Commercial infrastructure is a leading driver of our economy

Manufacturing and the supporting infrastructure, such as warehousing, is a leading driver of the Winnipeg and Manitoba economies. Investments in research facilities — such as the National Research Councils automotive and surface transportation research centre — will enable Manitoba companies to not only develop new manufacturing processes, but help shape future industrial developments.

When looking at the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, opportunities for industrial real estate growth compared to other commercial segments seems well positioned. In a recent article in the Real Estate News Exchange Ryan Behie, CBRE Winnipeg vice-president and Managing Director, believes that Winnipeg’s industrial real estate market is particularly well-placed at the moment.

“What’s nice for a medium-sized market like Winnipeg is that we’ll probably see more than our fair share of in-creased warehousing requirements,” he explained. “Some supply-chain channels need beefing up in medium-sized markets, where they were already beefed up in the larger markets like Calgary.”

Industrial warehousing is expected to be reshaped moving forward, particularly related to the significant increase in e-commerce and the potential for shifting manufacturing supply chains. In an Investment Executive article, Jeff Olin, president and CEO and portfolio manager with Toronto-based Vision Capital Corporation, expects higher levels of inventory to be held in warehouses going forward to mitigate future supply chain shocks. He also predicted there will be a “likelihood of some element of de-globalization” coming out of Covid-19, which would shore up manufacturing in North America and further increase the need for warehouse space.

Based on these expectations from industry leaders, and given the importance of manufacturing to Winnipeg’s economic future, industrial real estate growth seems well placed. The continued acknowledgement and investment by organizations such as the NRC in supporting the continued growth of Winnipeg’s manufacturing and industrial sectors is a positive sign.

It should also be noted that existing and future demand for industrial space has driven investment into surrounding municipalities such as Rosser and MacDonald. Subsequently, the move by WinnipegREALTORS® to now include the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region is both timely and well placed to expand Commercial REALTOR® service offerings.

— Greg Dandewich, President, GDAN Solutions Ltd.