Empty office space leaves downtown Calgary businesses worried

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Kaitlin Lee Posted Nov 10, 2015 11:41 am MDT Landlords in downtown Calgary haven’t seen prices drop this low since before the start of the last boom in 2006.The oil downturn has left a lot of office space vacant, and it’s driving down rental rates.ATB Financial’s Todd Hirsch tells 660 NEWS, its simple supply and demand.“It’s a lot of office space coming on to the market, sitting vacant, at the same time there’s probably weakened demand: not as many companies needing as much space at the moment,” he said, adding there is one upside. “We can anticipate over the coming months, and probably throughout 2016, much better rates available in Calgary. That’s not great news if you’re the landowner, but it’s really good news, in fact, if you’re perhaps a non-energy company that wants to get into the Calgary market.”Greg Kwong from property managing company CB Richard Ellis says a lot of the major firms are downsizing, and with three-million square feet of office space under construction, the situation may only get worse.“Certainly in the short term, in the next 12 months, things don’t look that good for office landlords,” he said, adding it’s a tough situation. “We’ve gone through a market where certainly, in the last 15 years, we may have had one eight month period that’s been kind of slow, back in 2008, but other than that we’ve seen nothing but growth in Calgary since 2001.”Maggie Schofield with the Downtown Business Association says the office vacancy rate being the highest it’s been in five years, is having a ripple effect on retailers and restaurants in the core, because they are losing customers.“We’ve seen a few doors close over the summertime, and that is of grave concern, because those are the amenities that really make a difference in the downtown, and make it more vital,” she said.She says, as the Christmas season approaches, they continue to encourage Calgarians to spend what little they can, to support these local businesses, but, unfortunately, not everybody is going to make it through. Empty office space leaves downtown Calgary businesses worried FREEIMAGES.COM read more