The recently sold Nottingham Plaza was used to demonstrate one of the two most important pillars of commercial real estate investing – patience. Today, we will use the recently sold Century Park Plaza to illustrate the the most important pillar – location. The age old axiom “real estate is about location, location, location” has withstood the test of time. A well located and properly maintained property is the key to any successful commercial real estate investment. The best properties are ones with locations conducive to success – excellent access to transportation, a local demographic profile that fits with the centre, and a well-established surrounding retail component. Century Park Plaza is located on Macleod Trail in Calgary, AB. Macleod Trail is one of the most established retail corridors in Calgary, which also houses their largest shopping mall, the Chinook Centre. It is located in the Willow Park neighbourhood, which is a short distance from the downtown core of Calgary. It is very accessible by both car and public transit, which contributes to the area’s successful retail focus. Willow Park has a large population with well above average income levels, which lends itself well to the successful operation of retail stores. When analyzing the location of Century Park Plaza, it is very apparent that its location played a large part of its success as an investment.
Richard Crenian, President of Redev Properties Ltd., the asset manager for Century Park Plaza, offers the following thoughts on the centre: “Century Park Plaza’s location was as good as it gets for a suburban retail strip centre. It was close to a neighbourhood with large amounts of disposable income and accessible by all means of transit. It is no surprise that it was our most stable performer in terms of cash flow, experiencing very little tenant turnover , and ultimately generated a fair return for its investors.” Century Park Plaza offers a very good example of how a great location is a necessity for any successful commercial real estate investment.