Looking for Cheap Office Space in Squamish? Cowork, Sublease or Bust!
By Jean Spencer
Vancouver is the third most expensive city to rent office space in the US and Canada, behind New York and San Francisco—and it’s not expected to get any cheaper.
Between rising commercial real estate costs, increased demand, and a greater, more diversified workforce, Vancouver office spaces are set to be one thing: expensive.
As for Squamish professionals, what happens in Vancouver reflects in the Squamish real estate market. This is an issue that matters. To better understand our local market, let’s first take a look at regional data and trends to understand the larger forces.
Vancouver’s Commercial Real Estate and Office Rental Market
A 2016 study by commercial real estate firm, CBRE, found the average rent in Vancouver clocking in at $39.93 per square foot per year, the third most expensive in North America, and that was two years ago. We all know prices have gone up since then.
Meanwhile, the city’s commercial real estate office market ranks fourth globally, with prices for downtown space averaging $47.95 US per-sq-ft, an annual price increase of 16.1%, and falling just behind Durban (+21.4%), Bangkok (+16.9%), and Marseille (+16.7%), and ahead of Oslo (+15.1%) and Stockholm (+13%).
The increasing cost of commercial real estate is, in part, a reflection of the growing economic factors at a national level. Canada’s GDP is forecasted to grow at 2.1% over the next two years on “modest expansion of exports and increased business investment.” Then, looking at Vancouver specifically, there’s been an incredible diversification of industry within the last 10-15 years bolstering employment in distribution, film, and technology sectors.
As the economy strengthens, the city’s infrastructure must change too, and therein lies why offices are so costly.
A lack of sufficient office spaces in a growing economy run by an increased demand from Millennials is a recipe for a perfect storm. Vancouver is seeing an increased number of people working in creative disciplines, as well as technology related fields, seeking spaces that match a “live-work-play lifestyle” and there is simply just not enough space allocated to this sector.
So What Do We Do?
If you’re looking to be a professional in today’s market, you have options. You can cough up a fat cheque each month to cover office rent, you can work from home, or you join the thousands of creatives and entrepreneurs who are using “the shared economy” to get around absurd rental costs.
- Coworking spaces are the modern response to inordinate rent costs. Drawing on concepts of sharing and social economies, and developed by the new creative sector, coworking spaces offer workers a cheaper option for office space.
- Subleasing space in Squamish is another option, and often used. If you’ve ever visited a massage therapist, physio, or psychotherapist in town, you’ve likely run into a multi-tenant assemblage.
What if you need to bring in clients? What if your style of business can’t sublease as well? What if you are looking for something more temporary like an office for the winter months when you are not out enjoying the outdoor lifestyle Squamish has to offer?
We Say: Try Squamish Coworking!
Coworking is one of the most economically wise choices a burgeoning business owner can make. A $200 per month rent is a substantial discount compared to industry rates, providing businesses with better working capital by not breaking the bank on a lease. Not only that, but coworking collects a diverse crowd of people in one space, which ignites collaboration and creative thinking; two requirements for successful enterprise.
Aligned Collective, Squamish’s newest coworking space, has a mission to change the economic fabric of our working professionals by decreasing overhead costs of maintaining a business, and encouraging an environment that supports professionalism and success.
While cheap office space in Squamish is hard to come by it doesn’t need to be impossible.
Next time you’re looking for a sublease or cheap office rent in Squamish, consider coworking. Your first week is on us.