It could be up to two years before downtown Kitchener sees the revitalization it wants.
Kitchener, ON, June 2, 2015 — "There's an old adage in our business; it goes rooftops before retail," says Karl Innanen, Managing Director, Colliers International Waterloo Region. "When more residents are living and working in the downtown core, then retail can be supported. We're a little early on that."
There are several large condominium projects like One Victoria and the City Centre currently under construction, as well as Google's office space at the redeveloped Breithaupt Block. But it will still take up to 18 months for retail businesses to reap the benefits of the increased residency and steady business hour activity from area employees. In the meantime, without the people populating the core, some businesses are struggling to keep their doors open.
Rental rates are admittedly on the rise, and while several retail shops have closed with more set to follow suit, it's not all doom and gloom in the downtown core. There are a number of success stories, from the development off King Street onto Ontario or Duke Street, to the development of the new premium business space at the Walper Hotel or 305 King Street West. Location is key, and with several incentive programs and local events attracting foot traffic, there is a promise of exciting activity ahead.
Read full story: CBC News