Q4 2021
Commercial Real Estate and Community News from Waterloo Region
Whitney & Company commercial real estate

Welcome to our Q4 edition of WHITNEY Insite. As we close out 2021, who would have thought the average price of a detached home in K-W would be $1,021,353! If that is startling, what about what’s happening to the cost of industrial land? Three years ago, an acre was worth $350,000. Today, that has increased to $1M per acre in the Region.

 

Suffice it to say, the real estate market continues at its crazy pace. We love to share our insights into the market, so you have a glimpse of what is really going on in your community. 

 

We wish you all the best in the New Year, and hope 2022 may be a return to normal!

John Whitney, SIOR

Broker of record, ceo

Condo Crazy in Waterloo Region

Source – The Record, Cambridge Today

When land is in short supply, as it is in Waterloo Region, building condos that tower up into the sky becomes the thing to do.

 

If you read the local news on a daily basis, or just drive around the area, you become aware of just how many developments are in progress or in the process of planning and approvals. These are just some of the developments in the area that have been announced over the past few months:

 

Erb/Peppler/Dupont area in Waterloo (former LCBO building), Developer – Paramount, More>

Schwaben Club property in Kitchener, Developer – Vive, More>

Belmont/Glasgow in Kitchener (former Dettmer Tirecraft), Developer – Zehr Group, More>

Weber/Franklin in Kitchener (Crosby Volkswagen), Developer – Zehr Group, More>

Water St in Galt (beside the Mill restaurant), Developer – Pearle Hospitality, More>

King St/Ottawa in Kitchener, Developer – Vive, More>

_130_water_st_n_cambridge_mill_hotel_condominium_river_rendering

Rendering of 2 towers at 130 Water St N in Galt beside the Cambridge Mill restaurant.

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Laurel Greenway Master Plan

Source – CBC

The City of Waterloo will be developing a master plan for the Laurel Greenway, following public consultation over the past year. 

 

The plan will dictate how the city develops the city’s park space and trail system over the next 15 years. 

“This is looking at all the different sites and locations along the greenway and coming up with this conceptual vision for the project,” said Emily Brown, a public realm specialist with the city’s development engineering department.

 

The city conducted public consultation earlier in the year, hearing various visions from residents about what the greenway should look like. The city just finished its second round of public consultation. Ideas include a play structure for children, and public art. It also included physical changes like separate lanes for bikers and pedestrians along the trail, and wider pathways.

 

“We are taking all those great ideas and making them a little more site-based,” said Brown. “The study will help us decide which projects to do… The whole idea is that we are doing the background and the study so that we can make a difference so we can implement them.”

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deloitte-fast-50-2021

Deloitte Fast 50 List

Source – www.deloitte.com

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 is a program that ranks 50 fast growing technology companies, public or private, based on percentage revenue growth over three years and includes all related industry sectors – communications, media, software, hardware, life sciences and healthcare, and clean energy.

This year, there are 5 Waterloo Region companies that have made the list and 1 on the Companies-to-Watch list.

Fast 50
7. ApplyBoard
36. Auvik Networks
39. Rapid Novor Inc.
41. Bonfire
45. Roadmunk

Companies-to-Watch
Skywatch

Things to Do in Waterloo Region

City Building for the Human Spirit

Source – The Record

A new book on city building says the human spirit is just as important as roads, sewers and water mains.

 

“We need to wake up and realize that the social nature and fabric of our cities are under attack by at least two developments: the decline of progressive capitalism and the anti-social effects of social media and digital technology,” according to the “The Joy Experiments.” It is written by Scott Higgins, the head of HIP Developments, and Paul Kalbfleisch, an arts consultant who helps developers design interesting public spaces with world-class art for their new buildings.

 

Kalbfleisch does this for a living, but developers are not known for writing books that call for more private-sector spending to create indoor and outdoor places so uniquely engaging they become part of a city’s brand. Kalbfleisch calls it “city building for the human spirit.”

 

For years, Higgins has talked about injecting creative uses into condo buildings. Instead of common areas or gyms that sit empty most of the time, he would rather provide space to artists of all kinds for free — an immediate injection of vitality that is good for the building and the neighbourhood.

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transit-hub

Duke St to be partially closed for Transit Hub

Source – The Record

Regional council has taken steps that will lead to the permanent closure of a part of Duke Street near the future King Victoria Transit Hub.

 

The transit hub will be a central location to catch the LRT, Grand River Transit, intercity buses, GO and Via trains.

Metrolinx is moving ahead with its plans to move the GO train platform from the current train station at Weber Street to the new transit hub, as part of a larger project to implement two-way, all-day GO service between Kitchener and Toronto.

 

But GO trains, which are typically 12 cars long, need a platform 315 metres long. The only way to accommodate a platform that long is to have it extend across Duke Street, necessitating the closure of Duke Street. Extending the platform the other way, across King Street, would require the relocation of a spur line and the expropriation of several properties.

 

Regional council has voted for a short section of Duke Street, between the CN Rail tracks and Victoria Street, to be transferred from the City of Kitchener to the Region, with the aim of eventually closing that section.

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Have Your Say - Charles Street Terminal

Source – engagewr.ca

Located at 15 Charles St West, the Charles Street Terminal is an important spot in downtown Kitchener, set for redevelopment through the Region of Waterloo.

