KITCHENER, ON, February 18, 2015 – A new Light Rail Transit system, a burgeoning and highly-educated population and the three-million-square-foot Blackberry real estate portfolio sale will make the Region of Waterloo one of Canada’s most dynamic over the next several years, says a new Market Outlook Report on commercial real estate by Colliers International, to be released February 18, 2015.
“The Blackberry portfolio sale has been an incredible game-changer for Waterloo Region, and office users have options like never before,” said Karl Innanen, Managing Director, Colliers International Waterloo Region.
“Blackberry’s monopoly of the buildings in North Waterloo had pushed smaller office users out of both the leasing and buying market in that area. Now that space has come to market, users who want to position themselves by the future LRT route, the universities and the Research & Technology Park have the opportunity they’ve wanted for more than a decade. There is now a huge influx of product available to tenants,” he added.
Waterloo Region is among the most competitive office markets in Canada and leasing is happening because of few choices downtown and zero free parking options for employees, which impacts most leasing decisions. As a result, traditional downtown office towers are challenged to retain current tenants and struggling to attract new ones.
Innanen said, “Supply stimulates demand and this growth has spread to the industrial real estate sector as well, where Class ‘A’ space is in high demand and when buildings are erected, they fill quickly. Even property owners who modernize and improve ‘B’ class buildings have the opportunity to gain tenancies, while buildings with long-term vacancies continue to stay empty with better options available.”
“Tenants want what tenants want, and they are more than willing to pay for that ‘right’ space,” said Colliers International Vice President John Frezell. “There is a flight to productivity, to higher building efficiency, to employee retention and to creating culture. The culture is worth more than the lease savings they would get by going somewhere else.”
“For companies leasing office space, there has never been more opportunity,” added John Lind, Colliers International Senior Sales Representative. “They now have an opportunity to position their business along the planned LRT routes for ease of access for employees and clients and developers are seizing this opportunity to redevelop along those planned routes.” Colliers International Market Outlook also says the real estate mantra of ‘location, location, location’ rings true for Waterloo Region. Ease of proximity to the GTA and major population centres throughout Southwestern Ontario, along with car parts manufacturers being close to Toyota, and ease of commuter and employee access to Highway 401, provides many benefits to the Region.
Colliers International reported that 2014 was a record-breaking year with more than one billion dollars in investment sales. Private capital investors are once again active players in the market, as there was significant competition for the purchase of the Sun Life Financial Canadian headquarters building. Many who presented offers were private equity, another indicator of market strength and confidence.
The 6th Annual Colliers International Market Outlook breakfast takes place Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at 455 Phillip St., Waterloo, Ontario.
About Colliers International
Colliers International is a global leader in commercial real estate services, with over 15,800 professionals operating out of more than 485 offices in 63 countries. A subsidiary of First Service Corporation, Colliers International delivers a full range of services to real estate users, owners and investors worldwide, including global corporate solutions, brokerage, property and asset management, hotel investment sales and consulting, valuation, consulting and appraisal services, mortgage banking and insightful research. The latest annual survey by the Lipsey Company ranked Colliers International as the second-most recognized commercial real estate firm in the world.
For the latest news from Colliers International, visit Colliers.com, or follow us on Twitter: @ColliersIntl and LinkedIn. To see the latest news from Colliers International in Canada, follow @collierscanada on Twitter and Colliers International Canada on LinkedIn.
For further information, please contact:
Chris Markovic, Director
Marketing & Market Intelligence, Colliers International
Phone: 416-643-3764 / (cell) 647-405-6404
Email: chris.markovic@colliers.com
David Eisenstadt / Carol King
Phone: 416-696-9900 x36 / x25
Email: deisenstadt@tcgpr.com / cking@tcgpr.com

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