If you want to open up a retail operation in a prime location in Saskatoon, good luck.
Virtually all of the most popular spots in town are occupied, and without significant new construction or a high-profile bankruptcy, it’s going to be difficult to make your mark.
According to a new report from Saskatchewan Edge, 8th Street continues to be one of the busiest retail corridors in town with a vacancy rate at 3.6 per cent. There is less than 37,000 square feet of vacancy on the city’s “golden mile” and rates are staying steady about $29.89 per square foot.
“In a landlord’s universe all they can hope for is that their commercial real estate is ideally situated for the long haul,” Kelly Macsymic, sales associate at ICR Commercial Real Estate, wrote in a blog post for saskedge.ca.
Downtown isn’t always the answer because City of Saskatoon bylaws promote retail activity on main floor access, with just a few exceptions including Midtown Plaza.
Vacancy in the central business district is 4.3 per cent and rates are $23.69 per square foot.
So, what’s a would-be tenant to do? One option is to look at less-traditional areas of town, including the Idylwyld Drive retail zone and the 33rd Street retail corridor, Macsymic suggests.
A second is to consider 51st Street and Circle Drive, which are becoming increasingly popular.
The tightest market at the end of the second quarter was Broadway, where vacancy was just 1.1 per cent and asking rates averaged $22 per square foot.