As the economic engines across Canada start revving up through 2017, perhaps best reflected by the Bank of Canada’s decision last month to raise its key overnight lending rate for the first time in 7 years, Ottawa is receiving its share of the exuberance. With a new federal government now firmly entrenched and less adverse to investing in the public sector, the National Capital Region has witnessed an expansion in public sector hiring and an increased demand in required office space. Further fueling the demand for office space in Ottawa is the resurgence of the tech sector as an economic driver for the region, and indeed our country as we embrace the digital age.
High Tech Sector Driving Down Office Vacancy Rates in Ottawa
High tech is powering a surge in employment opportunities in the Ottawa region and office vacancy rates are doing an about face from where they were earlier this year:
Ottawa’s office vacancy rate fell by half a percentage point in the second quarter as tenants snatched up class-A space downtown and in Kanata, recently released figures show… Colliers International’s most recent office market report said the citywide office vacancy rate was 11.7 per cent at the midyear mark, down from 12.2 per cent at the end of the first quarter. -Ottawa Business Journal
Rising Economic Prospects in the Capital
For the past decade, steady cutbacks in the federal public service by the previous government, coupled with a less than stellar performance in high tech, resulted in office vacancy rates in Ottawa steadily rising well into the double digits. But it now looks like Ottawa has made it through the trough of these tough times and is now rising once again on a crest of innovation in a diverse tech sector. Millennials are flocking to the capital, attracted by increased job prospects and the high quality of living enjoyed in Ottawa:
The days of Ottawa being known around the world as the Silicon Valley North might be returning. A new report has ranked Ottawa the top tech hub in Canada… According to analysts Expert Market, 71 per cent of respondents would set up their new tech business in Ottawa. The respondents ranked quality of living, high salary averages, the number of available tech jobs in the city and tech diversity as reasons for their choice. Calgary was ranked second, with Montreal in third. -CTV News
Ottawa Offers the Perfect Mix for a Millennial Work Force
Just as our economy is changing, so too is the make-up of the modern workforce. Millennials, with work-life-balance top of mind, are attracted to the amenities, transportation options and increasing vibrancy of Ottawa. We’re seeing this optimism reflected in a surge of recent mega projects such as TD Place, Lebretton Flats and the Zibi development to accommodate the lifestyle of Millennials who now make up the rank-and-file workforce in the tech sector and the federal government.
Prolific companies, such as home-grown tech darling Shopify, are raising the profile of downtown Ottawa as more than just a one-horse government town. Smaller tech players, with big aspirations, have caught on as well, driving down office vacancy rates in the high end of the downtown submarket.
Competition for Prime Office Space Rising
With Light Rail Transit (LRT) finally on the cusp of becoming reality, business prospects in Ottawa are shining brighter than they have in a long time. Interest is increasing in areas just outside the downtown core as well, with mid-sized pockets of office space near the future LRT line being highly sought by office tenants, especially those in the professional services sectors.
A new generation of employees are increasingly seeing the office as something more than a place to simply clock-in and complete tasks. Innovative companies, especially in high tech, are offering creative space for collaboration and community building, accommodating the preferences of an evolving workforce. For example, more employees are willing to forego a parking space for a bike rack, especially if there are shower facilities on the premises.
These changing office dynamics are resulting in increased competition for the best office spaces to satisfy the needs of your workforce. With real estate typically being a business’ second highest expense (after payroll) companies can’t afford to overlook the benefits of professional tenant representation services when thousands of dollars are at stake. Primecorp has the experience, expertise and steady leadership to help you navigate these waters and sign the best office leasing arrangements for your business.
Primecorp’s Office Tenant Representation Team Has You Covered
Primecorp’s Office Tenant Representation Team is led by Nick Pantieras and Pierre Benoit, who are office leasing experts and have represented tenants in a variety of markets over many years of service excellence. Nick Pantieras, President and Founding Partner at Primecorp, has over twenty-five years of success in commercial real estate, specializing in the brokerage of commercial investment properties in the retail, office and industrial sectors. Pierre Benoit has 30 years experience in office, retail and industrial leasing, sales and development in the Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver markets.
Primecorp’s Office Tenant Representation Team is a specialized group of brokers, analysts, marketers, and administrators. The Team's extensive experience in negotiating leases from the tenant’s perspective makes them uniquely qualified to best represent companies seeking the highest level of competence in all areas of their lease negotiation.
At Primecorp, we know the available spaces, the terms offered to previous tenants, the active players, the market trends and the inside stories. We appreciate the nuances of negotiation tactics and lease structures for any size transaction, property type or market.
Advantages of Tenant Representation with Primecorp:
- Considerable time savings
- Comprehensive needs analysis
- Complete market coverage
- Full service from start to finish
- Significant cost reductions
- Effective negotiation
- Objective, unbiased advice
- Single Point of Contact
From the smallest startups to the largest private sector companies, Primecorp’s Office Tenant Representation Team helps our valued clients define their space needs for the future, compile market surveys, identify all opportunities, and perform all elements of the search and negotiation process. Primecorp’s leading approach levels the playing field for our office leasing tenants. Contact us now, so we can help you close the most tenant-favourable transaction possible.