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General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Printable Version

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RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 11-12-2015

The former TD Canada Trust space on King at Ontario St is being gutted this week for its conversion to office space.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MidTowner - 11-12-2015

(11-12-2015, 05:08 PM)panamaniac Wrote:
(11-12-2015, 04:12 PM)ookpik Wrote: Because LRT construction noise was preventing them from getting a full night's sleep? Smile

They've moved to the corner of Bruce and Victoria (same strip mall as David's Gourment).

Yes, that's what the sign out front said. No reason was given for the move. But, with construction ongoing, it might be difficult to find a new tenant at 704 King Street West. That lot will be prime for redevelopment...maybe this will spur it.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 11-12-2015

(11-12-2015, 06:49 PM)MidTowner Wrote:
(11-12-2015, 05:08 PM)panamaniac Wrote: They've moved to the corner of Bruce and Victoria (same strip mall as David's Gourment).

Yes, that's what the sign out front said. No reason was given for the move. But, with construction ongoing, it might be difficult to find a new tenant at 704 King Street West. That lot will be prime for redevelopment...maybe this will spur it.

Perhaps that is why they moved, or maybe just to have a better space.  Their clientele comes in by appointment, so I doubt that the construction would have had much impact on the business.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MidTowner - 11-12-2015

(11-12-2015, 08:14 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Perhaps that is why they moved, or maybe just to have a better space.  Their clientele comes in by appointment, so I doubt that the construction would have had much impact on the business.

I'm hopeful that future redevelopment is at least part of the reason they vacated. We'll see.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - mpd618 - 11-12-2015

(11-12-2015, 05:13 PM)panamaniac Wrote: The former TD Canada Trust space on King at Ontario St is being gutted this week for its conversion to office space.

That will be used by Netsuite.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - zanate - 11-13-2015

I've been hearing rumours through Twitter of a new pub opening in Belmont Village, that's not the Berlin Bike Cafe.

Anyone know anything?


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 11-13-2015

(11-13-2015, 11:09 AM)zanate Wrote: I've been hearing rumours through Twitter of a new pub opening in Belmont Village, that's not the Berlin Bike Cafe.

Anyone know anything?

Could it be the building at the corner of Glasgow that was spruced up in recent weeks?  That would be the perfect location for a pub.  Still waiting to see what goes into the former TD Canada Trust as well.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 11-13-2015

A private high school for 60 students from PRC is relocating from Hamilton and will be opening at 585 Queen St S (across Queen from Nougat).

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6117824-sixty-chinese-students-to-attend-high-school-at-new-kitchener-academy/


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 11-13-2015

Wright Auto Sales is moving next summer from their current location on Weber St in Waterloo to the former Stedelbauers location at 20 Ottawa St N, which has been vacant for some time now. Ray of Hope will operate a coffee shop inside the dealership. I did not realize that plans for an Asian supermarket at the Ottawa St property had fallen through.

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6117803-wright-auto-sales-moving-to-old-stedelbauer-property-in-kitchener/


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - rangersfan - 11-13-2015

Very disappointed that such a prime location is going to revert to a car dealership. I didn't know that the supermarket plans fell through either.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MidTowner - 11-14-2015

That is discouraging news.

The article says that the company will keep its Waterloo lot. I guess I'd be being too hopeful to assume that it's 89 Bridgeport and not 35 Weber (at the corner of Weber and Bridgeport) that they're keeping. That big corner lot could be redeveloped. I have to say that both their old and new locations seem like they have many other better uses.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - ookpik - 11-14-2015

(11-14-2015, 08:57 AM)MidTowner Wrote: I have to say that both their old and new locations seem like they have many other better uses.

Too bad then that you didn't make a higher offer on those properties than the current (Waterloo) and new (Kitchener) owners. Had you done so you'd now have an opportunity to develop the properties in the manner you deem best Wink

The Record article points out that the Ottawa location "has been vacant since 2013. Patrick George, a well-known home builder in Kitchener whose family owns G&A Masonry in Breslau and Deer Ridge Heights Inc., bought the 1.3 hectare property in 2012. It is a high-profile location on an arterial roadway that is zoned as a mixed-use corridor by the City of Kitchener in its latest official plan. It is a short walk to the light rail train station..." Presumably potential buyers knew that and yet couldn't justify a high enough offer to outbid Wright.

