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Downtown Ottawa Office Vacancy Hits Record High

The federal government will need to rejuvenate and modernize its Ottawa office portfolio as a majority of leases face expiry, says CBRE.

Most Ottawa office leases are due to expire within the next five years, said CBRE in a report. The commercial real estate services company also said the government must sell some Ottawa office properties so that they can be repurposed as affordable housing or redesigned commercial and community spaces.

Downtown Ottawa office vacancy rose to a record 15.1% in the second quarter of 2023 from 13.2% a year earlier, according to the CBRE report.

Large chunks of vacant space became available in the central business district as net absorption was negative-230,000 square feet during the second quarter. But class A rents are still holding firm despite a 150-basis-point quarterly increase in vacancy to 10.9% from 9.4%.


Inside The Story

Government of CanadaMonte Stewart

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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