Halifax's downtown isn't dying despite rising vacancy rate, city says


The urban district’s top planning official says Halifax’s downtown is not in decline even but there’s been a steep increase in the office vacancy rate.

“I don’t about that we’re in a position where the downtown is going to be heading into a expensive decline,” said Robert Bjerke, director of planning for the Halifax sector.

“We have a very healthy office market downtown, although there is a job opening rate this is rt of a fairly typical trend. You tend to see help renewals happening in a 20, 30-year stretch in markets like Halifax.”

A up to date study by real estate consulting firm Turner Drake and Accomplices Ltd. found 26.3 per cent of Class A office s ce in the downtown is now unspoken for.

Class A is high-end office s ce, often found at well-maintained or newer erections in the most expensive and desirable rts of a city.

Munici lity says downtown is wholesome

The president of Turner Drake and rtners Ltd., Mike Turner, said ultimate week that far too much office s ce is vacant and the rate layouts the success, or failure, of a city as a commercial centre.

Bjerke disagrees. He said the commercial sector downtown is doing beyond the shadow of a doubt.

“It would be pretty hard to argue that we don’t have office use downtown and we don’t should prefer to emerging office use downtown,” Bjerke told CBC Radio’s Gen Morning.

“I mean we have 300,000 square feet of office use that’s universal to be coming online very shortly.”

Turner argues the munici lity quiet allows too many office development in business and industrial rks. He rephrased that’s causing the commercial sector to bleed away from downtown.

See in conflict of interest?

He said the city is in conflict of interest because it owns arrive in industrial rks and also runs the planning authority that arbitrates how it will be used.

Bjerke said he doesn’t believe that’s the instance, noting the city’s planning de rtment is se rate from its real property operation and “we don’t directly compete with the private market.”

The Halifax Regional Borough is now taking a closer look at how different retail, industrial and commercial bustles are distributed across the community. Bjerke said ultimately the munici lity wants to draw more commercial office users downtown.

“Downtown is our hub, that is where we’re universal to be encouraging the majority of those kinds of developments to happen.”

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