The article goes on to say, "George had planned a high-density development with retail on the main floor and residential units above. But he became busy with other projects, and did not want to redevelop the property before the light rail trains start operating." Are you suggesting that the city have barred George from selling the property to potential buyers whose redevelopment plans didn't meet their standards? 

FWIW my own observation, walking along the route and reading posts on WRC, is that there's an awful lot of new residential (condo), commercial and retail development going on in anticipation of the start of LRT service. I've been concerned that it may be difficult to find enough new occupants to fill these projects without depressing property prices and rents, i.e. that a RE bubble may be forming along the route. I'm just a casual observer. I imagine George is far more experienced and was far better informed about these sorts of issues than I am when he "did not want to redevelop the property before the light rail trains start operating."

Incidentally used car dealers are normally viewed as small, financially precarious, ethically-challenged, fly-by-night operators. This article suggests that Wright is anything but that stereotype, considering that they will soon have locations in all three of the region's cities and that their new Kitchener location is so large as to have 20 service bays and an in-house café . Moreover they must be doing so well that they could afford to outbid others on a large, prime Ottawa St location. Although I have no personal experience with them, my inference is that they're doing exceptionally well and are making substantial contributions to the economic health of the community. They deserve our kudos.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MidTowner - 11-14-2015

(11-14-2015, 09:48 AM)ookpik Wrote: Too bad then that you didn't make a higher offer on those properties than the current (Waterloo) and new (Kitchener) owners. Had you done so you'd now have an opportunity to develop the properties in the manner you deem best Wink

There's nothing incorrect about what you're saying, but I think you read a bit too much into what I said. I'm just saying that it's a bit discouraging to hear that a prominent urban location near rapid transit used as a car lot, and I would have expected that there are higher and better uses. If we were apparently not supposed to hypothesize and offer our opinions about what kinds of developments we'd like to see in our community, I think there would be a lot less discussion on this board...


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - ookpik - 11-14-2015

I made that comment as a joke, hence the smiley at the end. Of course we should all feel free to offer our opinions and enter into vigorous discussion. If I offended you in any way then I apologize.

Now re the Ottawa St property. Evidently no developer was willing to step up and develop it. Not even George who bought it in 2012 when the LRT wasn't yet a sure thing and who thus presumably paid a lot less than Wright just did. My inference is that with all the other development along the route no one wants to further inflate what may turn out to be, at least in the shorter term, a RE bubble. So for the time being the land will be put to productive, if not ideal, use. Surely this is a lot better than letting the land lie fallow for another several years. 

By buying the property now Wright gets something he can use to expand his business. There was already a car dealership there so he can reuse the existing building and infrastructure with minimal improvement. And thus he gets to continue to expand his economic contribution to the community. What's not to like with that?

But in addition to this benefit Wright now also has the option to repurpose and redevelop this property in the future as post-LRT demand materializes and RE prices rise. Car dealerships require a lot of relatively undeveloped real estate to serve as what's effectively a giant parking lot. Consequently as property values rise it becomes more economical for them to relocate to the suburbs where land is cheaper. (There used to be several large car dealerships at major intersections along Yonge St in Toronto. Where are they now? Are there any left on Yonge St within the city proper?)

So here's some wild speculation. At some point Wright may find it profitable to relocate the Ottawa St operation and sell the property at a large profit. He wins twice, first by expanding his current business and then again when he next expands it. Sounds to me like he's making a very smart move.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Smore - 11-14-2015

I went to Wright when looking for my last vehicle. While I didn't buy there, I found the experience very easy and would have had no problem buying from them if they had what I was looking for.

As far as the properties go, is it not generally accepted that used car dealerships are a transient type and that any interim occupation of a property by a used car dealers is one giant leap ahead of a derelict building or empty, blocked off parking lot? At least its functional use!

And in the time it takes to get a few 18 wheelers or some young mechanics to move a bunch of cars to the next transient lot, the place can be "shovel-ready"!!