The consequences of Calgary’s commercial development mania have finally come to roost, as nearly one-fourth of the city’s office real estate stand empty and unused.
This proportion represents roughly 10 million square feet in the downtown area’s office towers, with even more surplus space incoming as ongoing projects—some of which have been initiated during the $140-per-barrel heights of Calgary’s oil boom around three years ago—get completed in the near future.
Figures from a Q1 2017 office market analysis by Avison Young showed that over 1.5 million square feet more is expected to get pumped into the market over the next year and a half, Business in Vancouver reported.
“There are no forecasts that suggest a quick return to the high-growth environment Calgary has been known for,” Avison Young stated.
With the downtown office vacancy rate at 23.9 per cent and an overall Calgary vacancy rate of 22.5 per cent, the metropolitan region currently has the greatest proportion of unused office space across Canada, according to the Avison Young report.
Anthony Scott, director of research at Barclay Street Real Estate, noted that while faint signs of recovery can be seen, only “the smallest end of available options” (that is, start-ups leasing downsized offices 2,000 square feet or less) appear to have good prospects at the moment.
Available office space in Vancouver affected by commercial development cycle slowdown
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