In response to downtown Montréal’s imminent surge of infrastructure updates—road work and bridges and tunnels, for instance—a new report from Colliers International outlines measures for office landlords to alleviate disruptions and maintain low vacancy rates.
Evidence in the Report on Montréal Infrastructure, ‘Metropolis 2.0’, shows that major construction doesn’t always impact downtown business in a bad way.
When researchers looked at Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel Project, a project also known as ‘The Big Dig,’ which re-routed the main highway through the city, they found that bigger macroeconomic factors had a greater impact on the office market than construction did.
Andrew Maravita, managing director of Colliers International Group, points to the tech bubble bust in 2001 and the international economic crisis in 2008, which occurred during and after the project.
“It was these economic factors, even more that the infrastructure overhaul, which explained the rise in vacancy rates and drop in rents experienced in Boston during this period,” he said. Indeed, few landlords in Boston would point to the Big Dig as the greatest problem that they faced at the beginning of our millennium.”
With this information in mind, Colliers suggests landlords upgrade building amenities and offer flexible building opening hours. Other recommendations include improved incentives to employees to promote better accessibility to public transport and promoting ‘work from home’ opportunities when possible.
“This will be a time of great significance to Montréal as it transforms itself from a classic 1960’s-type metropolis to a more vibrant business and cultural centre,” Maravita added. “Montréalers will need to endure a few years of construction work with numerous infrastructure upgrades, new condo towers as well as the new Champlain Bridge, but the result will be a significant improvement in the city’s future business competitiveness.”