Public Sector

The public sector is a growing part of our appraisal and consulting portfolio. We are continually engaged in assignments across Canada’s West and throughout Canada’s North for all three levels of government. We are involved with stakeholders in rural-based counties and municipal districts, various ministries in provincial governments, the federal government through supply arrangement contracts, and for various departments in the ‘big’ cities in Alberta. We have also been active in all three territorial capitals (Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Iqaluit), as well as various remote locations throughout the North.

Assignments in the Public Sector can require a deep and broad level of experience, and have included:

  • Land valuation. Land underlies all publicly owned property and is valued from time to time. These assignments are wide and diverse. Parks, roads, lands underlying buildings, vacant lots, development land, farmland, aggregate extraction sites, flood plain, linear strips, national parks, super-dense downtown parcels, lands in areas with no demand, contaminated lands, easements, leasehold estates.
  • Institutional building valuation for various purposes, from small facilities to expansive special use properties to those that have become obsolete. Town halls, offices, warehousing, hangers, armouries, prisons, diverse staff housing, medical facilities.
  • Road closures and linear parcels for new Road Plans or highway expansion.
  • Assessment support, from residential dwellings to development land to underperforming hotels to regional shopping centres. These can be single-property assignments, portfolio projects, or full sectors within a particular municipality.
  • Cash in lieu for Municipal Reserve (MR), which typically involves the valuation of development land.
  • Capitalization rate studies, generally completed to assist assessment departments in applying current capitalization rates to the universe of commercial property in any given municipalities.
  • Lease rate and ground rent analysis for the purpose of establishing fair market rents for publicly or privately owned property when the public sector is the landlord or tenant. Depreciation studies, contribution value studies, and replacement cost new studies can be incorporated into this reporting.
  • Expropriation forms a large part of our experience at HarrisonBowker (see the Expropriation tab).
  • ‘Expert Witness Services’ encompasses all of the above, as well as more traditional appraisal assignments. Our appraisers have been qualified as expert witnesses in real estate matters at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Surface Rights Board, the Assessment Review Board, the Alberta Utilities Commission, and the Subdivision Appeal Board. In Alberta, these latter quasi-judicial boards were combined as the Land and Property Rights Tribunal in 2022. Expert witness reporting also involves mediation, arbitration, and/or ‘settling’ prior to court/tribunal attendance by various parties; we have completed hundreds of reports that had the potential to be used as evidence in court or at hearings.