Twenty-five per cent of Cranbrook’s downtown commercial space is currently empty, council heard from Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Staudt on Monday, March 18.
With the help of a local realtor, the City of Cranbrook has conducted an inventory of vacant downtown commercial properties, and the diagnosis is a little grim.
“There is approximately 100,000 square feet of commercial space that is vacant in the downtown core which equates to roughly 25 per cent of the commercial property available,” Staudt told council.
“But if you have a look at that 100,000 square feet, it is (largely) limited to three properties — in particular, the old Super Valu, the Giant Tiger store, and the rest of the Cranbrook Mall,” said Staudt, adding that those three stores make up about 60 per cent of the vacant 100,000 square feet.
The remaining vacant stock consists of various smaller properties, and of those properties only 10 per cent are considered prime for quality and marketability.
According to the report in Staudt’s administration update, on average, leases on commercial properties in downtown Cranbrook are around $5 to $8 a square foot. Property taxes are around $2 to $5 a square foot.
To make the redevelopment of a vacant commercial property economically viable, the lease rate would need to be about $24 a square foot.