On June 3, the 9th Annual Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference took place at the Telus Convention Centre. Focused on strategies, issues, practices and trends in real estate leasing for the office, industrial and retail markets, real estate professionals gained insight through round table discussions and a series of break out educational sessions.
With the one year anniversary of the Calgary flood top of mind, attendees learned how the new buildings currently under construction in the downtown core were changed by the flood and what measures the developers have made for the future. The panelists representing Brookfield Properties (Brookfield Place), Jones Lang LaSalle (Telus Sky), GWL (Palliser East + West), Oxford Properties (Eau Claire Tower) and Manulife Real Estate (Manulife Tower) all stressed that last year’s flood forced them re-examine and solidify their policies and procedures when it comes to mitigating risk and natural disasters.
Due to its location near the banks of the Bow River, Eau Claire Tower repositioned its back-up generator to its P4 level from its original P1 location, and the majority of Telus Sky’s power will be generated from its neighbouring Telus Switch, meaning it is not 100% reliant on the City of Calgary power grid in case of emergency.
It’s not surprising that the breakout session titled “Sink or Swim – the Impact of Disasters + Risk Management” was well attended by the delegates. With sobering statistics like, “70% of businesses without a plan for emergencies or general cessation of business are no longer in operation 5 years later”, the panel provided valuable and eye-opening information about insurance, the law and leases.
Key takeaways included:
- Don’t rely on your lease agreement’s insurance requirements. Ensure your insurance policy is applicable to your type of business. For example, last year’s flood had access to downtown closed for several days; however some properties were not “damaged” by the rising waters. Many businesses were not covered by their insurance for the “loss of business” as their properties were not “physically damaged, they just could not access them. Ensure “damage” is defined and applicable for your business.
- Don’t undervalue your business, your assets, or your operations when planning your insurance. This is not one area to “cut corners”.
- Emergency preparedness is paramount. If you own or manage a building and don’t have a plan – get one. Hire a Security Specialist or look internally to your team for someone with experience.
The BOMA Calgary’s Flood Preparedness Guide is a valuable tool to start the conversation with your organizations and is free to BOMA Calgary members. Visit the Online Store in the Members Only area of boma.ca or contact the BOMA office.
-Submitted on behalf of the BOMA Communications Committee
-Image credit: DowntownDC – http://www.downtowndc.org/event/emergency-preparedness-seminar