Our Story

Learn More About the Nearctic History

“We’re in the business of helping our tenants succeed.”

David KentCEO
About Nearctic

A history of patience and excellence

Nearctic Property Group is a real estate development and property management firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. Founded in 1979, Nearctic is named after the father of a true Canadian success. Nearctic’s son, Northern Dancer, was the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby and remains one of the world’s most influential sires.
Our founder and President, David Kent, grew up knowing Nearctic’s owner, famed Canadian industrialist and philanthropist E.P Taylor, whose commitment to business and community was an inspiration and example that David utilized to build his success.

David arrived in Alberta from Ontario with only a eleven dollars in his pocket, yet he was able to build a successful career and business in real estate. Over the past 40 years, through Nearctic, David has made a career of uncovering real estate opportunities, within a full spectrum of property types, from remedying poor management to new ground up developments, he has developed utilized strong relationships and developed and a reputation for execution and profitability. Today the company is growing, it is invested in a thriving portfolio with diversification by asset types and it is a vertically integrated management and development business.

April 79David Kent incorporates Nearctic and is the founder and sole shareholder. The aspiration for Nearctic is to be an entity to undertake joint ventures in new ground-up developments, reposition existing properties, and to build an income-producing property portfolio. Hermitage Centre, 50,000 sqft retail shopping centre in NE is developed – the first of many joint ventures, with partners First Quebec Corp, Vinsteve Corp, and others.

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During challenging economic times, high-interest rates and amidst the significant impact of the national energy program on Alberta’s oil and gas industry, David, and Nearctic, build the brand and the first of many valuable industry relationships as a consulting services business specializing in problem loan/real estate workouts for financial institution clients including RB, Manulife, Principal Group, and Barclays Bank.

86Nearctic acquires the first of many multi-tenant commercial properties, the building named Nearctic Plaza. Nearctic executes its long-term vision, remedies landscaping, deferred maintenance, and structural issues, taking rents from $2.72 to $4 per square foot. Nearctic builds its brand on integrity, honesty, relationships, and results.

87Grand Park Plaza is acquired from Manulife from its portfolio of foreclosed properties and the property is stabilized and added to the recurring revenue portfolio. The first Klondike Days Barbeque is held, which would eventually host over 700 guests. Nearctic secures the Nexus Business Centre, and management executes a $3.5 million redevelopment project, driving net rents from $3.50 to $12.50 per square foot, stabilizing the property for long term recurring revenue.

92Inglewood Centre, Nearctic’s first ground-up development, was undertaken. Raw land was acquired from a large US developer and Nearctic designed and constructed a new energy-efficient building. Nearctic acquires an interest in Strathearn Development, a 504 unit 52 building rental development on 24 acres on Edmonton, and stabilizes the investment.

96Nearctic acquires Compton Court from Royal Trust’s foreclosure portfolio, at 55% vacancy. Nearctic executes at $1.5million, 18-month redevelopment strategy and drives occupancy to over 95%. Compton was acquired at $12,800/suite, and with Nearctic’s in-house construction, leasing, and property management strategies, suites at the Compton are now valued in excess of $100,000/suite.

00Nearctic ventures into the US market acquiring a 125-acre residential housing subdivision in Austin, Texas in partnership with a German firm. The land is permitted to develop 68 acreages and 350 multi-residential units. A US subsidiary is created called Nearco Properties Inc.  Success in obtaining zoning, subdivision, and design precipitated a profitable sale to a large US home builder.

01Nearctic and its joint venture partners acquires an existing shopping centre, demolishes it, and captures the interest of new retailers with its development of a set of attractive new format retail buildings. Crestwood Shopping Centre attracted major tenants such as TD Bank, Urban Faire, and Cobbs Bread. Nearctic’s share in this high-quality retail redevelopment was then sold to the Wheaton family for long term holding in the Wheaton family real estate investment portfolio. 

06Nearctic completes McKinnon Estates, it’s first luxury residential condo project located on the McKinnon Ravine in Edmonton. Obsolete single family homes were acquired and then demolished, zoning and permits were obtained, and a mix of new main floor townhomes and apartment-style residences were constructed and sold to happy residents. This proof of concept leads Nearctic to develop Grosvenor Manor – another luxury condo residence along a vibrant active street in inner city Edmonton. Nearctic wins the Mayor’s Award of Accessibility.

09While redevelopment was on the minds of shareholders for a number of years prior, the new strategy for Strathearn, an aspiration to demolish and build a new mixed-use development with over 2000 residential rental units, over 100,000 square feet of retail space, was launched. Today a development permit to entitle the investors to new direct control zoning is in progress and will conclude by the end of 2020. Thereafter Nearctic will be the development manager and employ its core competencies to undertake the development, marketing, leasing, and financing to ensure the shareholders realize its opportunity and vision.

12Nearctic obtains the zoning and permitting to develop its first new format Industrial Flex building on land under a demolished, end of life, cross-dock building site. Vantage business park, a new multi-tenant building is erected and in 2019 wins BOMA TOBY – Building of the Year award for its type and class. Nearctic acquires 3 acres of multi-unit residential development land and later designs, constructs, and leases its first purpose-built residential called the Nautical Luxury Suites at Summerside, incorporating Pelham Master Builder to build the suites.

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Nearctic acquires an 8-acre mobile home park to develop its second successful ground up multi-tenant commercial flex building called Commerce West. Nearctic develops its first commercial business park to be sold as parcels of land, utilizing the core competency of the team to acquire 50 acres of development land, creates the design, and constructs the roads to accommodate the sale of development land – now over 50% sold. David, his contribution and career in business in Edmonton, is recognized by Business in Edmonton in 2015.

17Nearctic develops a new head office and sets a new standard of design as well as a new direction and foundation for its team. The new 9,000 square foot office is designed and built with a timber frame structure to accommodate more than 25 people. The use of timber frame design has architectural significance believed to inspire creativity and innovation.

19Nearctic Property Group hosts a barbecue with 700 of its closest friends to celebrate 40 years in business.

Patterns

Today Nearctic owns and manages over one million square feet of commercial and residential property and enjoys established relationships with over 1000 customers and suppliers. The portfolio remains as securely founded by David Kent, and his exclusive boutique management business, as it has been since inception. In the course of over 40 years Nearctic developed core competency for identifying, executing and profiting on a wide range of real estate opportunities. It developed industry-leading skills to remedy deferred structural and maintenance issues, poor management, and implement innovative marketing and leasing strategies. Nearctic built a successful income property portfolio, an in-house management business and vertically integrated with construction, technical services, accounting, as well as debt, and equity financing.

Our definitive strategic plan drives us to continue to grow conservatively and responsibly, just as we have for decades. We will continue to mine our existing portfolio for redevelopment opportunities, We will find new ground-up developments as well as opportunities to resolve under managed assets. We will remain true to our values and continue to build relationships while exploring the landscape of opportunities in all property types, ownership structures and expand to new cities. We will act on those opportunities that reflect a strong business case in a measured and manageable range of scale. We will build on the experience of four decades and expect to enjoy success in decades to follow.