Founded in 1998 by four highly experienced brokers, this year Primecorp celebrates its twentieth anniversary as a unique and sophisticated commercial real estate brokerage!
Primecorp specializes in the multi-residential, commercial, office, retail, seniors housing, and property management sectors of the commercial real estate industry. During the past 20 years, Primecorp has completed over $6 billion CAD in investment and leasing transactions in 55 cities across Canada. Primecorp’s list of clients include institutional, public and multinational corporate investors, private owners, REITs, pension funds, developers and lenders.
Primecorp is headquartered in Ottawa, but also has offices in Toronto, Gatineau and Montreal. Our three active founding partners still have a hands-on approach and have built a team of dedicated brokers, sales reps, researchers, marketers and administration staff to serve the needs of our valued clients in highly competitive markets across Canada.
A Lasting Business Partnership is Forged
None of this has happened by accident. Our four founding partners, Sam Firestone, Aik Aliferis, Nick Pantieras and Steve Lerner all came to the table, not only with a great deal of experience in commercial real estate, but with solid backgrounds in various areas of business, united by an intense desire for the new partnership to succeed, and balanced by a shared belief in community. A mix of complementary skills and effective communication, all based on a bedrock of personal relationships between the founding partners, and the stellar staff who’ve come on board over the years, are at the heart of Primecorp’s success in handling some of the most prominent commercial real estate deals in Canada. Primecorp has also closed numerous smaller transactions, in niche markets across the nation, with the same care and attention to detail.
Long-term business partnerships allow entrepreneurs to combine complementary skill sets while sharing the costs and risks associated with a startup. However, most business partnerships fail in the long run if the partners can’t effectively communicate and support their collective efforts.
According to Noam Wasserman, a professor at Harvard Business School who studied almost 10,000 founders for his book The Founder's Dilemma, business partnership can bring you triumphant glory or catastrophic disaster... according to Wasserman, 65% of high-potential startups fail as a result of conflict among co-founders. Often, the most successful teams are made up of people who worked together in the past. - Forbes
Successful business partnerships require a great deal of patience and persistence. The partners must be fully committed and prepared to ride out any market downturns, periods of slow growth, sudden departures of key staff members, defeats by the competition and a variety of other obstacles that are common barriers to ongoing business success. If the personalities of the partners don’t mesh, there is little chance for sustainable success.
The right mix of personal chemistry, industry experience and business acumen has made Primecorp the high-calibre brokerage, with a personal touch, that it is today. It's no surprise that several of the partners and staff worked together at previous brokerages, before founding Primecorp.
Primecorp’s Founding Partners and Early Staff
Sam Firestone, Co-Founder, COO and Managing Partner
Sam Firestone is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Law School, with over thirty-five years’ experience in commercial real estate. Sam is one of the leading multi-unit residential brokerage specialists in the country, an Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year medal winner and was Co-Chairman of the 2012 Canadian Apartment Investment Conference. Over many years, Sam has also been active in supporting a variety of charities, including: the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, the United Jewish Appeal and fundraising for the National Arts Centre among many other community initiatives. Reflecting Primecorp’s emphasis on family, Sam’s son, Daniel Firestone, is now a Sales Representative with Primecorp, based out of Toronto (pictured at top of page, on-screen from Toronto via Skype).
Aik Aliferis, Co-Founder, CEO and Broker
Aik Aliferis has over twenty-five years’ experience in Canada’s commercial real estate industry, garnering a solid reputation for his ability to execute complex transactions. Aik is widely known as one of the most influential multi-residential and commercial investment brokers in Canada. He is a prominent speaker and presenter at various national real estate conferences and was Co-Chairman of the 2015 Ottawa Real Estate Forum. His philanthropic commitments include: the Ottawa Heart Institute, Ashbury College and the Hellenic Community. Aik is also the founder of the Aliferis Family Foundation which donates to many worthy causes. Aik’s son, Christopher, depicted in the photo at the top, has also started working with the team at Primecorp.
Nick Pantieras, Co-Founder, President and Broker
Nick Pantieras is a graduate of Queen’s University Executive MBA Program and holds certificates in Real Estate Capital Markets and Management from Harvard Business School. Nick has over twenty-five years’ experience in commercial real estate, specializing in the brokerage of commercial investment properties in the retail, office and industrial sectors. Nick is a pivotal member of Primecorp’s management team, providing his expertise underwriting and executing complex transactions. He was a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal’s top 40 under 40 Business Person Award, and is well known in the community for his philanthropic efforts, especially as the Chairperson for Leaders at Heart in Support of the Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation and other charitable organizations.
