Nearctic Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust was formed by Nearctic Property Group in April 2023 to be a multi-generational, geographical, and tenanted “A” class, urban industrial and warehouse real estate investment with intentions to grow to $1B in real property assets across Canada. NI REIT was specifically launched under a structure designed for growth. An independent Board of Trustees was appointed to provide insight and governance, and work with management to deliver targeted results.
Nearctic Property Group is a real estate development and property management firm headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta with offices in Edmonton and Calgary. Over the course of 40 years, Nearctic developed a core competency for identifying, executing and profiting on a wide range of real estate opportunities. It developed industry-leading skills to productively address structural and maintenance issues and provide best-in-class property management, while also delivering innovative marketing and leasing strategies. Nearctic Property Group built a successful income producing portfolio, an in-house management business, and a vertically integrated construction, technical services, and accounting real estate investment management platform. Today, Nearctic Property Group owns and manages a portfolio of retail, office and industrial properties and enjoys established relationships with almost 1,000 customers, suppliers, lenders, and investors.
Sean joined Nearctic Property Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2019 with a 35 year track record in the real estate investment management business. Sean developed a diverse business perspective and set of competencies having worked with both large national public entities as well as private entrepreneurial organizations. He is an outcome oriented real estate operations executive skilled in leadership, leasing, construction, acquisitions, development, finance and asset management of a wide range of property types including apartments, office, retail, and industrial properties. Sean was appointed President of Nearctic Property Group in September 2021.
Craig joined Nearctic as Vice President, Asset Management in 2022. Craig brings over 11 years of asset management experience covering major Canadian markets. Prior to joining Nearctic, Craig has been responsible for successfully overseeing institutional and private portfolios over 1.6M sf and has been a lead underwriter on over $1 billion in real estate transactions. He also brings extensive experience in mortgage financing, development and real estate technology and innovation. Craig’s diligent focus and value-add approach serve as a motivator for him and his team and produce exceptional results for the real estate.
Leeann joined Nearctic in 2022 with over 14 years of experience working in finance and accounting, with most of her tenure in a management role and a focus on IFRS. Leeann obtained her Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce and MBA from the University of Alberta and received her CA, CPA designation in 2010. She has a proven track record of leading and creating teams to achieve operational success through strong finance data platforms founded on robust governance frameworks.
Will Smith is the founder, President and CEO of Knightsbridge Development Corporation, a third-party Development Management firm, that provides Construction Management and Advisory Services to many of the leading real estate investment trusts, as well as publicly traded and privately held real estate development companies in Canada.
Under Will’s leadership, Knightsbridge Development Corporation has grown into a firm specializing in large and complex mixed-use projects, ranging from 1 to 3 million square feet with individual project values in excess of $1 billion, and offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, as well as London, UK and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Will holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering and a Masters in Real Estate from Cornell University, which is complemented by his experience gained in Asia, the UK, Europe and the Americas. Prior to Knightsbridge, Will held positions with the Selfridges Group, CDN Global Real Estate, and CBRE Global Corporate Services, with a focus on Industrial, Retail, Hospitality, High Rise Office, and Commercial projects. Currently and in previous roles, Will has worked in a Sarbanes-Oxley compliant corporate structure, where he holds transparency and good governance as the keys to good business and fiduciary responsibility.
Janet Riopel is the President & CEO of TREYL Communications Inc. She has deep roots in the Edmonton community and considerable experience in managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects.
Janet’s career has been diverse and fascinating. She honed her skills and experience in the land development industry, with other adventures including working with Canada’s Governor General, the Alberta Government, Katz Group, CAREERS The Next Generation, EPCOR, and Port Alberta. Most recently she was the President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
Janet is also director on the boards of Melcor Developments and Invest Alberta Corporation. Past service includes roles as board chair of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, and Compassion House Foundation. She was board chair of MacEwan, a board governor of NAIT, campaign chair for United Way, and president of the Urban Development Institute Alberta.
Her community service has brought her much recognition. She was honoured with both the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal and the Golden Jubilee Medal, has twice been named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People, and was a Global TV Woman of Vision. Janet has received UDI’s Merit Award and the City of Edmonton’s Outstanding Service Award. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Janet is a lifelong Edmontonian with two children and four amazing grandchildren.
Ken Hughes, a certified ICD.D member since 2005, joined the board of trustees at inception of the trust in 2023. Hughes is a seasoned entrepreneur, and serves as Chair, Providence Therapeutics, Canada’s leading messenger RNA vaccine development company. His business background also includes involvement with insurance distribution as the founder of Alpine Insurance (2002-2021), energy services technology, real estate and information technology.
Hughes has provided extensive public service at provincial and national levels in Canada. He was Alberta Energy Minister and Minister of Municipal Affairs (2012-2014). Prior to that, he was the Founding Chair of the Board of Alberta Health Services (2008-2012) (providing publicly funded health services to over 4 million Albertans), a Member of the Canadian Parliament (MP), at increasing levels of responsibility including appointment as Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (1988-1993).
Ken has a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta (BSc. Agriculture).
Sean joined Nearctic Property Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2019 with a 35-year track record in real estate business. Sean developed a diverse business perspective and set of competencies having worked with large national public entities and private entrepreneurial organizations. He is an executive skilled in Leadership, Leasing, Construction, Acquisitions, Development, Finance, and Asset Management in a wide range of property types including apartments, office, retail and industrial properties.
David has a proven track record of over 40 years in Western Canada as a developer and manager of multi-family homes, rental apartments, and a number of industrial, commercial and retail properties. Throughout, he has navigated Alberta’s dynamic economic environment with financial stability and consistently positive outcomes. Results – a present portfolio with well over 1 million square feet of commercial, industrial and residential real estate, currently valued in excess of $120 million. His success over the past 40 years has been built on a foundation of carefully selected quality real estate and professional property management.
NI REIT’s Management Team and Board of Trustees are committed to ensuring that Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations are an integral part of our core decision-making process. NI REIT has identified ESG as a key component of its long-term investment strategy and is committed to making it a focal point in establishing a company-wide ESG-minded culture. ESG aligns with our vision to create a leading management platform and investment vehicle, focused on building value for our investors and community.