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Downtown Real Estate

archited

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Its an overpriced, boring, stuffy old person place to most people under 30
Another ageist rant... really!

I am beginning to think that Mommy must have used an OLD wooden spoon on the YOUNG behind to catch your attention thereby eliciting a lifetime of "old" no-good, "young" that's me.🥄🥲
 
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Vacs

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Sorry but I have lived in downtown Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver & Montreal. When I needed groceries (except for Montreal because there is a grocery store every couple blocks). I left downtown. When I needed to shop for clothes or other random items I left downtown. I rarely ever walked around downtown to shop and that goes for everyone else I know.

Downtown to me has always been a place to be out and about, enjoying the scenery. Go to restaurants, lounges, pubs, coffee houses. Hang out in a park & kick a soccer ball or throw a frisbee.
Edmonton I do not live in downtown anymore but my wife and I drive into downtown to walk our dog through the river valley and then get a coffee.

Festivals are the biggest draw for me. Edmonton is getting better but they need much better marketing.

Anyone who thinks shopping is going to make downtown more attractive for people to move to, isn't looking at the big picture. That only makes it more convenient for people living in downtown but gives no reason to move to downtown. How often does the average person go clothes shopping? For me, my nice going out clothes, 2-3x per year and why would I go to downtown, have to pay for parking to shop unless I am going for something very specific?
 

IanO

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It's less about a Downtown resident walking to get clothes (although important for some/many) and more about Downtown being attractive for investment, strolling, exploring, spending and lingering. Retail helps with that and is significant reason why folks head to parts of cities. Go for lunch, shop, grab a coffee or drink and be in a safe, inviting, active and amenity rich area. THAT attracts people. An art gallery, new library or event may, but not on a regular basis and not with enough impact or people at the right time of the day.
 

Vacs

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It's less about a Downtown resident walking to get clothes (although important for some/many) and more about Downtown being attractive for investment, strolling, exploring, spending and lingering. Retail helps with that and is significant reason why folks head to parts of cities. Go for lunch, shop, grab a coffee or drink and be in a safe, inviting, active and amenity rich area. THAT attracts people. An art gallery, new library or event may, but not on a regular basis and not with enough impact or people at the right time of the day.
Coming from someone who has lived in downtown for a long time and now not living in downtown. Shopping was never one of those things that convinced me to move into downtown and shopping is not something I'd even consider going to downtown to for. Living in downtown to me and many people I know is all about the scenery, excitement and energy of things always happening in downtown. Same things brings me back to downtown.
 

IanO

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Shopping is part of the total amenity package and helps make a place attractive to visit, showcases it and might convince folks to consider living nearby.

Do people move Downtown Van for Robson or Toronto for Queen West? No, but it makes the area desirable and as such leads to more attention, investment and activity as a whole.
 

thommyjo

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Another ageist rant... really!

I am beginning to think that Mommy must have used an OLD wooden spoon on the YOUNG behind to catch your attention thereby eliciting a lifetime of "old" no-good, "young" that's me.🥄🥲
Ignoring the weird tone/vibes of this...

Not ageist. No establishment wants to become only attractive to older people. Reattracting younger demos is key to sustainability. All businesses have to reinvent at times to find support amongst new generations. Lots of fashion retailers have done this recently. Is it ageist to say Levi's was out of date and lame 10 years ago? Or that old spice was my grandpas deodorant? Or that the Keg is a old person spot?

No more ageist than old people hating on phones, crop tops, scooters, tiktok, etc.
 

Vacs

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Shopping is part of the total amenity package and helps make a place attractive to visit, showcases it and might convince folks to consider living nearby.

Do people move Downtown Van for Robson or Toronto for Queen West? No, but it makes the area desirable and as such leads to more attention, investment and activity as a whole.
When I lived in downtown vancouver I rarely went to the "shopping" area of robson it was usually mostly tourists in these areas. Spent all my time in yale town or gastown for the restaurants. or went to stanely park or the seawall or kits beach or english bay.
When I wanted to shop I went to metro town. This is just my perspective but many people I have talked to or know have very similar perspectives.
 

thommyjo

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When I lived in downtown vancouver I rarely went to the "shopping" area of robson it was usually mostly tourists in these areas. Spent all my time in yale town or gastown for the restaurants. or went to stanely park or the seawall or kits beach or english bay.
When I wanted to shop I went to metro town. This is just my perspective but many people I have talked to or know have very similar perspectives.
This is exactly the same for my friends/coworkers in van. It's all about the beach, seawall, and food. For how little people shop for clothes, furniture, tech, its not a big deal to drive, bike 15+ minutes or take transit. And DT is so well linked to malls for transit. Why is it a big deal to head to Kingsway or Southgate? Like I'd be shocked if people under 30 shopped more than once every 2 or 3 weeks. What are you even buying? Most of the people I know do a big haul for clothes twice a year, big home shop when moving into a new place, then occasional small shops for gifts or as an outing with friends.

