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Vancouver office sector to see good inventory, falling vacancy

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The latest Altus Group analysis found that demand for Vancouver’s office spaces significantly pushed down vacancy from a near-record level of almost 11% in mid-2016 to around the 7% range in the middle of this year.

This was even more pronounced in the downtown area, which saw vacancy shrink from 7% a year ago to below 5% in mid-2018.

However, the Vancouver Flash Report 2018 noted that Vancouver’s office space supply received approximately 1.3 million square feet of new additions over the past 8 quarters, which was only less than half the amount injected in the market from mid-2014 to mid-2016.

Moreover, this paled in comparison to the 5 million sq. ft. of new industrial space that Vancouver had from mid-2016 to mid-2018.

Fortunately, the nearly 2.8 million sq. ft. of office space under construction as of mid-2018 is expected to keep up with demand. The new additions would comprise 2 years of supply, taking into account the annual absorption trends from 2015 onwards.

Read more: Vancouver commercial project to significantly pump up supply

A late October report by RE/MAX Western Canada indicated that sustained investment by major technology firms will propel the Vancouver office market for the foreseeable future.

With leading tech companies like Amazon and WeWork steadily growing their footprints in Vancouver, commercial demand will enter a boom period of pitched activity, according to RE/MAX Western Canada regional executive vice president Elton Ash.

Further expansion across Western Canada by these firms is also expected for the rest of the year and throughout 2019.

“Investment by major companies like Amazon in Calgary and Greater Vancouver is evidence that commercial real estate – office space specifically – in Western Canada remains a hot commodity,” Ash said.

“As Canada continues to push further ahead in areas like technology, investors both domestic and abroad see the potential for growth here and are willing to call Canada home.”

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Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre reopens for Mooseheads’ season opener

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The home of the Halifax Mooseheads will reopen next month to host the team’s season home opener, although the experience will be different as a result of COVID-19.

The Scotiabank Centre will reopen on Oct. 3, after its reopening framework was reviewed by Nova Scotia’s public health and occupational health and safety departments, the company operating the centre and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team announced on Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to be reopening and welcoming our fans back to Scotiabank Centre,” said Carrie Cussons, the president and CEO of Scotiabank Centre.

The centre will be following all standard health and safety guidelines related to the wearing of non-medical masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing, the company said.

But there will be additional protections put in place as well in order to limit any possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

Scotiabank Centre will be divided into separate zones of up to 200 people with set washrooms, concessions and entrance/exit points for each zone.

The organization also announced that tickets will be sold in groups of up to 10 within the same bubble, respecting the province’s guidelines on gatherings.

Fans and attendees will be required to wear a non-medical mask at all times, except when they are consuming food or beverages, the Scotiabank Centre said.

Tickets will also be mobile-only in order to minimize close contact between individuals.

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Candidate slate set for Halifax election as mayoral race grows to three candidates

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The slate of candidates for the Halifax Regional Municipality’s upcoming election has been finalized and it’s now officially a three-horse race for the municipality’s mayoral seat.

Incumbent mayor Mike Savage will face off against Coun. Matt Whitman, the current representative for the Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets, and political newcomer Max Taylor.

Whitman and Savage have previously announced their plans to run but Taylor’s inclusion in the race was a last minute surprise.

On his campaign’s Facebook page, the 22-year-old says his platform is “simple”

“Get out and vote. I don’t care who you vote for, I care that you vote,” he writes.

One of the more notable aspects of Taylor’s presence in the race is his status on social media platform Tik Tok.

He’s built a following of more than 600,000 people on the platform and his videos have generated more than 20.6 million likes.

What that will do for his candidacy is up in the air, but he’s sure to bring a youthful energy to the process.

 

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Here’s what Toronto’s new 57-storey skyscraper will look like

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The corner of Bay and Harbour may be getting a new 57-storey office tower perched atop the heritage Toronto Harbour Commission Building.

Updated plans for The Hub — a skyscraper from multinational corporation Oxford Properties — have been submitted, and if approved, will see a building designed by London-based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to 30 Bay Street.

The project near Toronto’s waterfront which was initially proposed in 2018 will add around 1.4 million square feet of office space to the neighbourhood. The building’s west side will also be directly connected to The PATH network.

The Hub will also sit overtop (but only lightly touching) its next door neighbour: the six-storey Toronto Harbour Commission Building, which was built in 1917.

Nicknamed “The T”, the historic building was sold to Oxford in 2017 for $96 million. Fun fact: The T is also reportedly haunted by the ghost of a janitor.

It’s not entirely clear how the interior of the old Commission Building will play into The Hub’s commercial workspace, but the design of the 57-storey building shows the strategic use of four columns to allow for distance between the main building and The T.

The two buildings will be connected by a “finely detailed glazed atrium.”

Windows will stretch from floor to ceiling in the four-storey lobby, which will be home to restaurants, retail spaces, meeting and event spaces, and maybe a fitness facility.

Floors five to eight of the podium will see larger office floors.

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