 

Based on the strategic plans of the Region of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener, four initial areas of consideration have been created to help guide the site redevelopment process including affordable housing options, climate action, equity, diversity and inclusion, and a thriving economy.

 

Public engagement has started with a survey on Engage WR so if you’re interested in the future of this space, have your say and click the button below.

charles-terminal-kitchener

Waterloo Region Tech Update

Source – Waterloo EDC & Waterloo Tech Highlights

Whitney & Company commercial real estate

In its latest funding round, Faire secured $400 million, bringing the company’s total valuation to $12.4 billion. The round brings the local online retail innovator’s total raise over the last 13 months to $830 million. The new capital will help Faire expand its team with new hires, grow its unique supply of global brands and introduce itself into new markets around the world. 

uvaro-logo

This month, Waterloo-based Uvaro – an online sales academy – closed $12 million in Series A funding. With their first-of-its-kind training program, Uvaro is poised to tackle the biggest challenge currently facing the tech sector: access to well-trained, work-ready talent.

perimeter-logo

Perimeter Institute, the world’s largest independent theoretical physics research hub, will receive $24 million in funding from the provincial government to further its exploration of foundational theoretical physics. The funding will make a big impact in our quantum ecosystem – known as ‘Quantum Valley’ – and further cement our place as a world leader in quantum technologies.

bridgit-logo

Local software startup Bridgit announced that it has raised CAD$24 million in Series B funding. Bridgit helps construction companies maximize profits and productivity and their workforce planning tool is being rapidly adopted by North American builders. This Series B financing will allow Bridgit to fuel product development and continue to bring innovation solutions to the forefront of the construction industry.

trusscore-logo

Trusscore, a material science startup that makes sustainable alternatives for traditional building products, announced a $26 million CAD Series A funding raise. The startup is the first company to receive funding from Round13 Capital’s new Earth Tech Fund that backs companies with matching environmental and commercial mandates.

HockeyTech Logo

FloSports, a leader in sports streaming and original content, has announced the acquisition of HockeyTech, a live and on-demand hockey streaming platform and sports data provider to teams, leagues and national organizations. The acquisition of HockeyTech includes all of the company’s assets including its entire media rights portfolio, live and on-demand streaming platform HockeyTV, and enterprise solutions such as LeagueStat. HockeyTech will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of FloSports.

D2L_logo

D2L filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. While initially hoping to raise $200M they have reduced both the number of shares offered and share price and expect to raise about $150M with about $90M going to their balance sheet and giving them a valuation over $900M. John Baker will still control over 50% of the shares even after the offering, a remarkable achievement. They report US$144M ARR and US$138M of 12 month revenue at July 31, 2021.

Sortable-Logo

Waterloo Region adtech company Sortable has been acquired by a U.S. competitor looking to scale in the digital ad-management space.

Arizona-based Freestar says that Sortable’s technology adds to the company’s existing suite of tools and products, which help content publishers, e-commerce sites and apps increase their revenue through the automated buying and selling of online advertising. Sortable’s 40 employees in Waterloo Region have all been offered employment with Freestar.

Ground Breaking for Homer Watson Business Park

One of the largest dormant industrial sites in Waterloo Region is slowly coming back to life.

 

Officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Homer Watson Business Park, part of a revival of the former Budd Automotive property at Homer Watson Boulevard and Bleams Road.

 

“We’re really excited to get this project going,” said Craig Beattie, chief executive officer of Perimeter Development Corporation, which announced in the spring that it had acquired roughly half of the 32-hectare site in a joint venture with Toronto-based Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd.

 

“This site has quite a storied history.” Originally purchased for $300,000 from the city of Kitchener by the Budd Company of Philadelphia in 1965, the property housed an auto parts factory for decades that bore different names, including Budd Canada, ThyssenKrupp Budd Canada and Kitchener Frame. Production ceased in 2008.

 

The Homer Watson Business Park will bring three new buildings to the site, totalling more than 700,000 square feet of best-in-class, LEED-certified industrial space.

budd-automotive-revitalization
UNZIPPED

Rolling Stones Unzipped at THEMUSEUM

Source – www.unzippedkw.ca

UNZIPPED is the first international exhibition devoted to the world-famous rock band, The Rolling Stones.

 

Following stints in Europe, the United States, and Asia, the show makes its debut in Canada, premiering in Kitchener, Ontario. UNZIPPED will open at THEMUSEUM for a limited run in November 2021. 

 

Celebrating The Stones’ artistic collaborations in music, art and design, fashion and film, UNZIPPED features original works on display from an array of artists as diverse as Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Dior, and Martin Scorsese, to name a few.

 

The show boasts more than 300 original objects from the Stones’ personal collection. Along with instruments and stage designs, this exhibition includes rare audio fragments, video footage, personal diaries, iconic costumes, posters, and album covers.

New Business Updates

Elixir Bistro

Elixir Bistro has opened at 693 Belmont Ave W in Kitchener, at the former Wilhelm’s location.

The Grazing Table

The Grazing Table has opened at 341 King St E in Kitchener.

The Duke of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington has relocated to 100 King St S in Uptown Waterloo.

The Bingsu

The Bingsu Korean dessert cafe is now open at 80 King St S in Waterloo.

White Rabbit Hop House

White Rabbit Hop House has opened at 49 King St N in Uptown Waterloo.

The Civil

The Civil will be opening in early 2022 at the Tannery in Kitchener.