Q3 2021
Commercial Real Estate and Community News from Waterloo Region
Whitney & Company commercial real estate

As we enter the Fall season, there seems to be hope in the air in Waterloo Region. We have seen a significant increase in the number of people who are fully vaccinated, and now with the vaccine mandates for office and schools, we are hopeful we will not be hurt by a fourth wave!

The Commercial Real Estate Market continues to be strong. Who would have thought Industrial land would be priced at $1M/Acre! The Industrial vacancy rate of 1% has driven the pricing up to these levels.

The new “hybrid office” is about to roll out as people start the return to the office. It has many companies re-assessing their office space needs. Office tours are increasing and we are seeing more offers to lease from companies preparing to welcome back their staff.

The Residential Market continues to be strong with multiple offers and aggressive pricing being the norm.

We are optimistic that life as we remember it is slowly beginning to return. Enjoy this edition of WHITNEY INSITE that gives you a look at what’s happening in Waterloo Region.

John Whitney, SIOR

Broker of record, ceo

Kitchener is Having a Renaissance

Source – Real Estate News Exchange (RENX)

Kitchener has gone through an impressive transformation over the past 20 years, as a decaying core and declining manufacturing base gave way to over $2 billion in downtown residential and commercial construction and a rapidly growing technology sector.

 

Some of that progress was kickstarted by a $110-million Economic Development Investment Fund by the City of Kitchener in 2000 and the rallying of public and private partners. Further growth will be aided by a new $110-million investment fund and the Make It Kitchener 2.0 strategy.

 

“In less than 20 years, we went from a place nobody would invest in to selling out residential units in minutes, to massive investments in transportation infrastructure supporting an innovation corridor,” Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said during a recent webinar hosted by the Urban Land Institute’s Toronto chapter.

 

Vrbanovic was a councillor for 20 years before becoming Mayor of the City of about 250,000 residents in 2014. He’s witnessed construction of the Region of Waterloo’s light rail transit system, the 2008 opening of the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy in downtown Kitchener, the revitalization of an old tannery building into a tech hub, the redevelopment and repurposing of the former Kauffman footwear industrial building into residential units and more.

GloveBox kitchener

The GloveBox office development at 120 Victoria St. S, Kitchener

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New Tech Leadership in Waterloo

Source – Waterloo EDC

For 17 years, Communitech had Iain Klugman at the helm. For more than a decade, the President of the University of Waterloo was Feridun Hamdullahpur. For 7 years, Paul Salvini has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Accelerator Centre. Over the last few months, each of their storied tenures as chief executives of community-defining organizations in the Waterloo tech ecosystem have come to an end. A new era has begun with three new leaders. Here’s who they are:


Chris Albinson is the new Chief Executive Officer of Communitech.

He brings 30 years of experience working in tech, with a particular focus on strategy and venture investment, including a stint as the co-head of venture capital investments at J.P. Morgan. He has also founded three investment firms/funds and C100 – the non-profit member-driven organization that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. 

 

Jay Krishnan is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Accelerator Centre.

He brings wide experience in startups, multinational businesses, accelerators and venture capital. He has founded three companies, worked in product management/engineering roles at Cisco, Juniper and Cantata-Dialogic and served as the CEO of T-Hub – India’s top accelerator – for three years. Most recently, Krishnan was a General Partner at Mantra Capital, an early-stage US-domiciled VC firm.

 

Vivek Goel is the new President of the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Goel is a distinguished scholar with extensive achievements in research, teaching and leadership in the public and private sectors. In addition to being a globally-renowned public health researcher, he was the first President and CEO of Public Health Ontario and the Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses. 

communitech

Key Tech Talent Destinations

Source – Invest Ontario

With its surplus of skilled workers, award-winning post-secondary institutions and innovation hubs, and a government that supports future-forward organizations, Ontario, Canada has long been considered a leading destination for strategic business development and expansion. And results from the CBRE Group’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report once again underscore the competitive advantages offered to both employers and tech employees, particularly in three key Ontario markets—Toronto, Ottawa and the Waterloo Region.

 

Toronto earns first place in Canada and fourth overall. Ottawa rose four spots to 10th overall, and in its report debut, Waterloo Region was named the least expensive market in North America to do business.

Fall Fun Things To Do Around Waterloo Region

A Plan For the Kraus Carpet Property

Source – The Record

A new development proposal would turn the former Kraus Carpet property on Conestogo Road into a massive multi-use development with 15 buildings, including a 35-storey tower beside the Conestoga Parkway at Northfield Drive that would be the tallest in the city.

 

“This is a neighbourhood unto itself,” said Chris Pidgeon, a planning consultant speaking on behalf of the applicant, Northfield Properties, LP, at an informal public meeting on Monday, June 28, 2021.

It was the first glimpse of the proposal for the public.

 

The 10.7-hectare property is likely the single largest parcel of land along the Parkway, Pidgeon noted.

“It will have housing for all people … and just given the scale of the project, it will have all types of housing for singles and families,” he told councillors. “This is not a neighbourhood (just) for one and two-bedroom condominiums. It will be a project for the broader population.”

 

During the presentation, architect Andrew Bousfeld showed slides illustrating the draft plan of the subdivision, with “activated podium roofs” and pedestrian promenades, mixed-use recreation space along the hydro corridor, a pedestrian bridge over Conestoga Parkway and a multifaceted square connecting to the nearby trail system and Northfield LRT station.

The development is expected to be more than 90 per cent residential.

