Market Update Summary – Q4

Market Update Summary – Q4


Thanks for checking out our quarterly market update summary. This report includes team news and insights on the Meadowvale and Airport Corporate Centre office space for Q4 2019.

Find out what is new to the market, under construction, which tenants are on the move and what’s new with our team by signing up for our quarterly newsletter!


Team News


Join us in welcoming a new member to the Chris and Adam team!

Katelyn joined us in January as our Client Experience Specialist. Her focus has been on creating and maintaining our social media, websites and marketing collateral. This will help us provide our clients with a quick turn-around on professionally designed marketing materials.

Her first task, collaborate with the team to provide quarterly market updates for the GTA West office market. We have taken the time to reflect on the market and compile our expert knowledge and predictions to help landlords stay in the know.

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Meadowvale has seen a surge in activity throughout Q4 2019 and we expect it to continue through Q1 2020. We saw Innovapost absorb 20,000 SF at 2727 Meadowpine and MDA are rumored to be close to finalizing a deal for 140,000 SF design-build in Meadowvale. Class A vacancy is sitting at 10.7% as of Q4 2019, but it’s our teams prediction that by the end of Q1 2020, the vacancy rate could drop below 9% and by the end of the year be sitting at around 7%, if not lower.

 Taking an in-depth analysis of the statistics suggests that when removing two large blocks of office space (2300 Meadowvale and 2455 Meadowpine), the vacancy rates would drop significantly and Meadowvale would truly be a Landlord market. Is it time to increase Net Rents maybe?

Airport City Centre


The Airport Corporate Centre office leasing market has seen a surge in activity in 2019 with several large contiguous blocks and large subleases being absorbed. Baylis Medical has purchased 5825 Explorer absorbing 100k of sublease space being marketed, Maersk, Medline, and Metro each absorbed 20k+ blocks of available space within 5150 Spectrum Way.

Our prediction is the ACC’s Net Rents will continue to rise towards $20.00 for Class A office product but the vacancy will remain stable until 2021, especially with the introduction of two new buildings to the market; 5050 Satelitte Drive (130k SF), and 2095 Matheson Blvd. (60k SF). Further there has been a wave of activity
in the disposition of office buildings in the ACC. Four (4) buildings were purchased in Q4 2019. Indications  suggest similar levels of activity to come in 2020.

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Common Tenant Mistakes

Common Tenant Mistakes

Avoid these Common Tenant Mistakes to  make your lease work harder for you.

Office space is more than a box where you do business.  An office lease is often the second-greatest expenditure for a business after payroll.  Make sure your office lease is more than a cost centre but a competitive advantage by avoiding these common tenant mistakes:

1. Procrastination

The #1 most common mistake is starting the lease renewal or relocation process too late.  Don’t put off searching for new office space until the last minute.

For tenants with space under 10,000 square feet, Industry wisdom says that tenants should start searching a minimum of 6-12 months ahead of time. It could take at least that long to search for the right property, perform due diligence and draft and negotiate the lease. If the space needs remodeling or construction to fit your business needs, it can stretch to 12 months or more.

For office space needs over 10,000 square feet, businesses should be looking 12-18 months ahead of the lease expiring. Office space options could be paltry with a short searching window, and waiting too long could result in settling for the best that is available, rather than finding the best possible fit.

Even for tenants that are aware of how long the process takes, it can still be a challenge to make something a priority that is so far in the distance compared to the fires that need to be put out on a daily basis.

2. Not assessing long-term priorities.

Look beyond the immediate needs of the business and factor in long-term needs such as obtaining lease terms that allow the company to expand, downsize or relocate as circumstances dictate.  Review your lease for these terms to ensure the future of your business.

  •  Expansion Rights
  • Cancellation Rights (Termination Right)
  • Extension Rights
  • Sublet Rights

This is also a great time to define the company image, the budget, type of workspace (private offices v. open-concept) and the amount of space required.  An architect will develop a space plan that considers layout, growth forecasts, and floor load capacity.  Don’t be stuck with expensive empty space or unhappy over-crowded employees.  Take the time now to assess long-term company priorities.

3. Inadequate representation.

A landlord’s core business is commercial real estate; yours is making widgets.  Therefore it can be assumed that the landlord has the edge on crafting leases that benefit their bottom line.  Don’t show up without representation.  An experienced and specialized Tenant Representation Broker is invaluable for finding the right property, negotiating a fair lease, providing market data and ensuring an optimal office location is selected for you. Brokers not only save the tenant time and money, but create leverage and help you use it effectively to negotiate the best rates, terms and incentives.

Business owners will not be aware of all the office space location options without using a Tenant Representation Broker.   An experienced Broker Team like Chris and Adam have a database of every property on the market, an extensive network, and know of options which are not yet vacant or even on the market.

