A major downtown office space broker is seeing an uptick in interest from prospective tenants as companies plan return-to-office strategies.
"Q2 2021 marks the first quarter since the pandemic began where the optimism we've seen is starting to manifest itself into tangible signs," says Avison Young's Edmonton quarterly office market report.
"Office touring activity and general inquiries have increased; each day more cars and bikes can be found in downtown parkades; and overall, people are starting to slowly return to their office spaces."
A Downtown Business Association survey indicates that about 75% of employers do not plan to change their office footprint while a handful are looking to increase their office space. "I can breathe a little easier than I did eight months ago," DBA executive director Puneeta McBryan told the Edmonton Journal. "Most of that worst-case scenario we were bracing for didn't happen."
Downtown's office vacancy rate edged up 0.4% in the second quarter, but when a 1% fall in Q1 is factored in, Avison Young sees stability in the market that points to more leases being signed in 2022.