Kraus lands redevelopment
Isabella Residences

Isabella Residences Presentation Gallery Open Soon

Source – www.theisabella.ca

The Isabella will be located on Dorset Street, Waterloo in the historic district shared by the neighbourhoods of Albert, Princess, King, and Dupont Streets. The rooftop terraces will give views of the greenspaces and nature trails in Waterloo Park. French doors opening up to Juliet balconies will bring natural lighting and warm sunshine in the suites. The Isabella private residences on the quiet tree lined street of Dorset will enjoy all the amenities they need within a few blocks walk in the historic civic neighbourhood.

 

The presentation gallery will be open to guests and private viewing appointments in the Fall. Clientele can meet with Sales Representatives to review development plans, architecture, amenities and floor plans. Suites are designed with customizations and personal preferences. Architectural and interior designers will present features, finishes, options and selections designed for your lifestyle and your personal tastes.


Colleen Whitney and Ginger Whitney are Sales Representatives for The Isabella. Contact them today for more information.

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Waterloo Region Tech Update

Source – Waterloo EDC

Auvik logo

Auvik Networks, an award-winning Waterloo-based provider of cloud-based network maintenance software, announced a new $250 million investment. This new investment is expected to accelerate product development, business expansion and reach, as well as other strategic growth initiatives.

arcticwolf-logo

Arctic Wolf, which has been in Waterloo from day one, is a cybersecurity leader that has raised nearly $500 million over the last few years. The company is currently experiencing 100% growth in year-over-year annual recurring revenue and 438% year-over-year annual recurring revenue growth in large enterprise customers. 

miovision-logo

Miovision has announced it has made its first acquisition: Arizona-based Traffop. With this acquisition, Miovision now has a software-only solution for cities and towns that want to analyze traffic data from their intersections without the need to immediately install additional hardware.

Traffop is currently used at approximately 1400 intersections across the United States.

masterclass logo

MasterClass has announced plans to launch a Waterloo-based engineering hub that would “become a peer engineering headquarters” to their existing headquarters in San Francisco. The company is hiring developers across the full development stack, including web, mobile, native, back end and infrastructure.

UW-logo

FedDev Ontario has announced a $10 million investment in health innovation in Southwestern Ontario. With $6.5 million allocated to the Velocity incubator – the University of Waterloo’s flagship entrepreneurship program – Waterloo will play a pivotal role in the creation of a health innovation business pipeline. FedDev’s investment will foster a partnership between Velocity, Western University, the City of Kitchener and the Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), strengthening the Canadian tech ecosystem.

accelerator-logo

The Accelerator Centre and Medical Innovation Xchange will collaborate to create the new PLEXUS MedTech program. Their partnership will strengthen the network of support for local medtech companies and build valuable connections between the health innovation ecosystem, the healthcare system and valuable mentors in Waterloo.

epam-logo

EPAM Systems will be joining the Waterloo tech ecosystem. They have 41,000+ employees, operate in 35+ countries and had $2.7 billion in revenue in 2020. They work across just about every industry – automotive, manufacturing, software, retail, healthcare, insurance and more – offering innovative technological solutions to their customers’ toughest challenges. They work alongside some of the biggest brands including Microsoft, Google, SAP, Adobe and more.

textnow-logo

TextNow, the leading mobile app offering free cellular and WiFi-enabled phone service, is continuing its rapid scaling, reaching a $100 million annual revenue run rate milestone (all figures USD), driven by growing advertising revenue and a 300% increase in in-app purchases (IAP). Brands are increasingly utilizing the app to reach TextNow’s diverse audience and growing Gen Z customer base.

Mass Timber Comes to North Waterloo

WOODIN is an exciting new mass timber office building planned for the suburban Waterloo Office Market. This three-storey multi-tenant office development will meet modern commercial office standards while pushing the limits of wood construction.

Featuring high ceilings, open floor plates, and expansive glazing, this mass timber office building aims to deliver the aesthetic qualities desired by Class A office tenants using innovative wood products and systems. Laminated timber beams and columns and long span cross-laminated timber floors will work together to achieve optimal efficiency, flexibility, and beauty. This mass timber building will also incorporate a multi-storey living wall biofilter system that will clean the air naturally and bring nature indoors.

Interested in leasing space at WOODIN? Contact John Whitney or Ginger Whitney

Whitney & Company commercial real estate
R+T park nteractive map

R+T Park Interactive Map

Source – David Johnston Research+Technology Park website

The David Johnston Research+Technology Park has launched a new interactive map that shows the Park’s geography, highlights the companies and organizations that call it home – including OpenText and the Accelerator Centre – and helps identify development opportunities for companies looking to grow. 

 

We’ve already highlighted the R+T Park as an exciting opportunity for any company that wants to locate next to Canada’s top technology university, and now you can see it for yourself.

New Business Updates

Wineology

Wineology has opened at 87 King St W in Kitchener.

Gifted

Gifted has moved to 740 Belmont Ave W beside Arabella Park Beer Bar.

Kinton Ramen

Kinton Ramen will be opening soon at 31 King St N in Waterloo.

Rosel’s

Rosel’s Filipino restaurant has opened at 220 King St N Waterloo.

Goldie’s

Goldie’s is now open at 96 Queen St S, Kitchener.

Champa Kitchen

Champa Kitchen has opened at 21 King St N in Waterloo.

Hyerlove

Hyerlove will be opening at 1 King St N in Waterloo.

Living Fresh Flower & Plant Studio

Living Fresh Flower Studio has moved to St. Jacobs at 1382 King St N.

Trillium Counselling

Trillium Counselling is now open at 28 Erb St E in Waterloo.

Babylon Sisters

Babylon Sisters is now open at 23 King St N Waterloo.