REGINA – Gerry Macdonald has been a comic collector nearly his entire adult life and the owner of Phoenix Records and Books, now located on Broad Street since 1996. But after 17 years, he’s retiring. The former teacher wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.
“It’s been excellent and it’s been mostly enjoyable. Many of my customers I’ve had for a long period of time,” said Macdonald.
Even with his loyal clientele, business isn’t good enough to sell; instead, he’s liquidating.
“Like everything else in Regina, we’ve seen a spectacular increase in rents over the last four or five years,” he explained.
Macdonald expects rent to increase to as much as $4000 a month this year, making it difficult for a new owner to survive. Earlier this year, a sandwich shop, the Deli Llama closed due to increased competition and higher rents in the downtown.
“Of course it’s all about supply and demand and all of a sudden we don’t have a lot of supply and it increases the price,” explained John Hopkins with the Regina Chamber of Commerce.
Higher rents come paired with another problem: an overall lack of available rental properties. However, both Hopkins and Mayor Fougere are optimistic market forces will serve as the solution.
“As a market response to the demand, as it can do and should do, those rates will equalize,” said Fougere.
However, probably not soon enough, to see Phoenix rise from the ashes.