Leaders of Tomorrow

Leader of Tomorrow Award – Business in Calgary Magazine

Michael Kehoe

Company: Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc.


For all of his 40 plus years in commercial real estate, Michael Kehoe has always specialized. After decades of hard work and literally thousands of property searches and lease negotiations, Kehoe has earned a widely respected reputation for expertise and excellence in retail real estate and is considered one of Canada’s leading authorities in the commercial real estate specialty of shopping centres, retail stores and restaurants.

“Knowledge of the market and local expertise is essential,” Kehoe admits. “but finding and leasing the most suitable real estate for retail stores and restaurants is a long-term relationship business. The entrepreneur – whether it’s a store or a restaurant – needs a space. We search to find the best location for their needs and secure it with the landlords.”

“Ultimately, we earn our reputation with the relationships we build with our clients. Some have been with us for more than 25 years.”

Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc. represents all types of retail real estate projects – from new developments to retail re-merchandising assignments, power centres, category dominant box-style retail formats, resort markets and main street/urban business districts.

He admits that the sometimes-roller-coaster nature of the commercial retail real estate business can be unpredictable and relies heavily on the mood and other circumstances with both the retailer and the consumer.

“When it comes to real estate for restaurants and stores, there are so many moving parts. That’s what makes it interesting and exciting.”

Kehoe is a positive and knowledgeably upbeat that the retail real estate market in Calgary is a sustainable niche. “It’s booming. In general, whether it’s the economy or the mood of the community, Calgary id on an extended wave of prosperity and optimism. The city continues to enjoy strong inter-provincial migration, there are high levels of disposable income, consumer confidence is high – those are all big positives for retail store and restaurant activity.”

He adds the industry-line that Calgary is viewed across North America as an economic bright spot, and it is one of the several reasons why Calgary is attracting many first-to-market and new-to-Canada retailers.