2017 closes with big decline in industrial vacancy

We have to go back to 2014 to find a drop in Saskatoon’s industrial real estate vacancy.

After a two year period where we witnessed a steady increase of three percent, I am pleased to report that the research for 2017 illustrates a steady city wide average decline to 7.7 per cent.

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An open letter to Utility and Service Providers

Dear SaskPower/SaskEnergy/SaskTel,

I am a commercial real estate agent in Saskatoon. I’ve dealt with your companies on behalf of landlords and owners over the years.

Commercial hookups are different than residential services in that commercial clients will often require a number of people to be authorized to deal with the account.

This isn’t a new issue, I’m sure you’ve been dealing with it for years.

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The driving force of a corporation

As we begin 2018, it’s an opportune time to ponder our priorities for the coming year.

We know that a leader’s most important job is designing and implementing strategies so the organization flourishes in the long term.

There’s a quote from an unknown author I like to share, “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again”

So with change happening that rapidly, how does a leader prioritize those strategies?

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You’ve got to have some heart in it

The recent closure of the Moose Jaw daily Times-Herald marks the further demise of local print media in Saskatchewan.

The trend is not unique to our province; small newspapers have been on the decline for many years.

It’s just hitting closer to home lately.

 

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Don’t get caught in a pinch

In an ideal universe tenants could plan ahead and leave themselves enough time to complete a comprehensive commercial real estate search.

They wouldn’t feel pressured to take space that isn’t quite right or doesn’t entirely suit their needs.

But it happens far too often in my world. Why?

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Saskatoon still shining

I used to smirk a little every time former mayor Don Atchison found a way to work in the “Saskatoon Shines” message into public speeches.

But I’m drinking the koolaid and on board these days with repeating something he was fond of reminding people: Saskatoon is where it’s at.

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Inside Anatomy of a Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

On Friday our Saskatoon ICR crew travelled to Regina to experience the shiny new Mosaic Stadium and support our Rider’s 37 -12 defeat of the Alouettes.

Although not the point of this story, I have to say it’s an impressive facility, one that this province can be proud of.

On our way to the game we stopped in to hook up with our Regina group and tour their new offices.

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Sears is out but the possibilities are endless

Sears has finally pulled the plug. They were granted permission Oct. 13 by the courts to start liquidation of their remaining stores.

This includes a job loss for over 12,000 people who have helped served generations of Canadian shoppers.

So I posed the following question to my friends and social media followers this week: If Sears is out of Saskatoon’s Midtown Plaza, what should be in?

After a flurry of brainstorming I got some pretty good suggestions. So hopefully Kingsett Capital, the Midtown Plaza landlord, is listening!

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There’s a pattern here, cyclical vacancy in Saskatoon industrial

Our latest 3Q17 market report shows a very slight increase of 10 basis points to 8.1 per cent in Saskatoon’s overall industrial vacancy rate.

This very marginal change does not alter our belief that this market has stabilized. Both Marquis and North Industrial areas which are by far the largest warehouse districts in the city did decline in vacancy to 9 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.

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Facts about Saskatoon’s Retail Sector

I enjoy capturing a positive Saskatoon commercial real estate story when they surface. Our recently released 3Q17 retail survey provides me that opportunity. After two quarters of negative absorption, retail vacancy has decreased by 20 basis points to 4.1 per cent.

Due to continued population growth and expansion of new neighborhoods, we see a healthy amount of new retail development for the Saskatoon metropolitan area in coming years.

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Key benefits of engaging full service Commercial Real Estate firm

A client will only benefit from a company that offers a full suite of services when each department provides an exceptional level of service.

I value a place of business that can offer me that exceptional one-stop shopping experience. I believe we at ICR have that to offer.

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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.

 

 

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No cure for the summertime office blues

People often ask me if we have lulls or slower periods in commercial real estate sales and leasing.

My typical response is that we tend to be busy year round. But summer can sometimes slow down with clients taking holidays from the office.

So is this a reflection of the ICR signs you see around town? Probably not when it comes to our office market.

