Chew's News

Industrial and commercial news: the stories you need to read from 2015

Posted by Greg Chew on Dec 29, 2015 11:41:19 AM

A number of announcements this year have positioned both Niagara and Hamilton as places to grow. While Hamilton can call itself one of the most desirable economic centres for development in the country, Niagara continues to flex it’s strength for tourism related developments.

Below are some of the biggest stories in industrial and commercial news from 2015. 


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Topics: Insider, Commercial real estate investment, Industrial development, Hamilton, Niagara

Impact of development charges in the Niagara Region

Posted by Greg Chew on Dec 10, 2015 2:19:11 PM

Niagara is a unique place to develop, in that developers are subject to both municipal and regional development charges. Those collected charges are put towards infrastructure costs by both sides of government.

In recent years, and in effort to encourage commercial and industrial development a number of municipalities, as well as the Region, have practised development charge reductions and in some case, have waived charges entirely. In an ever competitive environment, Niagara officials see low development charges and reductions as a service to attract private sector investment and industrial and commercial development.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, Industrial development, Commercial redevelopment

Niagara retailers set to benefit from low dollar this Holiday season

Posted by Greg Chew on Nov 24, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Reports of Black Friday's effects on the retail sector hit the news this past week. The holiday consumer event, which launched in Canada in 2008, functions as a vehicle for Canadian retailers to compete with US retailers by discouraging cross border shopping. 

Niagara retailers for years, felt the effects of Black Friday shopping as well as, cross border shopping the more than most. Local retailers and municipalities even established a “One Less Trip Campaign” to discourage residents from making the relatively short 30 minute drive to major U.S. retail centres in Niagara Falls, New York and Buffalo, New York.

This year with the Black Friday tradition wholly established in Canada and the addition of a low loonie, Niagara retailers have the opportunity to capture unprecedented sales figures.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, Niagara

Now is the perfect climate for investing in a Niagara Falls hospitality property

Posted by Greg Chew on Oct 20, 2015 9:51:07 AM

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Niagara Falls has seen a banner year in terms of tourism health. A combination of factors has both hotel and attraction operators reporting revenue increases between 20%-25%.

Factors contributing to the surge of visitors to Niagara Falls range from the strength of the American dollar and economy to the collective marketing efforts put in place by Niagara operators and Canadian tourism outlets. Financial marketing support from the government has never been stronger.

Now is the ideal opportunity for foreign investors to seize a prime investment property in the heart the Niagara Falls tourism district.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, Niagara, hotel investment

Are drop-off centres the new retail landscape? IKEA to open in St. Catharines

Posted by Greg Chew on Sep 29, 2015 11:28:25 AM

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


It didn’t take long for a major retailer to scoop up the former Future Shop lease at St. Catharines’ Fairview Mall. Yesterday, it was announced an IKEA pick-up store (or drop-off centre) will open next spring in the space. The closest IKEA is in Burlington, about a 40 minute drive for St. Catharines residents.


Future Shop suddenly departed the Fairview Mall space in March of this year, as parent company Best Buy chose to close its Future Shop brand. Experts point to online comparison shopping as the cause of Future Shops closures, although some Future Shop stores were re-opened under the Best Buy brand.


IKEA’s move into St. Catharines is apart of the retailers plan to make their products more accessible and continuously affordable to all Canadians. Real estate analysts see drop-off centres for major retailers trending in the future.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, Niagara

Niagara Falls and Hamilton recognized as Cities of the Future

Posted by Greg Chew on Aug 25, 2015 3:30:28 PM

Each year fDI intelligence, a Financial Times publication, releases an annual American Cities of the Future report. In this years report, 16 Ontario based municipalities were named Cities of the Future, including Niagara Falls and Hamilton. Toronto was the most triumphant Ontario municipality, placing 6th in overall American Cities of the Future for 2015/16.

The report ranked 421 North and South American locations under the following categories: business friendliness, economic potential, human capital and lifestyle, connectivity,cost-effectiveness and fDI strategy.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, Hamilton

Princess Auto coming to St. Catharines' Fourth Avenue West Shopping Centre

Posted by Greg Chew on Jul 21, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 

Since the Niagara Health System's St. Catharines site announcement and subsequent opening, residents of St. Catharines have been increasingly curious about what is to become of the adjacent vacant Fourth Avenue lands. Late last week, Princess Auto erected a sign on the property between Vansickle Road and First Street announcing it’s arrival to the Fourth Avenue retail landscape.

Princess Auto is set to become an anchor tenant of the commercial shopping centre Fourth Avenue West with a new 25,000 square foot facility. Fourth Avenue’s commercial growth over the last decade has been immense and the area now represents a strong retail epicentre that currently includes both Smart Centre properties, First Place development, the Ridley Plaza and the Ridley Heights Plaza.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, Commercial development, Niagara

Mixed Use Investment Potential in downtown St. Catharines

Posted by Greg Chew on Jun 23, 2015 8:55:00 AM

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 

It has been well documented in the business and commercial real estate communities, that downtown St. Catharines is in the midst of a revitalization. Large commercial projects including the Meridian Centre, the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre and the Marilyn L. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts have initiated a ripple effect of change in the core. Older buildings are experiencing revitalization and redevelopment and a overall community confidence in the area has returned. Over the next two years, downtown is set up to welcome many new commercial and residential tenants from new commercial real estate investment. Making now, the time to invest in the area.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment, CIP

Maintaining your commercial property's value

Posted by Sample HubSpot User on May 28, 2015 3:53:00 PM

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

As a commercial property owner, you owe it to your investment to protect its property value. In order to protect both your commercial property value and retain your lease value, you must invest in the maintenance of your property.

Regular maintenance allows you as an owner, to continue to attract tenants and drive a high-return lease rate. In many cases regular mainteance and repair can increase your property value.  

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment

Understanding commercial real estate metrics

Posted by Greg Chew on Mar 19, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Investing in commercial real estate can be a great way to balance your real estate portfolio, especially if you are more accustomed to buying residential properties. Investing in the commercial sector can be lucrative core investments. It can offer sustainable additional income and gives you a level of control in what you’re investing in.

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Topics: Commercial real estate investment

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