Office vacancy rates east of the Rideau River could drop as the completion date of Ottawa’s Confederation LRT Line draws closer, according to a local commercial real estate services firm.
The Ottawa East submarket contains slightly less than 10 per cent of the city’s supply of office space and has historically posted some of the area’s highest vacancy rates.
In a report released Monday, the Ottawa office of Colliers International said the area had a challenging third quarter as the vacancy rate rose from 13.6 per cent at mid-year to 15.2 per cent at the end of September.
“The region continues to struggle in attracting new tenants to the area, especially with competitive rents downtown,” Colliers said.
However, the real estate firm said that may change in the coming months as tenants consider how the completion of the Confederation Line, which will run as far east as Blair Station at the Gloucester Centre, will improve transit services.
The area is already due for a major facelift as RioCan proposes several high-rises, including a 30-storey residential tower. Across the street, large-format retailer Costco is planning to move its Gloucester location to Shoppers City East.
The citywide office vacancy rate continues to creep upwards and ended the third quarter at 12.7 per cent, Colliers reported. That’s up from 12.4 per cent at mid-year and 11.9 per cent a year earlier.