Member Profile | Belterra Land Company
Bare Land Syndication, or Land Banking, has had many successes as well as many controversies. Following the market downturn of 2009, the Belterra team worked quickly to position its undivided interest offerings for the Exempt Market and the new rules that were implemented in 2010. A renewed commitment to product education, training and support for its staff, has ensured a smooth transition to the Exempt Market environment.
Belterra Land Company is a land-based real estate investment and development group formed in November of 2006 to capitalize on small to mid-size projects within Alberta. Its continued goal is to produce sound real estate opportunities for investors, which provide above-average rates of return while remaining focused on Belterra’s guiding principles; ‘Service, Value, Trust.’
The Belterra business model was developed with extensive research on targeted strategic parcels (approximately 20-80 acres) along the Highway 2/2A corridor with a specific emphasis on Central Alberta. The strength of this region - one of the fastest growing in North America – is highlighted by strong oil and gas servicing and development, an aggressive business investment environment, low unemployment, significant population growth, high average weekly earnings and a robust housing market. This Central Alberta focus has resulted in significant area expertise, in addition to access to a network of real estate industry professionals.
Not content to buy and hold (or ‘buy and hope’ as has been coined internally), Belterra felt compelled to focus on all facets of the real estate life cycle – acquiring undeveloped land and managing it through planning, zoning and eventually, development.
Throughout the real estate life cycle, Belterra seeks to transform its assets from undeveloped land to thriving communities and its investors are offered an opportunity to participate in this process and the associated returns.
The Slopes of Sylvan Lake
Belterra’s first project, The Slopes of Sylvan Lake, is a 49 Acre Residential Development located in Lacombe County near the Summer Village of Birchcliff. Launched in 2007, Belterra Land Company successfully managed this property through the planning and entitlement phase. This Master Planned Community – the first of its kind under the new Sylvan Lake Area Structure Plan - consists of 49 lots and is now ready for construction.
Don`t Call it a Comeback: Understanding UDI
Undivided Interest or UDI, as a means of pre-development land syndication is not new - quite the contrary. Under the UDI model, purchasers become the registered owners of shared units within a parcel of land. Investors receive a certified copy of title, in their name, for their proportionate interest.
For Belterra, this model in its simplest form provides true investor alignment with its basic principles of shared success. All stakeholders share in the initial Capital, Risk, Decision Making and Return.
In the wake of 2009, Belterra has recently witnessed a renewed interest in its UDI model amongst those clients who still value pre-development land and prefer the security that titled ownership provides.
Clearly, debt free bare land – purchased with significant research and due diligence - still has a place in any real estate investor’s portfolio.
Current Project: Red Deer
Belterra-managed projects have continued to perform and excel amidst challenging market conditions. Our third Project, comprised of approximately 77.97 acres of future residential land within the Red Deer city limits, has seen an increase in appraised value of ~38% since it was acquired in 2009.
Red Deer is Alberta’s third most populous city with a total population of over 94,000 (as of 2012). Red Deer’s central location gives it the distinction of being the only city in the Canadian prairies with a market of over two million people within a 160 kilometre radius.
Key highlights of this area include:
Trade area of 275,000 people, representing over 40 municipalities in Central Alberta.
Access to over 15 million people in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
Red Deer, the region’s largest city, saw its population increase 19% from 2004 - 2010.
Highest proportion (18.6%) of young adults within working age population.
Lowest transportation costs in Western Canada due to its central location along major transport routes to the U.S. Pacific Northwest, a market area of over 15 million people.
In 2010, Red Deer City Council approved a $1.244 billion ten-year capital plan for the region. The majority of the funds will be used for roads, infrastructure upgrades, transportation, revitalization, and future growth projects.
Since its acquisition in 2009, the Red Deer Project has achieved significant pre-development milestones, namely: Annexation, Area Structure Plan Approval and (soon to be announced) changes in Zoning.
Currently, less than 25% of this offering, available in UDIs or RRSP eligible secured mortgages, remains.
The Future Looks Bright
Throughout 2013 and beyond, Belterra Land Company will continue to assess and acquire real estate opportunities within its focused target market along the Highway 2/2A corridor. In addition, our team will continue to work collaboratively with local municipalities and stakeholders to plan, create and develop successful communities while remaining focused on our guiding principles.
While the downturn of 2009 presented its challenges for Belterra, the future holds nothing but opportunity. As Alberta moves into the next phase of economic growth, we consider our land assets and our investment partners to be well-positioned for success