Harbour Landing Business Park officially launched Wednesday with a sod-turning ceremony in southwest Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada – low vacancy office rate convinces city

New Regina business park officially takes offBy Bruce Johnstone
September 20, 2012

It took nearly two years of wheeling and dealing with city hall, but Harbour Landing Business Park was officially launched Wednesday with a sod-turning ceremony at the second of four, 40,000-square foot office buildings in southwest Regina.

When completed in 2014-15, the $60-million, 160,000-square-foot HLBP will stretch all the way to Lewvan Drive in Harbour Landing residential subdivision – the first major suburban office development in the city.

Dale Griesser, president of Avison Young Commercial Real Estate in Regina, which first announced the project back in October 2010, said the city was initially reluctant to approve the project because of concerns about building 160,000 square feet of office space outside the downtown core.

But the city’s rapid growth and low vacancy office rate – at less than one per cent, it’s the lowest in Canada – have proven the need for suburban office projects, like HLBP, Griesser said. According to Avison Young, major Canadian cities have nearly half of their office space located in suburban areas, but in Regina only 15 per cent is suburban.

“We’re simply not used to the pace of growth that we’re currently experiencing in Regina,” Griesser said. “We certainly can’t have restrictive policies that stop progress. The suburban office development is a direct requirement of business needs that fuel our growth and the economy.”

Even Mayor Pat Fiacco admitted the city administration has been overwhelmed by the pace of development in the city in the last few years. “For some of our experienced planners, they’ve never gone through this before. They’re having to almost relearn this new way of doing business, this quicker way of doing business.”

But attitudes both inside and outside city hall are changing toward developments, such as HLBP, Fiacco added. “The majority of citizens now start look at things (like HLBP), as to why can’t we do this? Why can’t we have a business park in Harbour Landing?”

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