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Can Ottawa’s central office market meet the need of its expanding public and private sector in 2019? This past year’s burgeoning downtown tech presence certainly has real estate experts interested.

Falling from 9.5% in December 2017 to 7.5% at the end of Q3 in 2018, Ottawa’s downtown office vacancy rate has been fortified by the emergence companies such as Telestat, SurveryMonkey, Klipfolio, and Shopify. The statistics provided were from the CBRE.

Tech firms, instead of just the federal government, are now taking big chunks of real estate, explained the senior VP of real property at the Regional Group, Bernie Myers. Further elaborating, Myers says the private sector is now holding its weight in downtown real estate and contributing to the reduction in vacancy.

Shawn Hamilton, Senior VP and managing director in CRBE’s Ottawa office, further breaks down how the demographics of tenants in Ottawa’s central business district transformed and came to a head last year.

According to Hamilton, urban technology offices now outweigh legal and accounting spaces in Ottawa’s downtown core.

Onward and Upwards

The region’s most prominent space user is still the federal government even with the spike in urban tech tenants. As such, the government still impacts the market the most.

There’s now more demand for better real estate spaces for government employees, says Myers, and Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to move staff into more modern accommodations.

Myers says that given the existing available space that can compete for the needs of larger tenants, new builds are still unlikely.