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?

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Positive yet mixed signals in Saskatchewan industrial

There are three significant numbers I’m looking at to determine the sentiment of the industrial real estate market.

One of those numbers is positive, and two illustrate we have yet a way to go before we’ve fully recovered.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Saskatchewan commercial property taxes below average

I thought twice about writing this post!

Does it risk raising the question with the city administrators: are our Saskatoon and Regina commercial property taxes too low?

Or… does it showcase just one more of the many benefits of setting up shop in one of our two major Saskatchewan cities?

In an earlier post I referenced the 2018 Canadian Property Tax Rate Benchmark Report released by Altus Group, and supporting partner REALPAC with a focus on the commercial to residential tax ratio.

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Differences between regional and national commercial real estate broker

If you’d have asked me a few years ago about the long-term fate of the independent commercial real estate broker, I would have honestly expressed some uncertainty (you may be thinking, “but Barry, you are an independent commercial real estate broker… that means you would have been questioning your own survival!).

Most of that uncertainty arose from questioning the independent broker’s ability to keep pace with potential investment required in metadata.

Let’s look at the current differences between a national and an independent regional commercial real estate broker.

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Was I on the Mark in my 2018 Industrial Vacancy Forecast?

I promised you that I’d hold myself accountable in this Jan 2018 post and report back to you. 

So, how did I do? At that time, I predicted a decline in the overall Saskatoon Industrial vacancy rate from 7.7 per cent to 6.2 per cent.

That was after a significant 2 per cent decline in the previous 12-month period.

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Retail is king for 2018

There were substantial changes to the commercial real estate landscape in Saskatoon as we close out 2018.

I think it’s is a story of renewal and growth, would you agree?

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