John Savard, owner at Bedrock Realty Advisors, notes this flight to quality doesn’t mean there still isn’t demand for B and C class properties.
“We just have to get through a significant amount of vacancy,” he says. “But there’s still demand in B to C class. In fact, there are a significant number of tenants who enjoy the mid-west portion of downtown Calgary because the rates are considerably lower than A class.”
After a long stretch of empty office spaces and overall gloom and doom in Calgary’s downtown office space, it looks like the tide is finally turning.
“It’s really been quite a dreary time for Calgary’s downtown office space in recent years,” says John Savard, owner of Bedrock Realty Advisors. “We’ve seen a lot of factors, both pre-and post-pandemic which led to high vacancy rates for the last few years.”
Taking a walk downtown is all you need to see to understand just how empty Calgary’s downtown has become since the 2014 oil and gas bust, followed closely by a pandemic which aggravated an already slow market. This resulted in the city hitting a new vacancy milestone, with one-third of Calgary office space vacant and negative absorption since 2017.
But as of Q4 of 2021, we’re starting to see a turn in the market.
“In Q4 we actually hit the first positive absorption since 2017,” says Savard. “It wasn’t huge at just under 18,000 sq. ft., but it gives us some optimism that the tide is turning.”
CBRE, Avison Young and other real estate and investment groups seem to agree. As the Covid pandemic restrictions ease, return-to-work policies come back into place and industries like tech and oil and gas start to burgeon, the future is starting to look bright in Calgary’s downtown office space again.
“We’re starting to see the growth of the tech industry bringing in a lot of new leases,” says Savard. “And oil and gas commodity prices are really bringing a vitality back to the market, pushing economic activity and bringing new tenants back to the downtown as they look to re-hire and repopulate their operations.”
Savard says this has been a mix of new tenants and tenants looking to relocate from the suburbs, a market that may have previously been unavailable or out of their price range. “There is a lot of great space out there, high quality space is still abundant and well-priced, but we do expect that to change.”
Forecasters see slow but steady growth coming back to Calgary’s office space market, meaning moderate price increases and decreasing vacancy rate. “This will first come to the higher quality spaces, which are already seeing lower vacancy rates,” says Savard. “But it will eventually cascade to all the other classes of office space as well.”
For people who are looking for downtown office space, Savard says now is the time to make your move.
“If you’re looking for office space in Calgary’s downtown, especially higher quality space, it’s time to take advantage and lock in those affordable lease rates. There is still a lot of choices available, but you’ll want to get in while the market is still relatively soft.”
If you want to look for space online, you can do it right from this website. Check out our Commercial Lease Search Engine – this easy tool will allow you to quickly find the downtown office space that suits your needs. Just enter your criteria and we’ll send you a report with your results.
If you have any questions about Bedrock Realty Advisors, contact us.
Over the Christmas holidays, John Savard, Owner of Bedrock Realty, was quoted in an interesting article about one of downtown Calgary’s most unique (and largest) offices spaces available on the market right now.
“Gulf Canada Square is the length of two city blocks . . . it’s so unique. You won’t ever see that,” said Savard in the article. “Firstly, an 80,000-square-foot floor plate is extremely rare in the entire country and it’s the largest for an office space. That’s the largest base building space that exists (for lease) in Calgary and the country.”
You can learn more about this available space in the full article.
Alberta is changing rapidly, isn’t it? From a recession to an election, there are all sorts of factors that influence the vacancy rates of downtown Calgary office space. And let’s face it – right now vacancy rates are high, but is that really bad news? Yes, we saw a mass exodus of energy-related corporations as the oil and gas industry slowed down, and yes things do not look bright for a quick rebound in the energy sector but remember – downtown office space Calgary has much to offer many industries, making the possible future of the downtown core a very bright one.
What do the Statistics Say?