Honest question, if you shop more than once a month, what are you buying? (Excluding groceries, food, toiletries)
 

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Honest question, if you shop more than once a month, what are you buying? (Excluding groceries, food, toiletries)
I agree 100%. It's nice to have local places for consumables that you purchase regularly and are expensive to ship, but other than that it's not really a big deal. Downtown retail might be dying, but I think this might end being more of an opportunity than anything else. It makes room (both literally and in terms of price) for the things that make sense to be in person (experiences, restaurants) and really enhance the convenience of living somewhere (grocery stores, convenience stores).

A hardware store would still be good though for convenience. It's nice to have short iteration cycles with home/hardware stuff ("Shoot, I got the wrong part/forgot this one thing/the thing broke").
 

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Honest question, if you shop more than once a month, what are you buying? (Excluding groceries, food, toiletries)

I shop way more than once a month. Not to go into too much detail, but I buy running shoes three or four times a year at sport chek or atmosphere or Mec. I pick up tennis balls a few different times and bought a new racquet last year. Another visit to sport chek for a team Canada Hoodie for the Nov. Soccer games. I've been at tix on the square at least 5 times in 2021 for different gifts. And the book store in ECC. And then I've been to Canadian tire and home depot multiple times for things like electrical outlets, paint, supplies, garden soil, plants, vacuum filters etc etc. And I clothes shop a few times a year at Simon's and so on. I was at bike store a couple of times - I had my seat stolen. And I picked up some chain oil and another time I got a new headlight and also an annual servicing. And I'm forgetting several things I'm sure. Different parts/fluids for my car as well. I buy candles and room scents every year.

I also had to get a new blender, as I wore my other one out with making post workout shakes.
I actually didn't think I went that much until I started thinking about it.
 
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TAS

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I hope Edmonton city council will be watching this closely - as we've highlighted, our downtown is in need of some attention, too.

The UCP government set up a working group last spring to examine the future of Calgary’s downtown. The report is expected in the coming weeks.

The province is talking with post-secondary institutions “as to whether or not they’re interested in bringing resources into the downtown,” said Jobs and Economy Minister Doug Schweitzer.

Provincial involvement in affordable housing in the city will be examined. Schweitzer also wants to talk with the mayor about the city’s event centre project, which was recently derailed."

YYC is essentially asking the province to contribute a significant amount of money into the downtown plan. In fact YYC just put $100M into its Downtown Development Incentive Program - providing $75/sq ft to convert offices into residential. There was a lot of interest and the city wants the province to put in funds to further the program along.
 

IanO

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Their problem/opportunity is significantly more pronounced than ours, but it stands to reason that we need a more concerted effort to bring back our core and not waste the last 15yrs of gradual improvement in look, feel and experience.
 

IanO

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Just chatted with a friend who works in the condo development world in Vancouver/Burnaby. One of their latest projects was ~50% investor/50% planned resident contracts. Not saying that's a good thing, but it helps accelerate their projects and the velocity of the overall master plan. A very different world.
 

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Their problem/opportunity is significantly more pronounced than ours, but it stands to reason that we need a more concerted effort to bring back our core and not waste the last 15yrs of gradual improvement in look, feel and experience.
That same article goes on to express that YYC’s DT property values were assessed at over 24B in 2014 to less then 8B today. Their DT is hurting exponentially more than ours. Oh yeah, that $100 allowance/sq/ft was $75 and it is hasn’t gotten them anywhere as it’s barely a sniff of what it takes to turn over an office building
 

TAS

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That same article goes on to express that YYC’s DT property values were assessed at over 24B in 2014 to less then 8B today. Their DT is hurting exponentially more than ours. Oh yeah, that $100 allowance/sq/ft was $75 and it is hasn’t gotten them anywhere as it’s barely a sniff of what it takes to turn over an office building

Amazing to think when property values were at its peak how much revenue that was generating for their city - the office towers were known as their Golden Goose or Golden egg. No wonder their property taxes were so much less than ours. But guess what, even with all that loss in value, their offices still generate more cash for the city than our offices downtown do.
 

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