As president of St. Catharines-based Gorge Holdings, I have been able to accumulate a diversified portfolio of residential, commercial, retail and industrial projects across southern Ontario, including the Niagara region.
But the story of my career in real estate starts at a very basic level. My first years at Gorge Holdings were not in leadership; rather, I was the property manager working directly with clients. This experience was invaluable.
In those early years I learned the essentials, the nuts-and-bolts of a successful property management company. I handled all leases, tenant relations, renovations, property maintenance, repairs, contracts and rent collection.
Even as I was managing the details of the business, I loved the big-picture aspect of Gorge Holdings’ southern Ontario projects. It’s exciting to work through the details of a development and be part of all aspects of a project. There’s a pride in discovery, and also a responsibility to make sure that the development results in a beautiful, efficient, quality project that will give future tenants — whether they be homeowners or businesses — a wonderful overall experience.
Recently, my focus has been on developing and managing properties in areas such as St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold, Niagara on the Lake, and London Ontario — all highly competitive marketplaces.
In St. Catherines, Gorge Holdings is working to meet the city’s need for more residential developments. We own a parking lot on Ontario Street between Church Street and King Street. It’s a one-acre lot that we think is in a fantastic location for new residences. We’re planning a luxury rental building that would consist of approximately 150 rental units, underground parking, storage units and main floor commercial rental units.
Meanwhile, in Welland we’re developing 25 residential building lots. It’s in an ideal location for new people moving into the city. It’s one block away from Niagara Street, which has many local businesses, restaurants and cafes, and retail stores and services.
Also in Welland, we just recently completed a nearby commercial plaza with a number of different services and shopping opportunities. Gorge has owned the property for several years and with the growth in the area, the timing was right to build a new plaza that attracted new local and national tenants including Starbucks, Sleep Country, and national quick serve food stores.
We are also expanding our Industrial complex in Thorold, located off highway 406. The first phase of this project will consist of three multi-unit buildings, totaling 80,000 square feet. We are currently in the construction stage, and we expect the completion of this phase to be in early 2023. In London, Ontario, we have recently completed Bellevue North, an exciting project that features 60 luxury rental suites in a multi-unit residential building. It’s located in North London close to parks and walking trails, golf, and the Masonville Place shopping mall.
Although the real estate market has been cooling across the GTA in recent months, there are still many amazing opportunities for buyers, sellers and developers alike. Long-term, there will always be incredible demand for residential, industrial and commercial space in our region, simply because people want to live, work and raise a family here. And we will always be working hard to make that possible.