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Lethbridge commercial real estate market bump expected in 2023: Report

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Lethbridge commercial real estate market bump expected in 2023: report
A new report from Avison Young expects economic uncertainty will leave Lethbridge’s commercial real estate market in a holding pattern to start the year. But as Erik Bay tells us, the agency believes demand in our city will grow by summer. – Jan 16, 2023

The makeup of Lethbridge’s downtown business community is constantly shifting.

“We see businesses go, but we also see a lot of new businesses come in,” said Sarah Amies, executive director of the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ.)

“Folks relocate from other areas and come in to the downtown because they enjoy the vibe down here.”

There could soon be some new movement across the city.

An Avison Young report shows the local commercial real estate market is in a “holding pattern,” but that’s expected to change.

With new developments ongoing or close to completion, Avison Young’s managing director of its Lethbridge office, Doug Mereska, is optimistic.

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“A lot of interest, especially from local investors and users, they’re all excited to grow,” Mereska said.

“Sometime I think we get held back by the global economy of even the Canadian-wide economy, but locally right now we’re pretty excited about what’s happening.”

“For me the big opportunity is in that warehouse and industrial market,” said Economic Development Lethbridge CEO Trevor Lewington.

Lewington also sees potential in the commercial real estate market, but says a shortage of industrial space persists.

“We’ve turned away a number of investments that are looking for that 30-40,000-square-foot warehousing kind-of investment. There’s just nothing in the city that would provide that,” Lewington said.

Business advocates say concerns surrounding the economic climate also remain top of mind.

“The cost of living, the economy and also labour shortages, so that would prevent people from working to their absolute optimum,” Amies said.

Still, Mereska is remaining positive.

He believes the city’s diverse economy, with its focus on agriculture, will help weather any potential slowdown.

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“We anticipated the first half of the year to be in the holding pattern, but I think it might be a little quicker than the last half of the year,” Mereska said.

“I think when the construction season starts in April or May, we’re going to start to see some things take off.”

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