Cheaper land and lower business operating costs are fueling increased demand for commercial real estate and new economic opportunities in smaller Manitoba communities outside of Winnipeg.
Richard Crenian, president of ReDev Properties, noted the trend in a recent blog post. In it, he said many CRE investors “are taking advantage of lower prices in once considered sleeper towns in Manitoba. Investors’ interest has specifically been concentrated on the outskirts of Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway.”
Crenian also singled out other communities such as Steinbach, Brandon, and Portage la Prairie, which have all attracted the interest of big players.
Availability of land and costs are key driving factors in the interest, Crenian told RENX in an interview. The story is similar to what’s happening in other areas of the country such as Balzac just outside of Calgary, municipalities outside Edmonton and many outlying communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
“People are going to all of these small places because it’s about affordability,” said Crenian.
Fees push developers outside Winnipeg borders
Sandy Shindleman, president and CEO of Winnipeg-based Shindico Realty Inc., told RENX impact fees imposed on new city residential development are a major factor causing people to move outside Winnipeg to neighbouring rural municipalities. The fees are intended to offset costs for infrastructure and services such as transit, recreation, and leisure facilities.
“The rural municipalities are starting to take advantage of that. There are many house plans in West St. Paul and Headingley, for example.
“The big developers have gone out to these rural municipalities and by and large the public doesn’t even know if it’s the RM (rural municipality) or the city,” Shindleman said. “The lines are pretty blurred.”
Developers and business owners know the differences, and the accommodations extend well beyond the residential sector.
Read more about the developments Manitoba is seeing in the near future.