Frank Lonardelli is a prominent commercial real estate developer and President of Arlington Street Investments Inc., a Calgary-based commercial real estate investment firm.
Raised in Winnipeg, Canada, Mr. Lonardelli’s upbringing was not without its hardship. With his father passing away at the age of three, Mr. Lonardelli’s mother, an Italian immigrant, had little choice but to raise Frank and his three sisters on her own with little to no support from anyone else.
As a young boy, athletics was Mr. Lonardelli’s outlet for success. Mr. Lonardelli excelled in several extra-curricular athletic programs which presented him with several scholarship opportunities to which Mr. Lonardelli accepted a scholarship to the University of Winnipeg. At university, Mr. Lonardelli found interest in political science, a field that he majored in and that prepared him well for his ambitious pursuits after university.
With a degree in hand, Mr. Lonardelli wasted little time in honing his entrepreneurial skills. Seeing an opportunity in the vending business, Mr. Lonardelli formed a food, coffee and vending services company in Winnipeg, and for the next five years, he worked to build his business into one of the largest vending companies in the region.
Working to successfully grow a food services company provided the perfect experience for Mr. Lonardelli to make a move into the real estate arena, and at the young age of 27, he bought his first piece of real estate. Initially focusing in residential real estate, Mr. Lonardelli continued to buy assets in the same street in the city until he was eventually bought out by a developer who redeveloped the site into a Pharma Plus and medical arts building.
It was the right time to make a move, and in 2000, Mr. Lonardelli relocated in Calgary and refocused his ambitions not in the residential real estate, but rather in the commercial real estate market. He began by forming a commercial real estate firm called Arlington Street Investments Inc. (ASI), a company named after the street he grew up on with his mother and sisters.
Mr. Lonardelli was still operating various other companies while maintaining a focus on real estate acquisition and development on a part time basis. After successfully selling his other businesses, he shifted his focus to acquiring commercial properties in the downtown and beltline areas of Calgary with his strategic, business model.
Since their entrance into the commercial market, Mr. Lonardelli and ASI have shown an uncanny ability to make returns on investments for their investors, as well as forecast when to buy and sell property. As a case in point, in 2007, right before 2008’s dramatic real estate correction, Mr. Lonardelli and Arlington Street Investments chose to sell their entire asset portfolio.
It was an inspired decision and following the market downturn, it provided Arlington Street Investments a strong position from which to re-enter the commercial real estate market. With the goal of making focused investments ever-present, Arlington Street Investments has since re-entered the industry through a number of high profile property purchases in the Calgary downtown and beltline area and, led by Mr. Lonardelli, the company looks forward to a continued expansion of its investment portfolio, currently valued at over $250 million.
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Envision what ought to be there. Not what is. Then be courageous enough to create it.