Every toy (store) has a story

Rumours of the impending demise of the Canadian Toys “R” Us stores has been swirling since their U.S. parent filed bankruptcy in September 2017.

At that time it wasn’t widely understood that the Canadian stores were separate of this filing and, in fact, somewhat profitable along with the other 1,600 stores around the globe.

News of a recent sale of the 81 Canadian stores speaks to the long-term viability of the toy retail franchise.

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Buyer beware of often onerous commercial mortgage process

As a Commercial Real Estate Broker, it’s my job to prepare my clients.

Typically, there is a process they will need to go through to complete a lease or purchase.

The purpose of my focus here is to provide an overview of the steps necessary to mortgage commercial real estate.

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Vacancy does not equate to desperation

It’s easy to get skeptical about leasing commercial real estate with all the media reporting business doom and gloom during the pandemic.

Well I’m here to tell you, not only is their rising hope on the horizon but things aren’t near as dicey as some think.

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Prairieland won’t be saddled with losing bet

Administration at Prairieland Park has disclosed they have endured ongoing losses at Marquis Downs over $500,000 annually during the last five years prior to the pandemic. 

With no place to relocate, this will effectively end professional horse racing in Saskatchewan.

There seem to be a lot of mistruths circulating about whether or not Prairieland has the authority to discontinue the sport on their site.

You bet they can.

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How smart companies will address work-from-home

Smart companies will look beyond potential cost savings and base their decision on how to best invest in their most important asset…their employees.

I’m often asked what I believe will be the impact of the work from home transition on office occupancy.

I think it’s a matter of planning and investing where the money will be best served.

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Countdown to mandatory hotel quarantine

When an economy starts slipping people may still be going out to eat or shopping but the first luxury they cut is travelling.

And one of the industries that feels that impact most closely are hotels.

With a lot of news focussing on airlines, hotels appeared to be largely left out of federal aid until later stages of the pandemic.

With new national air travel quarantines coming into effect Feb. 22, will this act as a Band-Aid for struggling hotels?

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My predictions were wrong (but cut me a little slack!)

I promised you that I’d hold myself accountable in my Jan 2020 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 5.65 per cent per cent in 2019 to 4.8 per cent.

That’s after a significant 2 per cent decline in 2018 and a 0.9 per cent decline to 6.8 per cent in 2019.

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Ho, Ho, Holding out hope for next year

The past year has been a roller coaster for the commercial real estate industry.

Just when it looked like were gaining traction it seemed the world had another thing in store for us.

But I’m hopeful for 2021 and therefore I choose to focus on what’s in store for us.

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Can Canada’s oldest retailer hang on?

From fur trading to e-commerce, the oldest and most resilient retailer in Canada has been the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) since 1670.

The company’s roots go back so far, they pre-date Confederation by nearly 200 years.

If ever there was an example of reinvention, over and over again, it will never be said that this retailer went down without a fight.

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Value is in the eye of the CRE beholder

There is one thing universal to commercial real estate transactions when it comes to investment buyers and sellers.

Buyers want the highest cap rate they can find; and sellers want to challenge the market with the lowest cap rate it will withstand.

Often the value of the property lies somewhere in between.

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