This month, the NAIOP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Real Estate Excellence (REX) Awards returned for its 20th year, doling out some of the industry’s most prestigious distinctions.
A number of Toronto developments took home top prizes, including the new two-tower downtown landmark CIBC SQUARE, which was named as the Office Development of the Year as well as the overall Development of the Year. It beat out other projects like the PwC-YMCA Mixed Use Tower and the Sugar Beach-adjacent Waterfront Innovation Centre for the top prize.
But the Waterfront Innovation Centre didn't walk away empty handed. The joint venture from Menkes Developments, BentallGreenOak, Alcion Ventures, and CBRE was crowned the Investment Deal of the Year, snagging the title after the judges assessed the project's innovation, creativity, community impact, and value to investors.
This year's awards saw a record number of project submissions, something NAIOP Toronto says goes to show that even a pandemic can’t slow down the commercial real estate industry. Developments selected for consideration must have been completed or substantially completed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
The REX Awards also honoured several real estate leaders with distinctions acknowledging their meaningful contributions to the industry. The Community Service Award was given to TD’s Managing Director, Head of Property Brokerage, Jamie Ziegel. And the Real Estate Icon Award was bestowed upon former BentallGreenOak CEO Gary Whitelaw.
Three scholarships were also given out as part of the awards ceremony to students pursuing degrees in real-estate-related fields. They went to Jenny Pao, a student at Ryerson University, Joseph Camhi, a student at Western University, and Jonathan Melanson, a student at Queen’s University.
Since launching in 2001, the REX Awards have become an important annual event for the GTA real estate industry. Started by George Carras, founder of RealNet and R-Labs Canada Inc., and real estate investor and REIT trustee Andre Kuzmicki, the awards have significantly evolved over time. Initially a black tie event with a handful of award categories, it has grown into a more relaxed affair with more than a dozen awards.
The full list of winners is as follows:
- Lease of the Year: 2300 Meadowvale Boulevard, Mississauga
- Investment Deal of the Year: Waterfront Innovation Centre
- Development of the Year: CIBC SQUARE
- Office Lease of the Year: 2300 Meadowvale Boulevard, Mississauga
- Office Development of the Year: CIBC SQUARE
- Office Investment Deal of the Year: Waterfront Innovation Centre
- Industrial Lease of the Year: 110 Aeropark Boulevard, Hamilton
- Industrial Development of the Year: 110 Aeropark Boulevard, Hamilton
- Industrial Investment Deal of the Year: LaSalle GTA Logistics Portfolio
- Retail Lease of the Year: 11 & 25 Ordnance Street, Toronto
- Retail Investment Deal of the Year: Kennedy Commons
- Multi-Residential Development of the Year: 25 Ordnance Street, Toronto
- Multi-Family Investment Deal of the Year: BGO & RioCan Joint Venture
- Real Estate Icon Award: Gary Whitelaw
- Community Service Award: Jamie Ziegel
- NAIOP Director's Award: Ken Nevar
- Developing Leader Award: Emily Long