A company specializing in real estate advisory and brokerage is being recommended to help the city explore what businesses might be interested in operating Tradex in Abbotsford.
City staff have recommended that Devencore Company Ltd. be awarded the request for proposal for facility planning and brokerage/advisory services for Tradex.
The matter comes before council for approval on Monday evening (May 31). Mayor Henry Braun explained that if council approves the recommendation, Devencore will then “go into the marketplace to explore who or which company might be interested in the operations of Tradex.”
“They would be doing all the legwork to find us a company to operate Tradex,” he said.
Proposals for the operation of the facility would then be submitted to council to consider, Braun said.
A staff report to council states that Devencore has been selected as the leading proponent for the role from among 10 submissions because of its “significant aerospace expertise and past projects that strongly parallel the Tradex building.”
“This experience provides advantages such as navigating issues around airport properties, including zoning compliancy. Devoncore Company Ltd. also provides consulting services at no additional fee,” the report states.
The Devencore website states that its services include facilities/project management and brokerage/transaction, including lease renewals, lease reviews and space expansion or reduction.
The company has several offices across Canada, including one in Vancouver.
The staff report states that the future use of Tradex and potential revenue “will be determined by the market.”
The only financial information provided in the staff report is that the city will pay Devencore brokerage fees (management costs) of 2.5 per cent of a lease transaction for the initial year and 1.5 per cent in additional years.
Devencore was recently acquired by the company Avison Young, but it will continue to operate as Devencore for a limited time “in order to plan for a proper transition,” the company website states.
The City of Abbotsford announced in March that it had issued a request for proposals for brokerage/advisory services for Tradex as the first step towards “transforming the property into a revenue-generating asset.”
Tourism Abbotsford has been running the facility since 2003, with all revenue generated reinvested into the property and Tourism Abbotsford operations.
The announcement in March resulted in a petition being started by the producers of several events held at Tradex each year, saying they are concerned that they will no longer be able to hold their shows there. The petition states that the building is the only facility of its kind in the Fraser Valley that is capable of holding large-scale events.
Almost 300,000 people attend events there each year, resulting in direct spending of $14.8 million in the community, the petition states.
Braun said Tourism Abbotsford could be among the groups that eventually submit proposals for the operation of Tradex.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Devencore was being recommended for the contract for the operation of Tradex, rather than as in an advisory/brokerage role helping the city to find a company to operate the facility.