Moncton’s Office Buildings Are Emptier, But Industrial Development Is Booming


MONCTON – It’s a tale of contrasts for the commercial real estate sector in the Greater Moncton Area. While vacancy increased in the office market, the industrial sector is booming.

After a record-breaking year of land sales and sales value in 2019, Moncton Industrial Development (MID) thought the pandemic would lead to a sour 2020. But things looked up around April.

MID not only broke its 2019 record but also almost doubled it. In 2020, it sold more than 90 acres of land for a little over $4.3-million. That’s much better than its average 35 to 37 acres a year in sales for approximately $1.7- to $1.8-million.

General Manager Pierre Dupuis said the boom was driven by companies from outside that were “looking to get a better handle on their supply chain and logistics” by establishing a presence in Moncton.

For instance, Dupuis said trailer company Manac decided to own and construct a warehouse, including a sales office with service and parts components based out of Moncton. The deal between Manac, which is headquartered in Quebec and has offices in the U.S., and MID closed in the fall, said Dupuis.

The lower cost of industrial land and construction, coupled with low-interest rates, also makes Moncton attractive, especially to smaller and mid-sized companies looking to expand, he said.

For instance, JessEm Tool Company of Orillia, Ont., a woodworking tools manufacturer, decided to move its whole operations to Moncton primarily because of cost.

“Our business is growing and it’s not really affordable in Ontario anymore, and I couldn’t find any suitable industrial space or land,” owner Darrin Smith told Huddle in December.

Dupuis said MID is in talks with companies from Southern Ontario and Quebec that are facing similar challenges.