The commercial real estate market is heating up in Guelph, as investors expand the geographic area in which they are looking for new opportunities.
That has happened as land and development opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area get harder to find and much more expensive, says Ted Davis, managing director for southwestern Ontario and Toronto West at commercial real estate and consulting firm Avison Young.
The first phase of the Hanlon Business Park has sold out, while offerings in the second and third phases are attracting widespread attention, says Davis.
“Ontario investors recognize the infrastructure, such as highway and rail connections, access to the border, and the post-secondary institutions that are nearby. Guelph was once a tertiary market but now it’s a very viable option. It’s been pulled into the GTA market in a real way and we are seeing rapid movement in the market right now.”
The city offers a strong inventory of land and buildings, including everything from new lots of all sizes in the south end to opportunities for redevelopment of historic buildings in the downtown.
For tech start-ups, Guelph’s location on the innovation corridor that stretches from Kitchener-Waterloo to Toronto is a key benefit. The office and professional services markets are also expanding in the city.
All-day, two-way GO Transit service to Guelph will be a further catalyst to investment, says Chris Valeriote, vice president and sales representative for southwestern Ontario at Avison Young.
As a Guelph native now raising his family there, Valeriote says the city is building on its already strong foundational pieces – thriving manufacturing and agri-food sectors, an enviable quality of life and civic pride, and the power of the University of Guelph.
“Guelph is leveraging those pieces as migration investment has been ramping up. Bringing in more jobs, investments and businesses to Guelph, only makes a great city that much greater.”
Davis says the privately owned Avison Young’s services include site selection, brokerage, project management, and facilities management.
“We don’t take a siloed approach; our offerings are truly holistic in that we can essentially become a real estate department for our clients – like a one-stop shop.”