New Saskatoon arena given priority

The original Saskatoon downtown arena, nicknamed The Barn, opened in October 30, 1937 on a site overlooking the river. The building began to show its age in the 1970s but the last hockey game took place February 2, 1988 (a week before SaskPlace opened). Clinkskill Manor, a low income seniors highrise now sits on the former arena site.

In a city projecting another deficit year, it might seem strange that Mayor Charlie Clark has decided to lay down a mandate for a new downtown rink.

But Clark has recently declared that a site for the new arena will need to be chosen before the end of 2019.

What’s the big rush?

Continue Reading

Budgeting for success in Saskatchewan

Last week, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer released her second budget, which projects a $34.4-million surplus for 2019.

Thinking selfishly, I wondered: how does this budget impact commercial real estate sale investment in our province?

Continue Reading

High density spot zoning creates hardship

I purchased my second single family home in 1979. It was located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in a good neighborhood.

The downside was it backed onto a retail strip mall. That wasn’t a concern for me however because everything within that retail corridor was one storey.

Within a year of owning the home, it was announced that a five-storey office building would be constructed overlooking my rear yard.

I immediately sold the property.

Even though the project was public knowledge, I believed it would be easier to sell before it could be seen that the windows in that towering structure would have a full view of my yard.

From that early, first hand experience I can relate to homeowners that are suddenly faced with a project that significantly impacts the value of their home.

Continue Reading

Wasn’t there a Chili’s here yesterday?

The Regina Leader-Post published an article in 2008 with Stu Rathwell, a franchise partner in the new Regina’s Chili’s Grill and & Bar.

Stu shared that his Saskatoon location would be open by that year’s end.

His optimism about the Chili’s brand was hopeful; if things took off as he was hoping, he predicted people could expect to see several more open across the province.

Fast forward to 2019.

If you happened upon Saskatoon’s Preston Crossing the last week of February, you may have caught sight of Stu’s dream deflating right before your eyes.

Continue Reading

Another retail bricks & mortar obituary

Entrepreneurs Louis and Shaol Pozez could not anticipate 63 years ago that the demise of their discount shoe business would be taken down by a network of computers

This isn’t a story from the rejected piles of Terminator franchise spinoffs; this is a reality.

The Pozez’ conception that grew into Payless ShoeSource brick and mortar stores across the U.S. and Canada are officially shuttering.

Their disregard for advancing online sales, in addition to highly leveraged assets, proved fatal.

Continue Reading

Use your own discretion

Whether you’re buying or leasing commercial real estate, a municipality’s zoning bylaw tells you where you can locate your business.

The City of Saskatoon bylaw lists permitted uses and prohibited uses, which are pretty straight forward by definition.

A discretionary use, however, is identified as a use that the City may allow but will require a more thorough investigation before it approves and permits.

The Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) is quickly finding out that a discretionary use in the City of Saskatoon is far from a slam dunk, though.

Continue Reading

Does Saskatoon want or need Farmers’ Market six days a week?

The City of Saskatoon has officially put out a tender to lease the Farmers’ Market building in Riversdale.

At current, the facility is leased to and operated by the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative Ltd.

In their original agreement to lease the property, they outlined their plans to expand the market hours over time.

That vision has only grown to three advertised full market days. The City is ready to let someone else take a run at it.

Continue Reading

Saskatchewan cities enjoy lowest commercial to residential tax ratio

There is lots of chatter on the street with the recently released preliminary budget from the City of Saskatoon which proposes a 4.5 per cent property tax hike in 2019.

That chatter is incomplete without stepping back and looking at a couple of key issues.

Those two issues are residential and commercial tax ratios and the ongoing cost of city infrastructure growth.

Continue Reading

More visits than residents, Remai Modern enjoys successful freshman year

Say what you like about it but over 450,000 people fed their curiosity and took in Saskatoon’s new public art gallery this past year.

That’s more people than encompasses the proper City of Saskatoon population.

