Product Description

Counselling Division

Feasibility Studies - Many developers have a project in mind for their property, often based on successful developments on other sites, or simply dictated by the type of use and maximum density permitted under the zoning by-law. Our Feasibility Study acts as a sounding board by providing that valuable second opinion as to whether the proposed development meets the acid test of financial feasibility. Our Feasibility Study can (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.

Infrastructure Acquisition - This service is designed for an acquiring authority (governments and private companies such as power corporations, pipeline companies, et al.) working on major infrastructure projects. We (1) work with engineering teams to optimize route planning and facilities site selection; (2) if required by the acquiring authority, identify property ownerships, handle public consultations/relations and retain the necessary planning permits; (3) provide budgetary advice; (4) identify and quantify any relevant Heads of Claim (Market Value, Home For A Home, Disturbance and Business Loss, Special Purpose Properties, Injurious Affection and Severance, Special Economic Advantage, Professional Fees); (5) produce baseline appraisals; (6) prepare property acquisition packages and present them to individual landowners; (7) negotiate fair compensation on behalf of the acquiring authority; (8) if required prepare Expropriation Reports; (9) if required provide expert testimony for the Court proceedings.

Expropriation – This service is designed for owners whose property has been expropriated, or for expropriating authorities (governments and private companies with expropriating powers such as power corporations, pipeline companies, et al) who have to satisfy the statutory requirements of the relevant Expropriation Act. We (1) identify and quantify the relevant Heads of Claim (Market Value, Home For A Home, Disturbance and Business Loss, Special Purpose Properties, Injurious Affection and Severance, Special Economic Advantage, Betterment, Professional Fees); (2) Provide litigation and forensic support during the negotiations to reach a pre-court settlement; (3) if necessary provide expert testimony for the Court proceedings.

Fire Insurance – This service is designed to enable property owners better manage the risk inherent in property ownership by providing them with annual valuations of their property for fire insurance purposes.

Mediation & Arbitration – This service is designed to avoid costly litigation by providing an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. When compared to a Court hearing, the two processes are (1) less expensive; (2) faster; (3) less adversarial; (4) more focused, because the parties can chose an arbitrator or mediator who has knowledge of their particular industry. Mediation has two additional advantages, (1) the process encourages both parties to explore a range of options; and (2) if mediation fails there is still the option of proceeding to arbitration or court.

Company Asset Analysis – This service identifies idle capital locked up in property assets that could usefully be employed elsewhere in the business. In order to do so we value the property assets both on a “break-up” (Highest and Best Use) basis and as part of the “going concern” (i.e. Existing Use Value basis).

Lease Audit – This service is designed for tenants. We review the lease, determine if the usable and rentable areas are correct, and undertake an audit of the operating expenses to ascertain if the tenant is being charged back for its correct proportionate share.

Due Diligence – This service is designed for prospective purchasers of commercial properties. We thoroughly inspect the property, measure every tenant space using the appropriate Standard Method of Measurement, calculate the usable and rentable areas, read every lease, review each tenant file and the financial records to verify that the rent is being paid in full, verify and validate the operating expenses and recoveries, interview a sample of tenants, investigate the zoning and ascertain if there are any proposed changes, inspect the assessment records and review them for errors. Although we do not usually search the title, we read the legal descriptions, reconcile them with the survey plans and plot the boundaries, easements and rights of way onto a scale map so that the purchaser can see what they are buying.

Mortgage Security Analysis – This service is designed for mortgagees, to determine their downside risk, and mortgagors to quantify their upside potential. We measure the impact of the operating, financial, and total leveraging effects, conduct break-even analysis, review the debt service coverage and loan to value ratios.

Tenant Mix – This service assists property owners optimise their tenant mix in their retail, office and industrial property. It draws upon our marketing, brokerage and valuation expertise, and utilises operational research techniques such as linear programming.

Other Services – The following à la carte services are also available:

  • Expert Witnesses - We undertake the valuation and then appear, on behalf of the client, as an expert witness in any Court of Appeal for assessment purposes, expropriation, etc.

  • Forensic Appraisal - We review the appraisal report which is the subject of the investigation and undertake the necessary valuation work to determine if the probability of fraud exists.

  • Highest and Best Use Analysis - We undertake an economic analysis of the property to determine if it can be more profitably utilised for a different purpose, for example by redeveloping the site.

  • Investment Analysis - We analyse investment opportunities and advise on the projected cash flows and the degree of risk involved for competing investment opportunities.

  • Land Assembly - We investigate the land ownerships in the area, value the various parcels and negotiate their acquisition. We are cognizant of the need for discretion and the assembly can proceed under our name, or that of another nominee, in trust for the purchaser.

  • Negotiation - We undertake the valuation and then negotiate on behalf of the client, for a multitude of purposes, e.g. acquisition, rental, tax purposes, assessment, expropriation, etc.

  • Portfolio Analysis - Many property portfolios are the result of investment opportunities taken in response to management objectives at a particular point in time. We value the property portfolio and analyse the degree of risk associated with each type of investment to ensure that the current long-term objectives of the portfolio are being realised.

  • Strategic Advice - We study real estate: it is our business to know when change is occurring. We advise clients when or if they should be buying, selling or leasing, or when it is economic to renovate or redevelop.