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November 2012 – Guelph Review by Aliya Kanani

A Guelph-based business is continuing to prove that local businesses can thrive locally — and nationally.

The Skyline Group of Companies, which is officially moving its headquarters into the Gummer building this week, also recently set its own company record by purchasing a $120 million commercial portfolio for its commercial REIT, the first half of a $242 million total acquisition.

Jason Castellan, Skyline’s co-founder and CEO, said with this acquisition, the company has just over a billion dollars’ worth of real estate under management.

Skyline also ranks among the top 10 largest owners and managers of multi-residential real estate in the country, according to a media release from the company.

Castellan said the successful real estate company has a close relationship with its home city.

“We’re a Guelph company, so we feel it’s very important to be active in our community, on a political level, on a charitable level, and on a business level,” he said. “We work with all of these different agencies, and with the people of Guelph, to give back to the community that we operate in and work in.”

Part of Skyline’s investment in the city is the historic Gummer building, which has now been renovated to include office and retail space, as well as 18 apartment suites.

“We’re moving our head office into the Gummer building, so this is a very exciting time for us and I think for downtown and Douglas Street because the Gummer building will be open for business very shortly,” Castellan said. “I think downtown Guelph is really at a tipping point here where you’re going to see a lot of the restaurants and businesses thrive with this and other residential developments coming online . . . it’s a really good thing for Guelph and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

So to what does Castellan attribute the company’s enduring success throughout tough economic times?

“Real estate has been very resilient over this time period, so I think we’re very fortunate to be in the real estate business,” he said. “And we have an awesome team, we have great people that work for Skyline, they give their heart and soul and they like to give back to the community as well, they like to do everything that aligns with our founding values and beliefs.”

Castellan said that, with the move to the Gummer building and its long history with Guelph, the company will continue its relationship with Guelph long into the future.

“Real estate embeds you in your community and with the Gummer Building being owned by the Skyline Apartment REIT, it’s a piece of real estate that we’re going to operate out of,” Castellan said. “We’re here to stay and as far as that goes, there’s no end in sight as to how much and how big we can grow from here.”