Burnaby office vacancy rates among lowest: study

Residential and commercial developments are attracted to areas serviced by SkyTrain. - NEWSLEADER FILE
Residential and commercial developments are attracted to areas serviced by SkyTrain.
— image credit: NEWSLEADER FILE

Burnaby’s commercial vacancy rates are the lowest among municipalities in Metro Vancouver after the City of Vancouver, according to a study from a global real estate management firm.

The October 2011 report from Jones Lang LaSalle Real Estate Services noted east access to SkyTrain stations correlated directly with higher rates of commercial building leases.

Direct vacancy rates in Burnaby—those that do not include vacancies in subleased properties—dropped from 10.1 per cent in 2010 to 7.3 per cent in 2011.

Buildings more than .5 kilometres from the city’s SkyTrain stations had vacancy rates of 7.6 per cent in 2011.
Cities like Surrey, Richmond and New Westminster experienced vacancy rates of 25 per cent, 18.8 per cent and 27.6 per cent, respectively, in office space located more than .five kilometres from rapid transit access.

The study notes offices located within walking distance of Sperling and Patterson stations are fully occupied, while buildings near Gilmore and Metrotown stations are only 3.3 per cent vacant.

Kazawest CEO Amyn Somani said his property management company has a large number of clients who need space near transit hubs due to the lack of parking at other locations.

“We do get a lot of demand close to SkyTrain stations for certain types of developments like offices, (and) businesses involved in education or training,” Somani said. “It would be safe to say we’ve had really high demand, including waiting lists, for some buildings that are close to SkyTrain.”

For the past two years, he said Kazawest has been kept busy helping companies move to Burnaby.

“There’s definitely a trend of relocating away from the central part of the City of Vancouver and into areas like the business parks around Burnaby, Metrotown and that is definitely helping in keeping vacancy rates low.”

Burnaby realtor Rob MacPhearson said that the high density developments surrounding SkyTrain stations make for “a very desirable location.”

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