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General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Printable Version

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

(01-20-2015, 04:13 PM)panamaniac Wrote: A couple of Downtown "smalls":

- the sign for TWH Social is now up.  I was interested to see that it's a (small) hanging sign perpendicular to the wall of the building.  I'm old enough to remember when King St had all kinds of signs sticking out into the street - and then the City decided that signage needed to be flush to the building to reduce "clutter".

- there is a work permit in the window of the former Boa Nova restaurant on Charles at Ontario that indicates that the main floor is being renovated for offices.

Anyone know if TWH Social is still going to be the home to Yuk Yuks?


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

(01-20-2015, 04:25 PM)MidTowner Wrote:
(01-20-2015, 04:13 PM)panamaniac Wrote: - there is a work permit in the window of the former Boa Nova restaurant on Charles at Ontario that indicates that the main floor is being renovated for offices.

Kind of bad news in the same way The Bargain Shop space being turned into offices would be. That's a nice-looking building at street level, and it would have been nicer to have another restaurant there.

I agree, bad news IMO.  Hurts the liveliness of Charles St.  The employment helps, but downtown needs more than 9-5


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

I was told today (someone at the Walper, but I don't know whether well informed) that Yuk Yuk's would NOT be moving back into the Walper Hotel space. I wondered whether they might not stay with their current situation at the @41 Ren restaurant?


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

(01-20-2015, 04:41 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.

Okay, I really was just saying that I personally find it a shame that the main floor of this beautiful (to me) building that interacts well with the street is not going to be a restaurant any longer. But are you positive that "most of the recent restaurant openings in downtown are struggling"? We've seen some close after relatively short periods (Boa Nova actually wasn't one of those), but is it true that "most" are "struggling"?

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.


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

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.


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

(01-20-2015, 04:41 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, 11:21 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, 04:50 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.