Commercial real estate analyst ‘very optimistic’ about Waterloo Region

Commercial real estate analyst ‘very optimistic’ about Waterloo Region

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Here are three words that describe the state of Waterloo Region’s commercial real estate sector: Up, up and up.

Not only are new buildings rising from the ground across the region, but so is demand for commercial space.

In turn, those developments are leading to increases in things like construction costs and rental prices.

It’s a message that was heard loud and clear Tuesday morning by attendees at an event hosted by CBRE and looking at the state of commercial activity in the region.

That state, according to CBRE regional vice-president Peter Whatmore, is one that gives reason for optimism.

“We’re very optimistic about where we’re headed in this marketplace,” he said in an interview.

“The Kitchener market is really one of technology, talent … and opportunity.”

Whatmore sees the new light rail transit line as a key factor driving the increased activity in commercial real estate. He says he expects to see residential and commercial development continue at a fast pace along the LRT line, particularly in downtown Kitchener.

“I think Kitchener’s downtown is really ripe for growth,” he said.

Perimeter Developments has the same outlook for the region, which is why it moved its head office from Toronto to Kitchener earlier this decade.

Craig Beattie, a partner in the development firm, says the company saw “a lot of interesting things happening” in the region and reasoned that it wouldn’t be long until other Toronto developers started paying it the same sort of attention.

“There’s no other community seeing this type of major infrastructure investment like we’re seeing here,” he said in an interview.