As part of its “I love working downtown” initiative, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has recently developed Espaces et cie: a solution for advertising and finding office space in downtown Montréal.
This platform was created in response to the Chamber’s most recent study on a major issue in the relaunch of the downtown area: the management of surplus office space.
“The downtown real estate inventory has been heavily impacted by the pandemic and the new ways that work is being organized. Our study estimates that the impacts of COVID-19 will generate an initial decline in demand for office space. But this shock will be partially offset by economic growth and the arrival of new businesses. Our findings, which are based in part 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 sector. The Chamber relied on this data to come up with a solution for the various players in the market,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.
Espaces et cie has been designed to support employers in managing their downtown workspaces, facilitate the use and optimization of downtown office space, and promote space sharing in Downtown Montreal. The platform’s aims are to attract skilled workers, increase occupancy of downtown office space and encourage collaboration and synergies between companies of complementary sizes, functions and sectors.
About the study
The study, entitled “Office space in downtown Montréal: How to create synergies and attract new businesses,” documents the needs of businesses, the amount of surplus office space, the effectiveness of existing processes and opportunities in the real estate sector that can be leveraged to facilitate the transition to new ways of working.
- The implementation of hybrid work models spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic led to an initial decrease in the number of people who work downtown every day, with a corresponding decrease in spending among the businesses located there. The Chamber’s scenarios suggest that the new ways of working will also result in an initial decline in demand for square footage for office space.
- 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, continued adoption of hybrid work models would further the decline in demand for square footage downtown over the next three years.
- This impact on demand will have the strongest impact on office space in Class B and C buildings.
- –Strong economic growth at the city’s businesses, combined with a flexible approach to the leasing and subletting of business space, will enable the downtown area to limit these effects.
“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 located in downtown Montréal and its surrounding areas to join this new platform today. The vitality of our downtown also depends on a dynamic real estate inventory and the presence of businesses there,” concluded Michel Leblanc.
To learn more about the platform and to find or list office space, visit Espaces et cie’s website.