Best practice dictates that you keep your Tenant Representation Broker involved in expansions, contractions, renewals and extensions that occur so they can ensure informed decisions are made and no opportunities for optimization are lost.

4. Paying too much rent.

Do your homework.  Companies and/or Tenants that do not obtain accurate and current market research may pay too high a rental rate. Landlord flexibility changes constantly depending upon many factors including current occupancy rates in the building and competitors nearby, length of lease, tenant’s use, parking requirements, financial strength of tenant, etc.

Negotiations are especially important with lease renewals, since Landlords are most competitive when the space is placed on the open market.

5. Bottom line over location attributes.

The value of office space to a business is more than its rate per rentable square foot. As with all real estate it comes down to location, location, location.  Location of clients, location of resources and location of employees.

A budget is always important, and you should never enter into a lease that’s unaffordable.  However, an office building reflects the company image and stands to impress clients and help recruit and retain employees.  Location is paramount–it can be the property’s biggest plus or biggest minus. Location effects employees commutes and talent acquisitions. Amenities should be considered as well, since happy employees are productive employees and never underestimate the power of natural light on worker productivity.

Finally, be proactive and plan ahead, be clear about objectives, do your research, pay attention to the details and get a team of experts on your side.  Once it’s over you can go back to business as usual confident in a good lease and great office space.

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Connectivity Critical Factor in Office Space

Connectivity Critical Factor in Office Space

Why Connectivity Should Be a Critical Factor in Choosing Office Space

Fibre, DAS & Wifi 6 are Must-Haves

The workplace has gone through a lot of changes over the last ten years due to emerging technologies.  Not too long ago, the office was a place for employees working a traditional 9-5.  Desks had landlines, fax machines and large desktop computers with dial-up internet connections.

Today, connectivity is synonymous with productivity, in offices.  In a WiredScore survey of Greater Toronto office workers 95% said internet outages or poor connectivity negatively impacts their companies and themselves, while 22% say they experience connectivity issues weekly.

Many companies sign long-term leases and therefore businesses must always take into account their future needs.  The benefits of fibre optic internet, DAS and Wifi 6 for commercial real estate occupiers is vital to future success and employee retention.   

Importance of Fibre Optic

Internet connectivity is the foundation of numerous day-to-day applications such as video conferencing, cloud computing and big data analytics. As more businesses move towards using these applications, their bandwidth requirements intensify, underscoring the importance of internet connectivity for workplace productivity.

Companies that use cloud computing need reliable transfer of data over the internet, to store and access their information from data centres. The “cloud” is an extension of the office facility, and therefore, high-quality internet connectivity should be a paramount consideration.

Fibre optic internet is the most efficient telecommunication infrastructure available today. Fibre optic internet provides faster upload and download speeds, along with superior connectivity when compared to traditional fixed-line copper broadband.

We’ve compiled a list of questions Tenants should ask when looking for Fibre connected office space. Click here to download the Fibre Optic Checklist for Tenants.


Can’t get a decent cell signal in your office?  It’s a very real problem. Spotty mobile coverage is a large source of frustration that can impact workers’ productivity — it can even make or break their decision to stay with a company.  Cell phones are second only to email as the preferred method of office communication. 

Newer buildings use Low-E glass to keep out heat and reflect sunlight.  But this glass prevents radio frequency waves from penetrating too.  The same radio frequency waves smart phones require to work well. 

Businesses need to ensure reliable in-building cell phone connectivity to support the growing numbers of employees who use mobile devices to do business –- and who expect always-on, reliable indoor signals. 

New office space being considered needs a strong cell signal.  Ask if the building has been wired with a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).  It’s a system consisting of amplifiers and antennas distributed throughout the building using fibre and ensures a strong cell signal for employees.

Wi-Fi 6

There is a new Wi-Fi standard being rolled out in 2019, Wi-Fi 6.  It’s a major advance over previous standards, and can make your network more productive.  

It is faster, which translates into additional bandwidth for each user.  It’s bandwidth that will be important for future video conferencing needs, fewer laptops and more reliance on mobile devices.

Wi-Fi 6 will support more connections, transmit data faster and save battery life of devices.   An open floor plan and scores of devices trying to connect to a single access point clogs the current network.   Wi-Fi 6 fixes many of these limitations and should be a consideration when looking for new office space. 


With the decline in traditional, locally-hosted IT systems and the growing adoption of internet services like cloud storage and software as a service (SaaS), buildings without fibre are not a viable option for many companies anymore. 

The explosion of cellular connectivity has made smartphones and tablets indispensable in our personal and professional lives.  Ensuring constant connectivity through cell service and Wi-Fi is paramount to employee retention today.

Telecommunication infrastructure has become a major competitive advantage and an essential workplace amenity.  By using a commercial real estate broker that specializes in your market, they can secure office space that is right for your future technological requirements.

Is your office space ready for the future?


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