Last week, I was one of the four students that got the opportunity to attend the first annual commercial tenant real estate forum. This informative session featured speakers from the Calgary Chamber, Orange Group Commercial Real Estate, and McLeod Law who provided valuable advice to new and existing business owners on the best ways to navigate today’s tough markets.
The event was held at the historic St. Louis Hotel in the East Village, a section of downtown that has been redeveloped and completely transformed in recent years. Our morning began with breakfast and an introduction by Adam Legge, the President and CEO of Calgary Chamber of Commerce. The food was amazing, but the conversation was even better. In his talk, Mr. Legge addressed the current state of our economy, highlighting the highly unsustainable and troublesome practices of overbuilding, over-hiring and overspending in the past that have left businesses feeling vulnerable during times of economic downturn. However, Legge’s message was clear; even in a tough economic environment, businesses can still be successful and Calgary’s Real estate community is there to help.
The remaining talks provided valuable insight on landlord/tenant relationships, negotiation strategies for efficient lease renewals, ways to increase profitability through real estate, and the change in direction of Downtown’s growth. I particularly enjoyed hearing about potential space conversion opportunities in downtown such as transforming vacant class B and C spaces into senior and post secondary housing to increase density.
Overall, I feel very grateful to have been able to represent Vivacity alongside my peers at this amazing event. Not only was the the commercial tenant real estate forum a worthwhile learning experience, it was also incredibly inspiring to witness the spirit of collaboration the willingness to help that exists within our city.
Maria Alejandra Granados, University of Calgary Student