Kevin Keyes is a highly accomplished corporate lawyer with decades of experience specializing in real estate transactions and commercial leasing. He is well regarded for his knowledge of the Calgary City Council, Calgary Planning Commission, Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board and handling of complex real estate matters. Kevin advises clients making strategic business decisions, and is consistently involved in the negotiation and preparation of commercial agreements and security documentation with respect to:
Management and sale of commercial and institutional projects
Public/private sector initiatives
Kevin practice includes:
Commercial leasing: acting for both landlords and tenants of businesses regarding commercial leases
Commercial purchases and sales: representing buyers and sellers of commercial properties
Commercial refinancing: representing financial institutions and businesses in regard to loan transactions secured against real property
Land development: assisting clients with all types of land development applications
In addition, Kevin has considerable business experience, having previously worked as a project supervisor in a construction company, and as a financial analyst and credit officer in his early career.
Kevin has served as the local and national practice group leader (Commercial Real Estate) as a partner at another national law firm, and is a frequent presenter at industry forums and continuing education courses. He has also published numerous real estate updates and articles.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in Canada – Commercial Leasing Law, 2019, 2021; Real Estate, 2018
- The Best Lawyers in Canada – Commercial Leasing Law; Real Estate Law, 2015 – 2022
- Chambers Canada, Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Real Estate: Alberta, 2016-2022
- Expert Guides to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers, 2008-2020
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Property Leasing, 2011-2021; Property Development, 2011 – 2021
- Negotiated the purchase of five resort/recreational marinas and related businesses on Georgian Bay: 2,200 boat slips, plus office, storage and chandleries.
- Represented the purchaser of a three-hotel (full-service) portfolio in Edmonton: 371 rooms: 426 parking stalls (multi-jurisdictional deal).
- Represented a Schedule I Bank in the sale and leaseback of 15 retail branches in Western Canada with an aggregate value of $85 million.
- Renegotiated long-term anchor tenant lease (264,000 sq. ft.) of office space in 707 Fifth project in Calgary.
- Assembled commercial land redevelopment site for a UK land development company: Eight parcels in Calgary Beltline District.
- Acted for the owners/developers of the Nexen Tower and Century Gardens Tower in Calgary respecting long-term leases and project construction and development.
- Represented Cenovus Energy (as anchor tenant) in negotiating a new development project lease of 1,000,000 sq. ft. of office space in Brookfield Place Calgary.
- Acted for The Bank of Nova Scotia in its sale of 50 percent of Scotia Centre Calgary to Homburg Canada REIT for $116 million, and the negotiation of co-ownership agreements and anchor tenant leases, and in its sale of 50 percent of Scotia Centre Calgary to CANMARC REIT for $140 million, and the negotiation of property management agreements.
- Advised Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities Inc. in respect of its Canadian operations and represented them in the acquisition and financing of more than 60 manufactured home communities, retirement villages, recreational parks and marinas with an aggregate value in excess of $500 million.
- Acted for CDPQ Mortgage Corporation in the $600 million financing of Bankers Hall, Fifth Avenue Place, Royal Bank Building and Bankers Court in Calgary.
- Represented Ivanhoé Cambridge in respect of joint venture and development matters involving Eighth Avenue Place, Calgary.
- Acted for Discovery Ridge Development Corporation in respect of the annexation, rezoning, financing, development and sale of a new community for 1,650 homes.
- Represented StoreSmart Self-Storage in the purchase of five self-storage operations in Alberta the subsequent sale of their portfolio to a national operator.
- Represented the owners of a number of major Calgary office developments involving development, leasing and financing, including Bankers Hall, Gulf Canada Square, Barclay Centre, Nova/TCPL Tower, Western Canadian Place and Watermark Tower.
- Acted for MIG Real Estate in their acquisition of an Edmonton select service Marriott Hotel.
- Represented Bramalea/Trilea in the financing and sale of Southcentre Mall, Crowfoot Centre, and Marlborough Mall.
- Negotiated the purchase, construction or sale of more than 33 resort properties in Mexico, Hawaii, Panama, Costa Rica and other jurisdictions.
- Speaker, “Infrastructure Investment in Canada”, GIC Summit: China Outbound, Shenzhen, 2018
- Chair, “Commercial Leasing Challenges,” Commercial Real Estate Seminar, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 2017
- Panelist, “Rapid Fire Legal Roundtable,” Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference, Informa Canada, 2017
- Speaker, “Risk Management in Commercial Leases,” Commercial Real Estate Seminar, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 2017
- Panelist, “Mastering Lease Negotiations,” Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference, Informa Canada, 2015
- Speaker, “Title to Lands,” Commercial Real Estate Seminar, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 2015
- Co-Author, “Due Diligence,” Commercial Real Estate Transactions Seminar, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 2013
- Panelist, “How to Understand the Deal,” Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference, Informa Canada, 2013
- Panelist, “Negotiating in Today’s Market,” Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference, MMPI Canada Inc., 2012
- Moderator, “Mastering Lease Negotiation in Today’s Changing Market,” Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference, MMPI Canada Inc., 2011
- Moderator, “Understanding Landlord’s and Tenant’s Rights in Today’s Market,” Calgary Real Estate Leasing Conference, Mmart Canada Inc., 2010
- Author, “Energy and Infrastructure Investment in Western Canada”, Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Los Angeles, 2008
- Author, “Municipal Approvals,” Real Estate Development from Beginning to End, Lorman Education Services, 2006, 2008
- Chair and Author, “Easements, Covenants and similar Rights in Alberta,” Lorman Education Services, 2005
- Youth leader, Boy Scouts of Canada
- Local volunteer, Annual Food Drive, Calgary Food Bank
- Fundraiser, United Way Calgary
- Member, Urban Land Institute
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Law Society of Alberta
- Member, Inter-Pacific Bar Association
- Member, Calgary Bar Association
Bar admissions & education
- Alberta, 1984
- MBA, Dalhousie University, 1983
- LLB, Dalhousie University, 1983
- BA, Brigham Young University, 1979