NAIOP Vancouver Breakfast Highlights: Office Market in Metro Vancouver

On September 19, NAIOP Vancouver held a very successful breakfast meeting on the subject of the Metro Vancouver office market at the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel. The panel included Jeff Rank, Vice President of Project Development at Bentall Kennedy; Bart Corbett, Senior Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield; Norm Taylor, Senior Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle; and Maury Dubuque, Senior Vice President of Office Leasing at Colliers International.

Thank you to all of those who attended - over 300 people, making this one of our biggest breakfast meetings to date. For those who couldn't make it, we've compiled some highlights below:

  • The current vacancy rate in downtown Vancouver is 7.75% (a vacancy rate of between 8% and 10% is seen to be a balanced market, favouring neither the landlord nor the tenant).
  • Net absorption in downtown Vancouver has been negative through the first two quarters of 2013.
  • Two million square feet of new office space is under construction in downtown Vancouver, and there is another 600,000 square feet of available sublease space in the downtown core.
  • While much of this new office space is already pre-leased, there is lower than expected demand for the space that will be vacated when the new office towers are occupied.
  • With downsizing, increasing efficiencies, and new ways of working, are there enough jobs being created to fill these new buildings?
  • There has been a contraction in demand from both provincial and federal government for leased space.
  • Should government be giving tax breaks to technology companies to attract them here from Washington State and Silicon Valley (much like the provincial government does with the film industry)?
  • Question as to what to do about repurposing older buildings as they reach the end of their economic life.
  • In the suburbs, transit-oriented and amenity-rich office development is key: some tenants will not look at office space which is not close to transit.
  • There is over one million square feet available in the suburbs with very tepid demand. Business parks remain out of favour.
  • Mixed use facilities (office and residential towers) create some issues with respect to parking, shared common spaces.

Have an opinion or questions on any of the above? Please feel free to leave a comment below - it's what this space is for.

Our next breakfast will be held on October 17th at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. Visit our events page to register for this and our other upcoming events this fall. 

Maury Dubuque, Managing Director - Leasing, Colliers International

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