Why Toronto’s Iconic Old Office Towers Will Be Just Fine
Nearly 2.5M SF of state-of-the-art new office space has been delivered in the GTA over the past year, most of it downtown, putting considerable pressure on older Class AAA buildings. And with roughly 5M SF of additional new office space slated for the years to come, even landmark bank towers like TD Centre, First Canadian Place, Commerce Court, Scotia Plaza and Brookfield Place—skyscrapers built between 1966 and 1991, and boasting the bulk of downtown’s big blocks of available space (100k SF and up)—will have holes to fill. But Colliers International’s John Arnoldi isn’t sweating it.
“Iconic buildings are losing tenants to newer buildings; that’s not a surprise to anybody,” John tells us. But these towers are owned by seasoned, deep-pocketed landlords, he notes, “and a hundred thousand feet of vacancy here or there is certainly not a big threat.” Marquee downtown buildings—which have received “massive amounts” of capital investment in recent years to be modernized—will eventually lease, says John, it’s just a question of how long. "But this isn’t a dire situation where if they stay vacant for six months the landlords will be under pressure. Not at all."