Montréal, April 22, 2022 – The Chamber is proud to release the findings of an exclusive study entitled “Office space in downtown Montréal: How to create synergies and attract new businesses.” The study’s results led to the creation of the virtual platform Espaces et cie, which launched today and aims to facilitate short- and medium-term rental of shared and independent spaces.
Conducted as part of the “I love working downtown” initiative with support from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI), the study documents the needs of businesses faced with the new reality of work and the surplus office space in downtown Montréal. It differs from existing studies in that it focuses on a rarely used data point, namely the office spaces availability rate.
“The downtown real estate stock has been heavily impacted by the health crisis and the new ways of organizing work. Our study estimates that the impacts of COVID-19 will generate an initial decline in demand for office space square footage. This shock will, however, be partially absorbed by economic growth and the arrival of new businesses. More specifically, our findings, partly based on availability rates, show the importance of having a flexible leasing and subletting market for business spaces to support the vitality of the real estate stock. It is based on this data that the Chamber developed a solution to support the various players in the market,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.
“This new study will serve to maximize the use of office tower space made available as a result of the changes brought about by the pandemic, and it will also boost the synergy between the various economic players. This is one more step in redefining our downtown, which is gradually regaining its vitality and appeal. With this initiative, the Chamber has once again confirmed its role as a driving force in mobilizing the Montréal business community,” said Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
“The Espaces et cie platform was designed to promote synergy between businesses and optimize the use of their space. As businesses are implementing or preparing their return to the office, we wanted to launch this platform as quickly as possible. Since work reorganization is one of the major challenges facing employers, the Chamber wanted to play a supportive role in addressing these emerging issues. I invite all businesses in the downtown and surrounding areas to join this new platform today. The vitality of downtown also depends on a dynamic real estate stock and the presence of businesses in the area,” concluded Michel Leblanc.
Main findings of the study
- The office space market has been heavily affected by the absence of workers in downtown Montréal. There is, however, no consensus among stakeholders in the market about the precise impact of teleworking.
- Addressing the challenge of managing surplus space is critical to maintaining the appeal and vitality of downtown.
- Without economic growth and new businesses in the downtown area, the sustained implementation of hybrid work models would contribute to the decline in demand for downtown square footage within three years.
- This impact on demand will particularly affect office space in Class B and C buildings.
- To limit these effects, the downtown area will be able to rely on the strength of the economic growth of the city’s businesses and the flexibility of the business space leasing and subletting market.
Espaces et cie aims to help employers manage their downtown workspaces, facilitate the use and optimization of downtown office space, and promote the offer of shared workspaces in the area. In doing so, the platform aims to attract skilled workers, increase downtown office occupancy and encourage collaboration and synergies between companies of complementary sizes, functions and sectors.
To learn more about Espaces et cie and view the full study, visit the Chamber’s website.
About the “I love working downtown” initiative
“I love working downtown” is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal carried out with support from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. Its objective is to accelerate the relaunch of downtown Montréal.
About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
With a network of over 8,000 members, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (“the Chamber”) is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their employees. For 200 years, it has acted on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of its Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.
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