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Why so shy? The undisclosed buyer

Most commercial real estate transactions are negotiated between parties with full disclosure as to who each party is.

So why would do offers from buyers sometimes come in undisclosed?

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An argument for municipal controls on architecture

We as professionals in the commercial real estate industry can be known to talk out of both sides of our mouth.

There is no question that almost every stage of real estate development has become more complex.

I often hear frustrated comments due to the increase in resources and knowledge required to navigate red tape from what can be numerous applicable authorities who have jurisdiction over development.

And yet, in some cases there are not enough controls in place.

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Are craft breweries the next big thing?

What do craft breweries and frozen yogurt have in common? They can’t be mixed together that’s for sure!

No, in fact, both retailers share a strong entry into our market and have made an impact in our commercial real estate landscape.

The question is: will craft breweries melt out as fast as the frozen yogurt competition did?

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Will the Commercial Real Estate Broker become extinct?

With the pace of technological change now accelerating, it is not reasonably possible for businesses to plan farther than five years into the future.

We like to think we know, however, the change that is coming upon us is so rapid that no one has a clear picture of where we’ll be in ten years.

I see three evolving trends which will translate into opportunities for the savvy commercial real estate broker.

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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.

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Why no one’s talking about Regina’s failed office development bylaw

I had the pleasure of moderating the office panel at the Saskatchewan Real Estate forum in April.

One of the topics that seemed to “gather legs” during our discussion was Regina’s current office development policy as it relates to Saskatoon’s proposed office development bylaw.

I discussed some of the issues surrounding this topic in an earlier post a year ago: Regina’s policy, implemented in July 2012 does not permit major office developments more than 43,000 square feet of floor space outside of the core area (except in limited and specific contexts; e.g. accessory to an institution).

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YXE Marquis Industrial facts you didn’t know

Up to and including June 13th, only five building permits have been issued since January 1st, 2017 within the Marquis Industrial Area.

There were four permits issued during the month of April however that number has remained unchanged since the end of April.

Spring is typically the season we see the greatest number of new industrial construction starts.

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3 questions to ask yourself when leasing retail space

Leasing commercial retail space can vary by development but there are some fundamentals that most tenants in this sector should take into consideration while shopping around.

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My Personal Experience of “Unplugging”

It’s not hard to find opposing opinions on the philosophy of disengaging from technology, nor is it possible for me to say what’s right for you. My wife and I have experimented for a month now with “technology free Sundays.”

Our definition of “technology free Sunday” is that our cell phones and computers are shut down from the time we retire Saturday night until Monday morning. The experiment has been positive for both of us.

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What’s in a name?

Chrysler Building. Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center. What do these iconic New York City buildings have in common?

They are recognizable by name alone. They are examples of commercial real estate known throughout the world whether you’ve physically seen them or not.

How significant is a name when it comes to commercial buildings?

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3 questions to ask yourself when leasing industrial space

Even the most seasoned tenant can miss some pretty vital points when investigating new space. It’s certainly more challenging for new businesses that have never occupied commercial real estate before.

Here’s a few tips to look out for that can save you money and hassle down the road when searching industrial spaces.

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What you need to know before investing in commercial real estate

I had a client ask yesterday what I believe to be the long term risk associated with investing in retail commercial real estate. Let’s ponder that question as it relates to the four major asset classes.

In an earlier post, “Time to Sell Functionally Obsolescent CRE?” the discussion focussed on what could be considered owner occupant type assets. For the purpose of this overview, we’ll assume that the real estate is current and relevant.

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Saskatchewan #CRE retail trends you need to know

Retail continues to play a stabilizing role in Regina and Saskatoon commercial real estate. The office vacancy has hovered in the double digits for the last 3 – 4 years while the industrial sector witnessed a 3% increase in vacancy in 2015 in both cities.

Here’s a synopsis of the presentation by one of ICR’s partners, Linely Schaefer made as Moderator on the retail panel last week at the Saskatchewan Real Estate Forum.

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