Sometimes you’ve got spend a little to make a little (or a lot more)

In commercial real estate there can often be a variety of uses for a building depending on the zoning it sits on.

When a tenant vacates a space it can be difficult to anticipate who might backfill them based on the uses the property is best suited for.

So how do landlords decide if they should and shouldn’t spend money on a vacancy in order to get it leased up?

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Hard tenant truths

As a commercial real estate agent my job is to line up tenants with landlords, and sellers with buyers.

Unlike a sale, where both sides part ways at the end of transaction, I think leasing is a lot about building a relationship.

However, much like in our personal lives, we all know some relationships are just not meant to be.

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Time kills deals

There is nothing worse than putting a transaction together that gets mired in a lengthy conditional period with no end in sight.

Whether it’s a court ordered sale or a deal that continually seems to get extended, time kills deals that take too long. 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.

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Why you need to engage a Broker to lease your space

From time to time we will receive a floor call from an individual asking one question: how do we charge brokerage fees to lease space.

I explain that our typical fee would be calculated based on five percent of the total net rental amount over first five years of the lease term and, if applicable, three percent on the balance (plus taxes).

In many cases the conversation ends there.

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3 ways to tick off your landlord

During my ten years in the commercial real estate industry, I’ve seen it all and very little surprises me anymore.

Every now and then however I get a new doozy worth sharing!

I’ve compiled a list of new and interesting ways that tenants have chosen to compromise their relationship with their landlord.

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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?

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A need for Real Estate regulation changes

We found ourselves in the middle of a difficult situation this week.

Unfortunately, we have encountered problems similar to this in the past.

My Business Manager received a call from an individual who is purchasing a multi-tenant commercial property. We are the Listing Broker and this Buyer is represented by an Agent from another brokerage firm.

The Buyer was very frustrated with their Agent and wanted to know how they could proceed without him.

So what’s this ongoing problem I’m referring to?

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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.

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Sales: A noble profession

A profitable business enterprise relies upon the successful sale of a product and/or service. How that transaction takes place is changing in many corporations. There are instances where it’s becoming increasingly easier to complete the necessary research, shop for the most favorable price and terms, and make the purchase on-line.

There will however always be a place in complex transactions for a professional salesperson.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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ABC’s of Leasing: This isn’t going to work

The lease is signed, you’ve moved in and you’re open for business.

Negotiations were tough but you were able to come to agreement with the landlord regarding the rate and term.

But the universe has thrown you a curveball. For whatever reason, you will not be able to complete the obligations of your lease agreement.

What do you do?

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Stonebridge full to the brim

The City of Saskatoon used to plan their neighbourhoods with life expectancies of 10 to 15 years .

In the past few years, however, the “Saskaboom” economy attracted people so quickly to the city that neighbourhoods on both sides of the river filled up considerably faster than previous estimations.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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?

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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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Kindersley still a hot spot for SK drilling activity

Despite a rough patch for oil in 2016 activity actually increased in one of Saskatchewan’s growing secondary markets.

The town of Kindersley has a total population of 5,628 people but trades as a hub for more than 40,000 surrounding residents. Their history in oil and gas goes back many decades and they are certainly not tapped out yet.

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A solid case for going Green

Some holes are surfacing in the climate change stance as stated in this recent article. You may or may not believe the world is entering an irreversible period of global warming.

There is no question that air pollution within our world’s mega cities and the waste being deposited into our oceans are a result of increasing population density and our enormous human footprint. Can a business case be built for constructing and refurbishing buildings with environmentally friendly specifications that goes beyond supporting the global warming cause?

Let’s explore that question.

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Slower but sustained growth in Saskatoon

With a certain weaker economy currently in play, the City of Saskatoon has released their newest projections for growth in Saskatchewan’s largest urban municipality.

While the gain may come more gradually than it has in the past few years of Saskaboom, the City has high hopes we will continue to attract residents.

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Ode to the Mall

My little sister Jenni and I in West Ed Mall, circa 1984. West Ed opened in 1981 and was the world’s largest mall (5.3 million SF) until 2004.

I have been a fan of the shopping mall experience for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s my upbringing as a country girl, but I’ve always found interior malls to be an exciting place to visit.

Despite what appears to be dire times for the mall, market research indicates that some traditional shopping centres are doing very well. And in fact, aren’t down for the count at all.

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Turn a negative into a positive

Mainstream media is quick to report the bad news in our world. We can’t ignore the negative but the creativity to turn these opportunities into a positive is available to us.

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A diligent dilemma

Regardless of whether you have entered into a commercial real estate lease or sale, there is a level of due diligence required by each party to complete the transaction.

Every deal is unique but I’ll provide a few examples that most commonly occur in the Saskatoon commercial real estate market.

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Steady as she goes, in Saskatoon CRE

ICR has collected the fourth quarter results for 2016 and though commercial vacancy remains higher than average in some sectors, overall the numbers have not changed drastically over the past year.

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Four key benefits of contracting a Commercial Broker to find your space

Most businesspeople make it common practice to hire a broker to list their space for sale and/or lease.

There are also many compelling reasons to seek formal representation when looking for a new home for your business although this may not be the best solution in all circumstances. Don’t sign a contract unless you believe you will benefit from representation and save money.

Let’s explore the advantages of contracting one commercial real estate company to partner with to meet your goals and ensure the most favorable outcome.

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Former police headquarters gets new lease on life

130-4th-ave-north-r6

Saskatoon City Council has approved the sale of the former municipal police building on 4th Ave S and now the work will begin for us.

Originally built with a uniquely specific purpose, this property is going to get a new lease on life.

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How to leverage your commercial real estate investment options

1899585_origI was chatting with a client over dinner at a charity event last night. One of the topics he spoke passionately about was the benefits of forming partnerships to invest in real estate.

He has observed other cultures which have successfully embraced the partnership model more frequently than he sees in Canada.

Are Canadians simply more independent thinkers? Or does it speak to a lack of confidence in this form of ownership?

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