The commercial office space market in Ottawa is currently undergoing a major shift.
Only 2 years ago, vacancy rates in the downtown business district were on the rise. The feds were making cuts, and office space was being abandoned. Then, we saw the tides turning when Shopify took over a major office building, 234 Laurier Av. Following Shopify’s lead, a number of tech companies have since followed suit (tech giants like SurveyMonkey). This shift has brought the office vacancy rate from 7.1 per cent down to only 4.1 per cent (in Class A buildings).
In Ottawa, urban tech is the 2nd largest occupier of office space in the CBD, trailing behind the federal government. One of the reasons we’re seeing this surge of private tech companies taking over downtown spaces, is the live-work-play lifestyle that the younger generation is looking for. It’s far easier to attract top talent when the work space is in the heart of the city, with shopping, activities, nightlife all outside your doorstep. And the culture of the work place is taking priority over costs for office space. The bottom line is that no one wants to work in the middle of nowhere in an outdated environment.
Another factor in this equation is the proximity to Ottawa transit, and the new LRT rail line . The rail stations have already dramatically changed the landscape of this city, and we will see that continue as the city develops. Add to this, large scale developments such as Trinity Centre and Lebreton Flats, and you can see why everyone wants to be downtown, and why they’ll pay a premium for the hot locations.
Here, you can find more info on Ottawa’s downtown office market.
If you have any questions about commercial real estate & pricing in Ottawa, please contact me.