Buy your own industrial space
Okanagan Edge on November 21, 2017

Image: Contributed

Are you leasing an office or warehouse space in Kelowna? With interest rates still at historic lows and land prices increasing, now might be a good time to think about buying into your own commercial strata unit.

Industrial and commercial strata opportunities are extremely rare in Kelowna, especially in a central retail location, but it is an increasingly popular choice for businesses that understand the value of building equity in their own company.

“Rents in the Kelowna market are on the rise and in the long-term, owning is a prudent and more profitable idea,” says PC Urban principal, Garry Fawley. “For Kelowna companies, owning means they can have more capital to invest in tools and growing the business, rather than throwing the money away at rent. Believe it or not, it tends to cost 25% per cent more to rent rather than to own.”

IntraUrban Enterprise is Kelowna’s first industrial strata in five years. And it’s set in an unparalleled location, in the heart of the city’s Okanagan shopping centre district.

The centrally located, four-acre site will host 39 new, commercial strata units on the major intersection of Enterprise Way and Dilworth Drive, one block off of Highway 97.

The new IntraUrban units will range from 2,700 to 4,200 square feet, and will offer quality flex space for general industrial use, with office and retail components.

The development will feature bay garage doors, built-in upper mezzanines, generous glazing for natural light and a modern, high-end product that is rarely found in other industrial projects in Kelowna.

“The attractiveness of commercial condos is that, with a low interest environment, small business owners see real value in ownership,” says Steve Laursen, a broker with Royal LePage in Kelowna, who is co-marketing the project with CBRE.

“These businesses are able to grow equity through their real estate. They’re able to improve space and reinvest in it knowing that they’ll benefit once the time comes to sell the property. There are tax breaks for them if they own their own property. They’re able to control their costs and expand or contract their business instead of being at the whim of a landlord. They control their own destiny.”

Last year, PC Urban launched a commercial strata development, in the heart of Vancouver, called IntraUrban Laurel. As in Kelowna, it was the first commercial strata within city limits in more than five years and it was a huge success, selling out before construction started–an unprecedented feat in the Vancouver market, one that highlighted the need for ownership opportunities for the city’s small and medium-sized businesses.

PC Urban had a similar experience selling its second industrial strata project on Mitchell Island, just on the border of Vancouver and Richmond, called IntraUrban Rivershore.

The company is now bringing their experience with commercial strata to Kelowna’s burgeoning commercial real estate market.

“There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity for businesses to invest in their own commercial property in central Kelowna,” says Laursen. “IntraUrban Enterprise will be a premier industrial development due to its location, featuring unparalleled access to retail, downtown and main transportation routes for business space, as well as for recreational storage.”

Here are the top reasons to consider buying your own office or warehouse:

1. Location: The long-term value play in real estate is always determined by choosing the right location, with easy access to retail, pedestrian traffic and transportation routes;
2. Growing Equity: This is obvious, but easily forgotten. As you pay down your principle and your property appreciates, so does your equity. Over ten years, the decision to own can result in large equity build;
3. Rental Hikes: This doesn’t happen when you own your own space. And stable mortgage rates offer the kind of stability and security leasing can’t provide;
4. Tax Breaks: Depreciate your unit from its full value annually and write off operating and mortgage interest expenses;
5. Improving Your Space: Money you spend renovating–whether its upgrades to an office or a showroom–increases the value of your real estate and of your business;
6. Alternative Financial Options: Your space can be rented or sold any time you want.

Named by Western Investor magazine as the number one city to invest in real estate in Western Canada over the next year, Kelowna’s land values are set to rise again in the coming years.

For more information on industrial strata in the heart of Kelowna, check out IntraUrban online.

Image: Contributed