Colliers International’s Calgary Downtown Office Market Report Q2 2019 is optimistic. While the report admits, “Colliers believes high vacancy rates will continue to prevail in the near term,” it also points out that reverse migration from the suburban offices to the core is expected. This is due to higher quality spaces with more amenities being leased and sold at very attractive prices. Additionally, recent property tax increases in areas outside of downtown can contribute to pushing commercial businesses into the core.
A Changing Picture
Just because Calgary was once known as a hot spot for energy company head offices doesn’t mean that it is limited to that vision. The future of downtown Calgary office space is one change and adaptation. The report also mentions that co-working companies are taking a closer look at downtown Calgary office space, as this location is filled with the amenities that make co-working so attractive, such as underground parking, transit, shops, and services.
“In a market where it is increasingly hard to attract and retain top talent and equally difficult to increase compensation for employees, greater focus is being placed on the interaction of space and building with the overall employee experience,” cites the report.
What Does This Mean for You?
Are you starting a business? Looking to make a positive change for your employees? Growing your brand? Interested in moving into the Calgary market? Whatever your reasons for doing business in the city, now is the best time to look at downtown Calgary office space.
Due to high vacancy rates, lease and sale prices are optimal. Where downtown Calgary office space was once prohibitively expensive for many hardworking companies, it is now within reach.
Downtown is full of great amenities that promote brand exposure and provide a comfortable, walkable experience for your team and customers. With the future of downtown Calgary office space possibly poised to take off, the time to take advantage of the market is right now.
The experts at Bedrock Realty are here to make your dream office space come true. Contact us today to learn how you can get office space in Calgary’s downtown core.
Location, location, location! That is the mantra when it comes to real estate, and that doesn’t only apply to residential sales. When you are looking to set up an office in Calgary, the location, not the price, should be your driving factor. Of course, lease rates matter too, but the location is what drives customers, enables delivery of stock, and sets the aesthetics of your business. Today we’ll explore some of the hottest locations in Calgary for your business and show you how to find the one you need.
It’s not a secret that Calgary’s downtown core was hit hard by the recession, but there is a silver lining for businesses looking for office space to rent in Calgary. Lease rates have become extremely competitive, enabling a new wave of small business owners, tech-focused companies, and startups to afford rent downtown. With its transit service and other amenities, downtown is poised to make a strong comeback as the place for businesses to be in Calgary. If you are looking for office space but think the lease rates downtown are too much for your new business, think again. We are happy to show you options in this area.
23rd Street Warehouse Complex
Office space for rent in Calgary doesn’t have to center on high foot traffic. Companies that rely primarily on shipping and receiving goods are better served by a small office and accompanying warehouse bay. One such example is the 23rd street complex with bays from approximately 1,240 to 1,960 square feet, and one or two offices out front. A setup like this eliminates the need to have your office in one location and your warehouse in another. The 23rd Street complex, like most warehouse facilities in the city, is ideally located along major traffic routes; making it easy for you to ship and receive products. Renting office space in Calgary near major commuter routes is also a smart marketing move, as your signage will help push your brand, even if your business isn’t walk-in customer-centric.
It takes a bit of paperwork and permission from The City of Calgary to open a commercial business in a residential zone but depending on your type of business, it could be well worth the effort. Personal services such as appointment-only hair and nail salons, small catering services, and other businesses where a basement or small dwelling serves as the headquarters, add charm and convenience to the neighborhood. It’s also an ideal way to test drive a business idea when just starting out. Once an area is rezoned, if the original business folds, you may have an opportunity to rent or lease the space. We are happy to show you options for office space to rent that is off the beaten track, and right where your customers live.
Matching You with the Office Space You Need
Bedrock Realty Advisors matches you with the space you want and need. We are familiar with the attributes of hundreds of office spaces for lease in calgary and have solutions for businesses of all sizes. From our in-person consulting to our online tools, working with us is easy and convenient. Contact us today to find the best office space to rent in Calgary.
