Can we put a price on landmarks?

Our Lady of Paris, the literal translation for Notre-Dame de Paris, has received an outpouring of public sympathy following a devastating fire last week.

Having seen Notre-Dame in person I can tell you it’s something to marvel.

The full cost of the fire is still being tallied but I’m not sure you can put a price on something that is nearly irreplaceable.

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When not to buy commercial real estate

There are times when it is not wise to invest in commercial real estate.

Alternatively, many potential investors don’t take the plunge out of fear of the unknown and years later regret it.

Let’s look at some examples of when you’d be advised not to purchase.

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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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What if the shoe doesn’t fit?

The rules are the rules, whether we like them or not.

Nowhere is this truer than as it applies to municipal zoning.

I find clients can easily get discouraged in property searches when they discover where their business is, and is not welcome, as determined by the local zoning bylaw.

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