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Alberta & Prairies  + Retail  | 
About one-third of downtown Edmonton retail space is sitting vacant, says a new University of Alberta report.

Third of Downtown Edmonton Retail Space Sits Vacant: U of A

About one-third of downtown Edmonton retail space is sitting vacant, says a new University of Alberta report.

U of A researchers counted the space manually by walking along the city’s core streets in May. Heather Thomson, executive-director of the U of A’s Centre for Cities and Communities, attributed the high vacancy to the downtown’s large size.

“The number is one-third, but there’s also a lot of things taking place to cause that,” Thomson told the Edmonton Journal. “We just have a lot of space to deal with, and I think the encouraging thing is there is a lot of focus on this, lots of investment is going into this, and we are starting to see the upswing.”

More downtown residents would solve the problem, said Thomson, but multi-residential development would take years to complete.

She called on all levels of government, businesses and other organizations to make some changes in the meantime. First steps would include beautification, right-sizing and right-spacing of existing spaces, Thomson contended.


Inside The Story

Heather ThomsonUniversity of Alberta School of Retailing

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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