Have You Heard…….

Walmart Canada has announced its Walmart Canada Charter on Plastics, a commitment to reduce plastic waste across its operations. The announcement builds on Walmart Inc.'s 2016 commitment to have 100 per cent recyclable private brand packaging by 2025.  Some of the key commitments include reducing check-out plastic bags by a further 50 percent by 2025, eliminating single-use plastic straws and replacing them with paper alternatives by 2020, achieving 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its own private brand products by 2025, eliminating ‘hard-to-recycle’ PVC and expanded polystyrene packaging from all its own private brand products by 2025, targeting at least 20 percent post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025, eliminating all single-use plastics from cafeterias at Walmart Canada's corporate offices and distribution centres by the end of 2019 and becoming the first Canadian retailer to publicly commit to using How2Recycle labelling on all its own private brand products by 2025. "Reducing unnecessary plastic waste and increasing plastic recycling are key priorities for Walmart – and for our customers," said Lee Tappenden, President and CEO, Walmart Canada. "As the world's largest retailer and producer of private brand products, we want to use our size and scale to take a leadership role in reducing plastic waste in Canada." (Walmart Canada – 800/328-0402 www.walmart.ca)...........

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Tom Balkos

In December, Tom Balkos joined RKF as Vice Chairman of the company’s Canadian retail leasing operations. Based in Toronto, he is overseeing the firm’s continued expansion in the retail brokerage and strategic advisory services for clients throughout Canada with keen focus on multi-market national and international retail rollouts, leasing and sales of experiential retail projects, etc.  Prior to joining RKF, he was with CBRE Ltd. in Toronto, where he led the 40-member National Retail Services Team and played role in mobilizing CBRE’s global retail service platform, serving as a director and co-founder of CBRE’s Global Cross Border Retail Team.  A major commercial real estate brokerage firm in the United States and Canada focused exclusively on retail leasing and investment sales, RKF is owned by Newmark Group Inc. which, under the Newmark Knight Frank banner offers a complete suite of services and products for both owners and tenants. In Canada, RKF operates as RKF Group Canada Realty, a Real Estate brokerage. (RKF Canada – Tom Balkos, 416/594-4227 tbalkos@rkf.com)..........

 

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Calgary-based vertically integrated cannabis company Westleaf Inc. announced last week that it has exercised its option to acquire 100 percent of Canndara Canada Inc., a cannabis retail company with over fifty prospective retail locations across Canada. On Dec. 20, 2018, Westleaf purchased 21.4 percent of the common voting shares of Canndara and secured an option to acquire the remaining 78.6 percent of the Canndara shares for an aggregate purchase price of $48.4-million(Cdn).  The closing is expected to occur on or about January 31, 2019.  Canndara's locations are at varying stages of development with seventeen development permits already awarded in Western Canada. As a result of the transaction, Westleaf has increased its guidance from 20 to 30 cannabis retail locations to approximately 50 locations, that are expected to be operating by the end of 2020, subject to provincial and municipal licensing and regulations. "Since the announcement of our original investment we continue to be impressed with the progress of the development of the Canndara retail portfolio and how well it complements the Westleaf Prairie Records retail locations. This acquisition will position Westleaf to become one of the largest premium cannabis retailers in Western Canada." said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf.  Focusing exclusively on densely populated neighbourhoods, high traffic areas, and tourist destinations, Prairie Records retail stores will be situated in premium retail locations across the country. (Westleaf Inc.www.westleaf.com)........

 

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Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm Avison Young has acquired Gainesville, Florida-based Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group, a 17-year old, full-service commercial real estate brokerage and property management company with operations throughout North Florida. Headquartered in Gainesville, Front Street Commercial has additional satellite offices in Ocala, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tallahassee. As a result of the acquisition, Avison Young opens its eighth Florida office, in Gainesville. The newest American office represents Avison Young's 59th office in the United States.  Effective immediately, Front Street is rebranded as Avison Young and 26 new members join the firm. Nick Banks becomes a Principal of Avison Young and Managing Director of the new Gainesville office. He will manage its day-to-day operations and lead the company's strategic growth in Gainesville and across North Florida with a mandate to expand the company's footprint, particularly in retail. He will also help Avison Young expand its service lines, particularly property management, in Jacksonville. Avison Young's Gainesville office is located at 132 NW 76th Dr. (Avison Young Commercial – 416/955-0000)…….

 

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Stephen Messinger

After five rewarding decades practicing law, Stephen Messinger has embarked on a new and different journey, that of a business advisor.  During his more than 51 years of practicing law, he has gained business experiences and insights and has developed significant expertise in the real estate and leasing categories and has cultivated a wide network of contacts.  “With this background in mind, I have decided to strike out on my own and provide premium consulting services, business advice and speaking and/or teaching engagements, specifically in the fields of commercial real estate, and condominium boards of directors,” he explained.  (Messinger Consulting Services – 416/436-9526 messingerconsulting@gmail.com)........

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