This past August, Primecorp Commercial Realty Inc. and its Co-Founders, Sam Firestone, Aik Aliferis, and Nick Pantieras, proudly announced that after a tremendously successful 30 plus years in the real estate brokerage industry, Steve Lerner, a Co-Founder, Broker, Executive, community leader, philanthropist, and dear friend, formally announced his retirement as an active Broker. Steve will continue on with Primecorp, as a Board Member and Special Advisor to the Lerner Retail/Land team lead by his daughter, Candice Lerner-Fry.
Steve Lerner’s Contributions Pivotal to Primecorp’s Success in Commercial Real Estate
Steve’s contributions to Primecorp’s success over the past couple decades have been absolutely invaluable. During his time with us, Steve has impacted the retail landscape in Ottawa, providing outstanding service to both landlords and tenants throughout the city.
Primecorp would not be the success it is today, if not for Steve. His honesty, discipline, and ability to create and execute an opportunity, has been proven time and time again. He will be missed as the important brokerage partner he has been, but we look forward to his continued guidance and congratulate him as he enters the next chapter of his impressive career. -Sam Firestone, COO and Broker of Record at Primecorp
During his tenure with Primecorp, Steve has represented some of the largest chains in Canada including Home Depot, Lowe’s, McDonald’s, BMO, and many more national retailers. He has assembled tracks of land for many of the largest developers, done the pre-leasing for them, and thus created and shaped the retail nodes in different parts of Ottawa. These contributions to the city have even earned him a street named in his honour: Lerner Way.
Steve's impact on the retail landscape in Eastern Ontario has been significant. He is highly respected in the shopping centre industry. We are fortunate to have him as our partner and look forward to his continued mentorship of our tremendous retail team at Primecorp. -Nick Pantieras, President of Primecorp
Steve’s Long and Storied Career as an Entrepreneur and Retail Real Estate Leader
Steve’s leadership experience began long before he helped found Primecorp. In 1969, his academic background in engineering technology and medicine led him to the position of President and CEO of Canadian Medical Systems Ltd., a major medical engineering company specializing in high-risk obstetrics and neonatology. Steve retired, briefly, in March 1977 at the age of 32, following the buyout of his company by an American health provider.
In the eighties, Steve turned his focus to real estate and began gaining attention through his work with The Regional Group, an Ottawa based group in operation since 1958. Scarcely a decade after his first retirement, Steve became so adept at his new career that he won an appointment to the Regional Group’s President’s Advisory Council.
Steve’s entrepreneurial leadership and real estate expertise paved the way for him to become a founding member of Primecorp, instrumental in our continued success from the beginning:
Steve has been a leader, mentor, and pillar of our Primecorp Family. With great admiration and respect, I congratulate Steve on the next phase of his career. As a Primecorp Founder and real estate icon, Steve will continue to guide our firm well into the future. This will ensure that we continue to grow with that strong arm of our great leader beside us. -Aik Aliferis, Primecorp CEO
Steve’s Community Leadership and Philanthropic Contributions in Ottawa
A true believer in sharing his good fortune, Steve has dedicated great amounts of time and money to a plethora of charitable endeavours including: the Ottawa Heart Institute, Maison Libère-Elles, and the Ottawa School of Art. Steve also served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA and in 2008, Steve and his late wife, Lise, donated $100,000 to the YMCA’s Strengthening the Heart of Our Community campaign.
Mr. and Mrs. Lerner were also major contributors to the Hope Academy Foundation where Steve served on the Board of Directors. In late 2012, the foundation opened its first elementary school for over 300 impoverished children in Somalia and the school was named for Steve’s late wife, Lise Bégin.
Steve also sat on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Integrated Cancer Centre and the Board of Directors of the Wakefield Palliative Care Centre. In appreciation of the care and attention paid to his wife in the last 10 weeks of her life, Steve became a major contributor to the new 6-bed palliative care centre in the Chelsea/Wakefield area, which was named in memory and honour of Lise.
In 2012, Steve spearheaded the creation of Bill S-224, the National Volunteer Emergency Response Service Act. The aim was to create a service the would respond to emergencies by supplementing and supporting the functions of established institutions including the military, police, health and emergency personnel. Although this Bill never became Law, Steve was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Senate of Canada. The Jubilee is an award created to celebrate Canadians who have made significant contributions to their communities and the nation.
Amidst his many significant professional and community contributions, Steve has been able to maintain strong relations with those closest to him:
I have been so fortunate to have learned from a person who is not only a pillar of the retail/land brokerage industry, but who is also my Father and close friend. Steve will continue to influence my style and I will continue to learn from him, in his new role as an advisor to the team. I am so pleased that he is now able to take some time for himself and enjoy life, as he has worked so hard and he is so deserving of it. -Candice Lerner-Fry, Primecorp Retail/Land Team Lead
Wishing Steve Every Ounce of Success and Enjoyment in His Well-Deserved Retirement
All of us at Primecorp wish Steve every success and opportunity to pursue his other passions in his retirement years. Steve is a pilot, avid motorcycle enthusiast and participant in Ride for Dad on his beloved Harley Davidson.
Although Steve’s everyday presence in the office will be deeply missed, his legacy in building our exceptional team and his guidance as Special Advisor and Board Member will be much appreciated, as we continue to grow our Commercial Real Estate Brokerage across Canada and internationally.