Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19 Canadian Commercial Real Estate Industry Offers Support to National Vaccination E


Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:00:00 AM

REALPAC and its member organizations are pleased to announce an industry initiative to support the national vaccination rollout, through providing governments and health networks across Canada with the free use of vacant commercial space (such as retail space in malls, big box space, conference centres, hotels, industrial units, parking lots and office buildings) for use as vaccination sites.

"We see every day how hospitals are facing increasingly fragile scenarios, with provision of vital services being put on hold to divert resources to the COVID-19 response effort," said Michael Brooks, CEO, REALPAC. "We also understand from governments that for Canada to successfully vaccinate its population by the intended September 2021 target, a very regimented approach will need to be taken."

REALPAC, in partnership with its member organizations, has undertaken an initiative to identify unused commercial real estate space across Canada, to make available for free to governments and health networks to assist with the logistical rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. The goal is to provide an easily scalable portfolio of real estate assets that can form part of Canada's distribution network to support the country's vaccine mobilization effort. As reported by the BBC, a similar process is seeing success in the U.K., where the government is repurposing spaces such as convention centers and halls to serve as vaccination clinics.

REALPAC has secured the support of numerous CEOs, CFOs and COOs in its membership to participate in this initiative. These real estate owners are large, national operators with considerable real estate assets from coast to coast to coast, and are willing and eager to loan free space to government.

Participating members confirmed at this time include:

- Brookfield Properties (brookfieldproperties.com)
- Cadillac Fairview (cadillacfairview.com)
- CAPREIT (caprent.com)
- Colliers International (collierscanada.com)
- Cominar REIT (cominar.com)
- Crestpoint (cclgroup.com/crestpoint/en)
- Fengate Asset Management (fengate.com)
- Fiera Real Estate (fierarealestate.com)
- First Capital (fcr.ca)
- Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) (hoopp.com)
- IvanhoƩ Cambridge (ivanhoecambridge.com)
- Kingsett Capital (kingsettcapital.com)
- Manulife Investment Management (manulife.com)
- Morguard (morguard.com)
- RioCan REIT (riocan.com)
- SmartCentres REIT (smartcentres.com)
- Strathallen (strathallen.com)
- Triovest (triovest.com)

"Activating vacant real estate space as clinics for either vaccination or other medical services could reduce the logistical burden on hospitals and healthcare settings," added Brooks. "REALPAC members are keen to work with the government to repurpose their unused spaces to function as vaccination sites, or storage spaces for vaccines, essential equipment, and medical supplies, which could greatly assist the vaccination rollout effort."

REALPAC welcomes the opportunity to discuss this initiative with governments, policy makers, public health officials and healthcare networks, and direct inquiries to our participating members.

The commercial real estate industry remains committed to working with governments and healthcare networks to identify areas where space is needed and meet their needs to the best of our abilities. The industry would also like to sincerely thank governments, healthcare providers and front-line workers for their continued efforts to support Canadians during this pandemic.

SOURCE: REALPAC