There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Calgary lately, and the investment opportunities that lie within the city. And while it’s true that Calgary does have the hottest commercial real estate market in the country currently, there’s another city that’s doing very well. That’s Waterloo.

Look around Waterloo and you’re likely to see one thing – growth. Commercial developments, the construction of business parks, and student housing trying to go up as soon as it’s needed (which is a difficult task,) are all signs that this city isn’t just growing. It’s brimming with tons of opportunities for investors, business owners, and those looking to purchase commercial real estate.

So says Peter Whatmore, senior vice president of the CBRE commercial real estate office in Kitchener, anyway. He says that last year Waterloo enjoyed “another robust year,” and that there’s no reason to expect any differently in 2013.

For property investors Whatmore says that student housing is being built “at a furious pace,” especially in the areas closest to the university. Condos can serve well as student housing, and that is a generally “very hot” market right now in Kitchener and Waterloo, for all types of buyers and investors.

Also attracting investors, Whatmore says, is the light rail system which is bringing “investment interest in infill development sites is at an all-time high,” he stated. That, in addition to the Highway 401 corridor, is all fueling interest and demands in these two markets specifically.

But Whatmore also states that you can’t ignore the sheer business growth that this region has been seeing lately. He points towards the Wellington Crossings business park, which just happens to be along the 401 that he already said was bringing such interest and accessibility to the area. This business park, which is located right off the Hanlon Expressway, is currently under construction by Cooper Construction; and he says it will be “one of the most significant business parks west of the GTA.”

It’s also Cooper Construction that’s building the 200,000 square foot campus that will encompass three different buildings at 630 Weber Street N, just north of Northfield Drive in Waterloo. This is not only going to promote businesses in the area, but also leasing space and space available for purchase.

The Michelin site by Trammel Crow in Kitchener; and the commercial building that’s currently under construction at the Deer Ridge Centre in Kitchener – all just more signs of just how bustling this area is quickly becoming, and the kind of rapid growth it’s experiencing.

The Kitchener-Waterloo area has definitely seen its share of problems over the recent years. Losing thousands of jobs at RIM was a huge blow, and one that hit the economy hard. But the past two years have shown what tenacity this region has, and how capable it is of overcoming such challenges and maybe even becoming better for it. For not only have commercial and investment opportunities abounded here this year and last, but the local tech sector has also been growing, led by both Google and Desire2Learn.


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