year company training program that focuses on providing solutions to clients' real estate problems.  Our Brokerage Division has extensive experience marketing Special Purpose and Mixed Use property; check our Archives for some examples.

Clarity and transparency are key to the relationship we have with our client, in fact they are critical with Special Purpose and Mixed Use property because a very high level of trust is required between all parties, vendor/purchaser, landlord/tenant and broker, to successfully conclude the transaction. We have prepared Question and Answer (Q & A) packages for vendors and purchasers, landlords and tenants to frankly but concisely address those sensitive questions that frequently pre-define the client/broker contractual relationship.  And since good fences good neighbours make, we have prepared Listing and Tenant/Purchaser Agreements that are straight forward: unambiguous yet well documented they define, in plan English, our obligations to you, our client.


Special Purpose/Mixed Use Solution Services

Our Brokerage Division provides you with the full spectrum of Special Purpose/Mixed Use services: Purchaser, Vendor, Landlord, and Tenant Representation. Our transactional expertise in Special Purpose properties encompasses gasoline service stations and convenience stores, automobile dealerships, churches, self storage facilities, golf courses, convents, armed forces campuses, bowling alleys, vineyards, gymnasiums, ambulance stations, summer camps ... located in urban and rural settings. Our experience with Mixed Use property also covers the gamut: hotels embedded in marinas, retail stores topped with apartments or offices, industrial premises leavened with offices ... We have an ongoing relationship with developers, "hands on" operators, private investors, public companies, institutions, and government, through the work undertaken by our six Consulting Divisions as well as our Brokerage Division. We track, acquire and analyse details on every Special Purpose and Mixed Use sale in every market in Atlantic Canada. We know the players: many are clients.

Purchaser Representation

If you wish to purchase a Special Purpose property, Purchaser Representation is a sound strategy to adopt. Many of the smaller properties (less than $1.0 million) are listed on the Multiple Listing Services® usually with residential brokers, but the information available is often inadequate and/or inaccurate.  The more expensive properties are sometimes listed with commercial brokers but frequently are not offered publicly for sale, either because the owner operates a business and does not want to upset their employees, or because they lack confidence in the brokerage community's ability to locate a suitable purchaser.  Mixed Use properties follow a similar marketing pattern.  Access to properties listed with residential brokers via the Multiple Listing Services®, to commercial brokers through a  co-broker network, and a comprehensive knowledge of the properties and their owners (for properties that are not publicly listed for sale) is essential.  We act on your behalf to locate properties that meet your purchase criteria, advise you on their market value and, where pertinent, their rental potential, review their income and expense proformas, and where appropriate, negotiate the acquisition on the most advantageous terms for you.  Since we are the purchaser's agent we are legally and morally obligated to act in your best interest:  however our broker's fee is usually recovered from the vendor.

Vendor Representation

Vendor representation occurs when the vendor retains us to sell their property. Special Purpose property often requires a much broader skill set and "outside the box" approach than is the case with other types of property; the existing use may not be the property's highest and best use ... the latter may anticipate repurposing the building or redevelopment of the land to maximise value. The foregoing will be a precursor to establishing the property's target market and its value. This may require the intervention of our Planning Division to determine what is permitted under the zoning by-law, and what is possible within the planning framework, to achieve the most beneficial result. It will probably require advice from our Valuation or Counselling Divisions to ascertain the highest and best use. In any event, even if the property's existing use is the same as its highest and best use, it will have to be exposed to the most appropriate target market in a manner that allows the widest pool of potential purchasers to evaluate it cost effectively. In order to get the most advantageous terms for the vendor we (1) reduce the risk of the transaction to the purchaser to the greatest degree possible by detailing the fiscal, physical and legal attributes of the property in a Master Sales Prospectus, (2) determine the property's highest and best use, drawing on the expertise of our Planning, Valuation and Counselling Divisions, (3) price the property appropriately by using our proprietary information technology platform, CompuVal®, (4) expose the property to the largest number of qualified, potential purchasers utilising CompuVal's® Prospect Sales Database, the Multiple Listing Service® and a co-broker network. We have carefully structured our sales commission so that it is "broker neutral"; we get the same fee whether we sell the property with the aid of another broker or directly ourselves. Since we have no incentive to "double end" the commission our objectives are directly aligned with those of the vendor .. to get the property sold! Our Brokerage staff are the product of our own seven year training program which includes negotiation as a defined skill set.

