BlackBerry building takeovers

Waterloo Region has record-breaking 2014 in investment sales

Waterloo Region is an attractive place to invest

Although BlackBerry’s downsizing and real estate sell-offs have given suburban Waterloo the highest office vacancy rate in the region at 22 per cent, record-breaking investment sales in 2014 and strong market fundamentals are providing grounds for optimism. 

BlackBerry sold much of its real estate to San Francisco-based real estate investment company Spear Street Capital last year for $305 million, but has leased some of it back. Colliers International Waterloo Region is working with Spear Street to lease the remaining space.

A growing and highly educated population due to its two universities, an established ecosystem of tech businesses, easy access to major highways and cities already make Waterloo Region an attractive place to invest. The anticipated 2017 launch of the first phase of Waterloo Region's light rail transit (LRT) system is stimulating further interest.

“Real estate investors, developers and buyers are and have been influenced by the LRT since the money was committed about two years ago,” said Karl Innanen, managing director of Colliers Waterloo Region, which recently released a report on the area’s office and industrial properties.

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