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According to a recent article “Office, industrial vacancies decline across New Brunswick” published in the on-line Real Estate News Exchange.
“There were 43 office buildings with a combined gross leasable area of 2.51 million square feet surveyed in Greater Saint John.”
The overall office vacancy rate in our market decreased from 19.1% in 2018 to 14.07% last year. Despite this improvement, the vacancy rate is still considered higher than is desirable. A couple of explanations were given…
“The office market in Saint John is in some ways the victim of the city’s past economic success, which saw a number of urban shopping centres constructed in the 1960s and 1970s,” Baird Allen [manager of Turner Drake’s economic intelligence unit] explained. “When demand for retail space shifted away from these malls, they were converted to office space, so the city has a disproportionate amount of class-C office space for a city of its size.
“This oversupply is a contributing factor to the high vacancy rate. Other factors include the nature of the economy in Saint John, which has a strong industrial focus, as well as broader trends in how office space is utilized — going from individual offices to cubicles, and now to flex space and bullpen environments where employees work in communal spaces that require fewer square feet of office space per person.”
Read the entire article below which provides further insight in the Saint John office & warehouse leasing market as well as stats for Moncton and Fredericton.
Mayor Don Darling just shared a report by the city’s Commissioner of Growth and Community Development Services.
Here are the top 3 salient points relating to commercial real estate:
- Major project construction accounted for more than half of the 80 million dollars of construction projects in 2016. Notably phases one and two of the IOL home office project, the new Uptown Liquor store and retail expansion in East Point, McAllister Mall and in Millidgeville.
- Another portion of the $80 Million included re-investment in the City’s Heritage districts including major renovations to the Imperial Theatre and 20 other smaller heritage renovation projects. The City’s heritage districts were funded by the city’s heritage incentive program.
- There is 137,493 square meters (that’s almost 34 acres!) of vacant land in our prime central neighbourhood, at rates a fraction of the cost of Canada’s major cities, and ready to be developed. The land is a mix of commercial & residential. The map below shows some of the commercial opportunities.
READ MAYOR DON DARLING’S ENTIRE UPDATE HERE (3 minute read)
As a follow up to the Country 94 story that ran earlier today, it has been confirmed that the Starbucks in Brunswick Square will be closing on November 5th with no replacement location planned in the uptown.
A Starbucks representative did say that they will be focusing on locations with drive-thru’s in the future.
Although no specific reason was given, it’s likely safe to say that our “buy local” loyalty to the home grown and (in my humble opinion) excellent Java Moose and the (to make matters worse) opening of Second Cup on King Street likely had an impact on the performance of Starbucks’ uptown location.
This is an unfortunate blow for the uptown and for Brunswick Square.