Steve Lerner, Co-Founder and Broker, Retired
Steve Lerner’s has an academic background in engineering technology and medicine, specializing in high-risk obstetrics and neonatology. In March 1977, at the age of 32, he sold his company and entered commercial real estate. For decades, Steve was an integral part of the retail industry in Ottawa, representing both landlords and tenants, and has successfully worked with some of the largest chains in Canada including; Home Depot, Lowe’s, McDonald’s, BMO, and many more national retailers. Steve has been an avid supporter of various charities and community organizations, including the YMCA, the Ottawa Heart Institute, the Wakefield Palliative Care Centre, Maison Libère-Elles, Hope Academy Foundation, Ride for Dad, the NAC and the Ottawa School of Art, to the extent of having a street named in his honour: Lerner Way in Ottawa East. In 2016, Steve retired as a broker from Primecorp, handing over management of our highly active Retail Leasing Team to his daughter, Candice Lerner-Fry, whom he mentored for 8 years.
Melanie McLaughlin, Marketing Director and In-House-Designer
Melanie has been with Primecorp since its inception in 1998 and oversees Primecorp’s brand identity and marketing team. Her background in visual arts and avid interest in marketing trends and technology have guided Primecorp’s corporate advertising, online presence, art direction and marketing materials. Mel is known around the office for her excellent communication and collaborative efforts within her team, across the entire organization, and with clients and outside contractors.
Pam Churchill, Executive Assistant
With over thirty-five years’ experience in both residential and commercial real estate, Pam is an industry veteran who has been with Primecorp since nearly the beginning. Knowing her reputation for due diligence and expertise in financial analysis, Pam was vigorously recruited by Primecorp’s founding partners, until she finally relented and joined the team in 2001. Her exemplary service, contributions to the Multi-Residential Team and ability to get things done, have her earned her the nickname ‘PamCorp’ around the office.
Sampling of Recent Noteworthy Transactions Facilitated by Primecorp
This prominent two-building office complex is close to the new DND Headquarters at 3500 Carling Ave. Strong anchor tenants include: Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Dominion Securities, Ontario Infrastructure and Lands, and Collins Barrow. The property is easily accessible from Highway 417 and Highway 416 and close to the Western terminus of Phase 2 of Ottawa’s LRT Confederation Line.
In September of last year, Primecorp helped broker a transaction with Q Management LP purchasing a portfolio of 11 well-maintained and professionally managed buildings in Hamilton, from Skyline Apartment REIT that included: 1,036 suites comprised of bachelor, one bedroom and two bedroom units, for a total value of $173 million CAD.
Primecorp transacted the sale of this global trophy asset, which was designed by world-renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Westmount Square features two office towers along with a premium urban retail mall in the heart of Montréal.
Emerald Plaza is located at 1547 Merivale Rd., Ottawa and is comprised of a 151,897-square foot mixed-use complex with a 56,823-square foot, five-storey office component and a 95,074-square foot retail strip mall. The plaza is well anchored by longstanding tenants including: TD Canada Trust, Yang Ming Buffet, Pet Smart, and Alexanian Flooring Limited.
This transaction represents the largest retirement home portfolio sale in Ottawa's recent history and includes 6 high-quality properties totaling 891 suites, all located within the nation's capital.
The ING Portfolio is comprised of 11 commercial buildings in prime locations throughout the Ottawa region, with a total square footage of 606, 585.
The Parkway Place Portfolio, located in Toronto, Ontario, contains 3 multi-residential buildings with a total of 934 residential suites. Located only 5 kilometers from downtown Toronto, most apartment suites have beautiful views of downtown, Lake Ontario and the Don Valley.
With our Retail Team’s superior operation knowledge of the Ottawa market and our working relationship with landlords throughout the city, we were able to secure the ideal location for the new Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar at 62 York St., Byward Market, Ottawa
Get Primecorp Commercial Realty in Your Corner
If you or your organization need commercial real estate brokerage services, from a team with a proven track-record spanning two decades, please contact us at Primecorp, we’d love to hear from you!