More astonishing is that the Remai Modern was only projecting around 190,000 visits during their inaugural year.

Continue Reading

Convenience store shuffles

Have you noticed any changes in the convenience store staples in Saskatoon?

There are a few subtle changes happening worth mentioning.

Continue Reading

Fair is fair in the cannabis lotto

It seems like unlikely odds, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority announced that all businesses awarded a cannabis retail permit were selected at random.

A University of Regina statistics professor told the Leader-Post that he’s calculated the odds of one company winning permits in four locations is a one in 1,319,760 chance.

Continue Reading

H&M swings open their doors to Saskatchewan

Photo: Courtesy Leader-Post

Over a year ago, it was announced the Regina’s downtown Cornwall Centre was getting an H&M store.

The store opened this past weekend to a lineup of folks hoping to cash in on door crasher coupons between $10 and $300.

So why did it take so long to finally open the doors?

Continue Reading

Is Saskatchewan ready for legalized pot?

We have been receiving a wave of phone calls from potential tenants looking to cash in on the upcoming legalized marijuana trade.

They are fervently shopping for locations which I feel like may be premature.

Is the province really prepared for this? I’m not sure any part of Canada is.

Continue Reading

Does PST matter to local restaurants?

The Saskatchewan provincial government expanded PST in the 2017 budget to include restaurant meals.

Has it made any impact on spending habits? Statistics so far indicate perhaps.

Continue Reading

City of Saskatoon acquires STC land and buildings

It was made public last week that the City of Saskatoon has purchased one of the last properties of the now mothballed Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) in Saskatoon.

The timing is especially interesting as the City recently commissioned a report regarding the feasibility of a downtown arena.

Could this be part of a bigger plan?

Continue Reading

What’s missing from provincial government asset sale discussion

The discussion regarding crown participation in the private sector surfaced again recently.

A news story was published stating the Saskatchewan government was considering the sale of Innovation Place’s Saskatoon campus to the U of S and its Regina business park to the U of R.

Minister of Central Services Ken Cheveldayoff recently stated that he’s evaluating around 660 buildings across the province to see if they are still in proper use and if there is the possibility for them to be sold.

What are the questions that are not being asked?

Continue Reading

What’s wrong with SaskTel Centre?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

I didn’t live in Saskatoon when the facility was built in 1988 but from what I’ve read the location was as controversial a point then as it is now.

Saskatoon’s City Council recently commissioned a report to investigate the feasibility of a downtown arena development, researched by the group that helped Edmonton develop their Ice District.

To figure out why the discussion has come up, it may be prudent to take a look back.

Continue Reading

Automating retail convenience

I’m about to really date myself here but as a kid do you remember going to the grocery store and watching the cashier type each item into a till?

Bar code scanning changed everything, none more significantly than grocery stores.

If the inset picture is a confusing one to you, let’s take a trip down memory lane and a quick look into what the future holds for the grocery retail experience.

 

 

Continue Reading

Long live the record store

The Buggles famously sang “video killed the radio star” but streaming hasn’t quite put the final nail in the bricks and mortar music business just yet.

It looked like the end was near when HMV Canada announced they were closing all their stores but homegrown Sunrise Records has stepped up to fill the musical consumer gap.

Continue Reading

Did you notice Sears no longer has a catalogue?

My grandmother and I recently discussed the future of Sears Canada. Outside of heavy news coverage of the US Sears hardships, she identified something that dropped from all our radars: the absence of a Spring/Summer 2017 catalogue.

Amid no apparent fanfare, Sears Canada appears to have quietly shut down their catalogue service.

So what’s going on?

Continue Reading

What went wrong at the Oakland “Ghost Ship” warehouse?

What makes the Oakland “Ghost Ship” fire most tragic was the preventable nature of everything that occurred.

In the days that followed the fire, news trickled out regarding the tenancy and landlord situation in place. Could the loss of life have been avoided? Indeed it could have.

Continue Reading