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General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Printable Version

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RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - mpd618 - 01-20-2015

(01-20-2015, 03:41 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: I'm serious. Most of the recent restaurant openings in downtown are struggling, the exception being the Duke Food Block. So why the need to have yet another restaurant in an area that is clearly not yet ready to support another one?

At this point Downtown needs more people: more residents and more workers. Once density is there, prime ground level retail space will be snatched of the market in no time.

I think this is right. Certainly I'd like to see full activated retail along the main streets, but there's no direct way to get there from where we are. We have to increase density, and especially residential density.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - TMKM94 - 01-20-2015

I remember reading an article in 2009? that said there was lots of vacant office spaces in the office buildings, Since office's are opening in retail spaces now does that mean all the office spaces are full?


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 01-20-2015

I doubt that there are any large Downtown office buildings without space for lease. What they have available, however, is not what the market is looking for. I was very glad to see 305 King W show that this gap can be bridged by converting traditional office space to more loft-like space.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - BuildingScout - 01-20-2015

(01-20-2015, 10:21 PM)TMKM94 Wrote: I remember reading an article in 2009? that said there was lots of vacant office spaces in the office buildings, Since office's are opening in retail spaces now does that mean all the office spaces are full?

Here's what Cushman Wakefield has to say about it:


Quote:“Although the vacancy rate is over 15 per cent, most companies are finding it difficult to locate office space that meets their needs,” said Michael Polzl, Cushman & Wakefield Waterloo Region Office Managing Director.


The older Downtown office towers, built in the 1970s and 1980s, lack the amenities and character that tech firms are looking for. This includes collaborative common areas, flexible floorplates that support increased density and productivity, and sustainable features such as bike lockers and proactive energy management. Most importantly, the gross occupancy cost for older buildings can be much higher than that of Brick and Beam space, and can even be higher than brand new space. Such higher costs are a result of inefficient building systems, as well as higher repair and replacement costs associated with managing older systems.

The trend of tech occupiers gravitating to Brick and Beam buildings began across North America in the early 2000s and has continued throughout 2013, especially in Kitchener. Former industrial buildings converted to modern office space in the Kitchener urban centre have never been in more demand, with firms like Embium, Thalmic and Vidyard moving into converted buildings.

http://www.cushmanwakefield.ca/en/central/news/2014/02/a-tale-of-two-markets/


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Spokes - 01-21-2015

(01-20-2015, 03:50 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Spokes, not to be contentious but when in any of our lifetimes has Charles St been "lively"?  At this stage, I figure some more office workers will at least help support some of the nearby businesses.

haha valid point.  I rather meant that it would take away from any sort of street level life past working hours.

Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather this than an empty storefront, and employment is important, but there is a need for things after 5pm.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - tomh009 - 01-21-2015

(01-20-2015, 03:48 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I see your point. I couldn't agree more that downtown needs more people. We're all aware that a virtuous cycle involves residents attracting more services which in turn attract more residents. To play devil's advocate, I might suggest that services (and particularly ones that cater to residents rather than workers) is what is still needed: Kitchener's has traditionally been a "9-to-5" downtown with plenty of employees and not enough residents. Maybe we do need more restaurants, and more people living downtown to frequent them, but not particularly more office workers.

The office workers do provide lunch business for the restaurants, but much less so for dinner: for that, more residents will help.  So when 1 Victoria and City Centre are completed, it will be much easier for a restaurant to succeed in the downtown core.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - tomh009 - 01-21-2015

(01-20-2015, 10:33 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I doubt that there are any large Downtown office buildings without space for lease.  What they have available, however, is not what the market is looking for.  I was very glad to see 305 King W show that this gap can be bridged by converting traditional office space to more loft-like space.

I'm somewhat disappointed that DREAM has not made any (visible) moves in this direction with 55 King W.  It's a reasonably modern building that could be made much more attractive inside (and it has substantial vacancy as well).

Incidentally, the former TD Bank space at the street level would also make for a very nice restaurant.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - 519 - 01-21-2015

(01-20-2015, 06:48 AM)Spokes Wrote:
(01-19-2015, 10:44 AM)519 Wrote: I think Dream got more than they bargain for when they acquired the Market Square, 22 Frederick, and the Galleria from the previous owner a few years back.

I give them credit for trying to fix things up but obviously more need to be done.

Anyone know if they were owning it when TriOS college moved in?

No. TriOS was already a tenant. 

Here's an article about Dream's purchase (Dundee)
http://www.therecord.com/news-story/2569712-dundee-reit-to-acquire-kitchener-waterloo-properties/


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - nms - 01-21-2015

(01-20-2015, 03:48 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I see your point. I couldn't agree more that downtown needs more people. We're all aware that a virtuous cycle involves residents attracting more services which in turn attract more residents. To play devil's advocate, I might suggest that services (and particularly ones that cater to residents rather than workers) is what is still needed: Kitchener's has traditionally been a "9-to-5" downtown with plenty of employees and not enough residents. Maybe we do need more restaurants, and more people living downtown to frequent them, but not particularly more office workers.

That having been said, all I did say was that, in my opinion and having been to the restaurant when it was one, this is a great building for a restaurant.

Traditionally, many of King Street storefronts had apartments above them that were occupied (sometimes) by the store's proprietors or in other cases by the general public.  Do any of these former apartments have a chance at being resurrected?  I seem to recall that some of the older (ie 1920s, 1930s era) apartments to the east along Weber or Duke have been purchased and/or renovated.  Has anyone seen statistics on the existing downtown residential vacancy rates?


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 01-21-2015

I believe that the space above the (now closed) Entertaining Elements was renovated for apartments. Likewise the space above Artisan Zone. The building at the Eby St end of Market Lane was recently renovated as a triplex apartment and the house at Duke St and Moyer Pl. also looks like it will become apartments (renvoations have resumed after a fire and a long period of inactivity). The Working Centre is also renovating the former Morning Glory Café location for affordable one bedroom units. I don't know what the vacancy rates are like, but there seem to be a lot of small projects like that going on.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MidTowner - 01-21-2015

According to the last CMHC Rental Market Report, "Kitchener Central" (which is larging than merely downtown, extending for example east to the expressway) had a vacancy rate of 2%, compared with 2.3% as the Region as a whole. I have no idea where to get more details on what vacancy might be like in particular neighbourhoods.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - BuildingScout - 01-21-2015

That vacancy rate is for residential, as best as I understand, not commercial.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Spokes - 01-22-2015

(01-21-2015, 03:57 PM)MidTowner Wrote: According to the last CMHC Rental Market Report, "Kitchener Central" (which is larging than merely downtown, extending for example east to the expressway) had a vacancy rate of 2%, compared with 2.3% as the Region as a whole. I have no idea where to get more details on what vacancy might be like in particular neighbourhoods.

I believe I heard Waterloo Region has one of the (if not the) lowest vacancy rates in the province.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - REnerd - 01-22-2015

I heard that Dake has closed its doors.  I have had a chance to drive by and have a look.

Can anyone confirm?  This would be a very sad loss...


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MidTowner - 01-22-2015

(01-21-2015, 04:03 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: That vacancy rate is for residential, as best as I understand, not commercial.

You're right. Panamaniac was talking about residential apartments.

(01-22-2015, 06:52 AM)Spokes Wrote: I believe I heard Waterloo Region has one of the (if not the) lowest vacancy rates in the province.

Guelph's is actually the lowest in the entire province, according to CMHC. Waterloo Region's is low, but there are lower. Again, this is all residential.