June 1, 2014 2:18 pm
Updated: June 1, 2014 2:19 pm

Saskatoon Riversdale rental space getting more competitive


Watch the video above: Riversdale the new Broadway in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – A decade ago, the Riversdale Business Improvement District (RBID) couldn’t pay people to set up shop in the Saskatoon neighbourhood.

Now, there’s hardly any room for sale.

Riversdale has been enticing more and more young entrepreneurs to set up shop over the past few years.

From newly-renovated restaurants to growing office space, the neighbourhood has become very popular for renters.

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“It has been a relatively lower-cost centre to launch a business, so it makes good economic sense for startups to look at that as a venue,” said Kent Smith-Windsor, with the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

“If we look at just the first few blocks of 20th Street between Idylwyld and Avenue C, we’ve had over 28,000 square feet leased or under renovation now since last fall,” said Randy Pshebylo, RBID executive director.

Meanwhile, Saskatoon’s downtown core is expected to reach its highest office vacancy rate in more than a decade, according to a recent report by Colliers International.

From lower parking costs to bike lockup spaces, RBID has tried to accommodate people with a range of different incomes and that has helped entice renters.

“We looked at how we could make that experience more pleasurable and affordable for those who want to come – a number of parking stalls, a number of bike lanes, availability for scooters, disabled parking,” said Pshebylo.

Pshebylo said Idylwyld Drive has always divided the downtown core from Riversdale.

He hopes that tourists staying at downtown hotels will feel more comfortable crossing over now that more shops are popping up.

Pshebylo said both areas can benefit from each others’ strengths.

Riversdale was an incorporated village before it became part of Saskatoon in 1906.

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