Calgary entered the 2018 commercial market with a cautious optimism. This is a relief from a two-year recession where vacancy rates increased from 8.52% at the beginning of 2015 to 27.06% by mid 2018.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has been trading between $60-70 a barrel since late December. However, Western Canadian Select (WCS) has been trading at a discount to WTI and exporting Alberta oil is proving difficult as pipeline approvals are delayed. This has slowed the growth potential for Calgary’s energy based economy
We are predicting that the bottom of the commercial market will be in sometime this year. With that being said the market has experienced a flight to quality space. Top quality pockets of 5,000 sq. ft. or less are being quickly leased in the current market.
What does this mean to the office user? If you intend to take advantage of the renter’s commercial market right now, this next 12-18 months may be the most opportune time to look for savings in your rental expense or that chance to upgrade to A quality space at rents tenant’s paid for C space in 2014 at 6% vacancy. The window is wide open now but maybe closing soon.
Interested in seeing what’s out there? Contact us today and we’ll help you find the perfect deal for your business.
A recession like the one Alberta has experienced over the past few years can devastate industries, communities, and corporations. It’s important to have advisors who understand the cycle and can help clients weather the storm. John Savard of Bedrock Realty Advisors is one of those resources.
“I’ve seen a few different markets going from a balanced market to an extreme landlord’s market to a tenant’s market and back again. Now we’re fully in a tenant’s market,” he says.
That’s great news for Savard’s clients. He specializes exclusively in tenant transactions, eliminating the conflict of interest some competitors encounter when representing both sides of the coin.
“We believe we can only serve one master. We feel we can offer the best services to our local tenant clients because we don’t have anyone else’s interests at heart,” he says.
With the downtown vacancy rate sitting at around 25 percent, there is an immense amount of office space available and tenants have their pick. Savard uses his expertise and experience to ensure clients are getting the best deal possible regardless of what they need.
His clients fall into one of three categories: those seeking lease renewals, those looking for a new space or those subleasing. And in a recession market, early renewals are a great way to help clients improve their own bottom line.
“You don’t want to waste the opportunity that exists in a recession,” he says. “Now is a time to create significant value for your company by getting a much lower lease rate.”
Savard and his team at Bedrock have been successful in helping clients negotiate early lease renewals with landlords. By blending their current, likely higher, lease rates with ones more indicative of today’s market, clients enjoy an immediate reducction on in their real estate costs while landlords keep tenants in their buildings for an extended term. While rates will likely rise in the near future, the low rates are a great opportunity for Bedrock Realty’s clients today.
Over the past 14 years, John Savard has helped hundreds of tenants negotiate their perfect commercial space, establishing him as one of the top performing commercial brokers in the field. And as Calgary climbs out of this recession and grows stronger, thanks to his guidance and expertise, Savard’s clients will be stronger too.
Are you looking for that perfect office space? Check out our free Office Locator Tool to help guide you through the process quickly and easily!
Commercial real estate felt the pinch of a slumping economy in 2016 and Calgary’s suburban office market was no exception.
From headleases – between a landlord and a tenant – to subleases – where a tenant puts some of their excess space on the market – commercial real estate outside the core had its challenges.
“A significant amount of very, very large blocks of vacancies are available on the sublease market and the head lease market, for that matter, and we have not seen a great number of tenants going in to take those spaces,’’ said John Savard, principal, office leasing specialist with Bedrock Realty Advisors Inc.
Suburban office vacancy rose 0.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016 to 22.6 percent, according to a recent Barclay Street Real Estate report.
As featured in the Calgary Herald this week, Bedrock Realty had the pleasure of helping B&A Planning Group take advantage of the current market and relocate their offices to an entire floor of the prestigious west tower of Penn West Plaza.
Read the whole article by David Parker in the Calgary Herald here.
The Bedrock Realty Advisors team is thrilled to be featured in today’s edition of the Calgary Herald’s Business section and the Financial Post!
The Herald’s David Parker wrote the article, and we just want to give him a big thank you for taking the time to learn about us and feature us in the paper. We are very excited to be a part of Calgary’s office space with storage in real estate industry and we look forward to continuing to help our clients get the office space they need at the price they deserve!