I’ve not been shy about my love affair with the traditional interior mall as a retail institution.
While skeptics have been predicting their inevitable death, the interior mall seems to
innovate and survive in spite of its critics.
But could the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic finally have done them in?
The Lighthouse, which provides support to Saskatoon’s homeless and mentally ill, is vital to our community but it can’t come at the expense of our vibrant Downtown as a whole.
Prior to the global pandemic, Saskatoon’s Downtown businesses were already feeling the
impact of reduced foot traffic due to safety concerns of the Lighthouse.
Now, the reported national statistics for tenant relief requests from the retail sector mirror close to what we’ve seen in Saskatoon.
As a result of economy shutting down to Covid-19, on average, 70 per cent of requests have come from retail tenants; only 30 per cent have come from the office and industrial sectors.
A game plan to invigorate our downtown retail business before it’s too late is urgent.
It’s time for the City, local businesses, and the Lighthouse to examine a Plan B if we hope to save this core neighbourhood.
Reporting to you live from Saskatchewan, stay tuned for more economic spinoff from the Covid-19 pandemic!
And by spinoff, I mean spinning off the tracks or wheels or whatever analogy you’d like to lend.
The Saskatchewan government delivered their budget three months late mid-June, with a big fat $2.4 billion deficit ribbon on top.
It’s a gift no one wanted, and we can’t return to sender.
The dialogue is starting around this latest experiment in the office sector.
We’ve seen other experiments in recent years such as the open office concept and co-working concept. COVID-19 has accelerated a work-from-home (WFH) trial that might otherwise have taken years to duplicate.
Will WFH emerge as the disruptor that some are suggesting?
Will organizations be able to maintain culture within, while the experiment is underway?
Fair is a pretty relative term in the commercial real estate universe.
It depends entirely on which side of the transaction you are as to what your perception of fair may be.
In regard to commercial leasing, does fair apply to the landlord or tenant?
If you’ve purchased a commercial or residential condo, you would have encountered an estoppel certificate.
There are many reasons for obtaining a condominium estoppel. They provide insight into the project reserve fund, illustrate if there are any unpaid contributions or arrears and determine if its bylaws and policies are in good standing.
Estoppels are just one of
many due diligence items I encourage buyers to ask for.
The information I’m discussing here is applicable only to single and multi-tenant investments (excluding multi-family rentals).
Let’s look at the importance of obtaining estoppel certificate(s) during your investigation of an investment property.
Despite patting ourselves on the back for flattening the curve in Saskatchewan, we flatlanders are not out of the woods yet.
In the anticipated build up to employees returning to their traditional workspaces, stringent protocols will be in place for office users in particular.
A return to our previous normal practice seems a long time away and some speculators predict the Covid-19 pandemic will change office interaction permanently.
Most of us have never experienced a financial maelstrom of this magnitude, in our business careers.
It’s a stressful time for many property and business owners; it’s difficult for most of us to forecast with any confidence what our sales volume for the next six months will be.
There is a good chance you may encounter some tense conversations with clients or associates who are understandably anxious about their current state of affairs.
Last week Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced a phased in plan to reopen the province for business in the wake of Covid-19.
While some people are saying it is too soon, most agree that it has been long enough.
So how will this unfold for commercial real estate tenants?
The sudden, real impact of COVID-19 can be seen in supply
chain disruptions, lower consumer confidence and reduced consumer spending.
Trying to measure the macro picture, the scope and duration
of the economic stoppage is not easy.
For those corporations who are currently sitting on surplus capital, waiting for the bargains to surface, it is still too early to assess how property values will be affected.
It is however, becoming clear which sector will emerge as
strongest asset class.