Potholes in Edmonton’s Data Highway

We came across this week’s topic by accident.

We initially set out to make a top 10 list of the highest assessed properties in Edmonton, when we noticed the following high profile properties not on the list:

Stantec Tower (10220-103 Avenue)
Rogers Place (10220-104 Avenue)
JW Marriott (10344-102 Street)

We weren’t able to find any tax assessment information about these properties on the City’s property assessment map either.

Now that’s to suggest that they don’t have assessed values.  In fact, there is a good reason for why they’re not displayed.  After conducting title searches on each of the properties, it shows each building is a Stata Title, meaning there is a subdivision plan in place.  And we know this is the case as both Stantec Tower and JW Marriott have a residential condominium component above the office space and hotel area, respectively.  It also seems reasonable that Rogers Place has multiple titles to account for the Winter Garden, community rink, LRT stop, etc.

In cases like this the City of Edmonton does not display each individual condo on the map, but the system does allow to search by condo unit number.  For example, if you pick another building, and let’s use 10355-105 Street as an arbitrary example, you’ll see there isn’t an assessed value for that specific address either.  But if you enter in unit 101, you’ll see the assessed value for that particular unit is currently $400,000.

However, we tried a variety of combinations (ie/ 1, 101, 1001 and even 500, which is the unit number Stantec lists as their address) for the three properties in the Ice District and could not find a single record.

Now it’s possible that Stantec Tower and JW Marriott have not yet been assessed due to the timing of construction, but Rogers Place opened in 2016.

So with that all in context, two questions come to mind:

1. Can the City of Edmonton assessment map be upgraded to include and display all the units associated with a particular address?
2. How has the arena deal fared for Edmontonians?

There has not been a lot of information released from the City on the economics of the arena deal.  Perhaps it’s buried in the City’s financial statements, but we don’t really have a good understanding of how the deal has worked out 2.5 years later.  Yes, there has been a considerable amount of ancillary development, but it has come at the expense of the sizeable property tax increases (and with our anticipation that we’ll see yet another increase in 2019).

We went back to the original framework for the arena deal and noticed a provision:

“Through a Council-approved tax agreement, EAC [Edmonton Arena Corporation] and affiliates will pay the City a maximum of $250,000 in municipal property taxes annually, for EAC arena operations that are open during event hours, and will be responsible for paying all required provincial Education Property Taxes.”

Interestingly, if Rogers Place was assessed at the construction value (reported to be $613.7M) and taxed at the current non-residential mill rate, total property taxes would be approximately $13,000,000 per year.

 

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Our Team

Chad Griffiths

Chad Griffiths

Partner, SIOR, CCIM

Chad is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate and focuses on the Greater Edmonton area. Chad entered the industry in 2004 and has completed over 400 commercial transactions with clients ranging from small, local companies to large institutional owners. Chad has been a top 15 producer with NAI Canada-wide since 2013.

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown

Partner, BCom, SIOR

Ryan is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate in Edmonton and is currently ranked nationally as one of NAI's top advisors. Having executed in excess of $100 Million worth of sales transactions and over 2 Million square feet of lease transactions, Ryan has developed a firm understanding of asset evaluation and an aptitude for building design, functionality, and long-term practicality.

Darcie Bouteiller

Darcie Bouteiller

Associate

Darcie is a licensed Commercial Real Estate Agent in the Province of Alberta with a focus on the Edmonton market and its surrounding areas. Darcie accomplishes custom solutions for her clients through her personable nature and results driven attitude. Darcie can help if you are looking to invest in commercial real estate or are looking for representation for a sale or lease transactions.

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