Tenant Representation

Tenant representation occurs when the tenant retains us to act on their behalf to locate suitable premises, negotiate lease renewals, sub-lease, restructure their existing leases or negotiate lease buy-outs. Since we act as the tenant's agent we are legally and morally obligated to act in the best interest of the tenant: however our brokers' fee is usually recovered from the landlord.

Landlord Representation

Landlord representation occurs when the landlord retains us to lease vacant space, undertake pre-leasing, lease renewals, sub-lease, restructure exiting leases, or negotiate lease buy-outs. In order to get the most advantageous terms for the landlord we (1) reduce the risk of the transaction to the tenant to the greatest degree possible by creating scale plans they can utilise for their space planning, utilising our in-house Lasercad® space measurement resources, (2) price the space appropriately by using our proprietary information technology platform, CompuVal®, (3) expose the premises to the largest number of qualified, potential tenants utilising CompuVal's® Prospect Leasing Database and a co-broker network. We have carefully structured our leasing commission so that it is “broker neutral”; we get the same fee whether we lease the premises with the aid of another broker or directly ourselves. Since we have no incentive to “double end” the commission our objective is directly aligned with that of the landlord … to get the premises leased! We can also arrange for the premises to be certified to the appropriate BOMA standard by our Lasercad® Division.


CompuVal® our leading edge information technology platform acquires, categorises, and combines sales, rental, revenue and expense data from multiple sources and then processes and analyses it to provide us with a picture of the property markets throughout Atlantic Canada and Ontario. Our Economic Intelligence Unit uses our geographic information system (GIS) to combine CompuVal® data with consumer demographic and psychographic information and establish supply and demand trends for specific property types throughout the Atlantic region.


Our Counselling Division provides advice on Special Purpose and other properties that are ripe for repurposing or redevelopment by providing Feasibility Studies to (1) test whether a proposed development is financially feasible; (2) determine which one of several mutually exclusive developments is the optimal project; (3) identify the type and size of the development that will maximise the return on investment.


Although our Brokerage Division provides advice on the market or rental value of any property they are requested to list for sale or lease, our Valuation Division is an added resource and frequently functions as a sounding board. If they are required to act in a more formal role, for example determining market value in order to assist the property owner decided whether to retain or dispose of their real estate, the Division can provide one of seven different types of report each tailored to the specific requirement's of the client. They range from an opinion of value, which gives a value range and most probable value, to be utilised in broad decision making, to a comprehensive valuation report which can also form the genesis of the Master Sales Prospectus should the client subsequently decide to engage us to sell or lease their property.

Property Tax Amelioration

Property taxes typically comprise a substantial portion of the property’s total operating costs. This tax burden falls right down to a business' bottom line and thus adversely impacts the net absolute rent a tenant can afford to pay for their space. If the building is owner occupied the quantum of the property taxes can impair the market value. Our Property Tax Division first reduces the tax load by negotiating a reduction in the assessment or by successfully appealing to the relevant court. The property is then enrolled in our PAMS® Property Tax Manager program to ensure that the tax savings so achieved are not lost in subsequent years.


Our Planning Division provides advice on zoning and planning issues that are particularly germane with respect to Special Purpose properties such as churches, where the existing use is often not the highest and best use. They undertake a Regulatory Review to identify the development options available, Development Analysis to compare development scenarios and evaluate proposed projects, and Development Approval to shepherd the selected project through the required planning approval processes including liaising with stakeholders by conducting public meetings.

Lasercad® Space Measurement

Lasercad® is a property measurement service whose output can be used both for, (1) leasing and space planning purposes by landlord and tenants, and (2) as an asset management tool by landlords. Our Lasercad® Division certifies Usable and Rentable areas to the appropriate BOMA Standard Method of Measurement and creates Perimeter, As Built, Utility, Fire Evacuation and Space Layout plans.