Q&A with a Professional – Developer

We sat down with the Sandy Shindleman, President & CEO of Shindico to find out how he got started in commercial real estate development and what advice he would give to developers in Winnipeg.

1. How did you get started in development?

I started with small, old commercial buildings in Portage la Prairie. They were neglected buildings with suites above and business’ sharing the main floor. I managed the buildings and started to learn the process. My first new building was for Salisbury House in Selkirk, Manitoba.  Later, when gas stations consolidated I redeveloped several with small retail strips.

As a newcomer, Winnipeg investors seemed closed to new relationships. Retail development was not popular for many years and vacancies occurred in lower quality properties. I began in a brokerage capacity to interest investors to develop, but most had several “expert advisors”, mostly from another era who dissuaded investment.   

2. What are the biggest challenges developers are currently facing in Winnipeg?

The challenges today are many. Communities are either pro-business development or not. Politicians and senior levels of civil service tend to follow. The pendulum has moved decidedly away from pro job growth and business expansion. The message from council leadership has made it a bigger challenge to develop within City limits. New taxes and fees have encouraged the Municipalities around Winnipeg to capitalize and grow their tax base and its working!

3. When purchasing land to develop, what factors should you take into consideration?

Today land development is difficult and building tax base is less of a priority than it had been in the recent past. We have witnessed developers who relied on syndicated partnerships who calculate “how much can you make” when deciding to purchase. We rely much less on this calculation because things can and do go astray. We need to understand “how much can we lose”. We have always underwritten development to protect our lenders, investors, employees and all of whom rely on our performance.


About Sandy Shindleman, President & CEO

Sandy’s designations include CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member), SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors), CRE (Counselor of Real Estate), FRICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Fellow) and CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist). As a CCIM senior instructor (since 1980) Sandy has taught worldwide, served on the Board of Directors and is a past President of the CCIM Foundation.

Manitoba “Entrepreneur of the Year”, Sandy has presented worldwide for organizations including Urban Land Institute’s Barcelona Meeting Point, IREM, BOMA and ICSC. Sandy is proud to have received the B’nai Brith Canada Award of Merit and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, as well as the Susan J. Groeneveld, CCIM, Visionary Award and CCIM People’s Choice Award for Instructor of the Year.

Sandy is an advisor and asset manager for several Canadian Pension Funds and family offices. Shindico's head office is a sustainable, energy efficient environment, as is StorageVille Inc., of which he is also a founder.

Sandy is proud to have been able to contribute to The Shindleman Aquatic Centre in his home city of Portage la Prairie.

The mission statement of “Succeeding by Helping Others Succeed” is the cornerstone of his family’s success.

Learn more about the services Shindico offers and how we can help you succeed