Energy sector downsizing drives Calgary vacancies

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The continued downsizing of the Canadian energy sector is emptying downtown office units in Calgary, as the vacancy rate in the city’s commercial real estate segment reached a record 19.5 per cent (or around 8 eight million square feet) during the first quarter of the year.
As reported by Canadian Business, the latest survey by Barclay Street Real Estate Ltd. revealed that an additional 938,000 square feet of commercial space got freed up on the local market on Q1 2016, mostly due to energy firms in the region continuing to streamline and lay off personnel due to the plummeting value of oil (which hit US$26 per barrel last quarter).
Among the companies trying to consolidate their operations were Penn West Energy, which is trying to sublease 73,000 square feet; Shell Canada, with 183,000 square feet on offer; and MEG Energy, which has more than 300 ,000 square feet available.
The same study also predicted that vacancies in Calgary can swell to as much as 24 per cent in two years’ time.

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