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HRM resiliency leads to growth


HRM continues to be resilient. The open and closing numbers are in line with the numbers we saw prepandemic.

I’ll dive deeper into percentages in a few weeks in my year-end roundup.

Last week, CBRE released an outlook on Atlantic Canada real estate which said Beds, Sheds and Meds will lead growth. Beds are quality residential properties. Sheds are the increase in warehousing to help facilitate online shopping. Meds are medical and life science businesses to help cater to the aging Baby Boomer generation. Meds also include grocery, which is wide open for specialty and bargain retailers.

Halifax's growth is being fueled by our rapid population increase.

The report cites, “Retail vacancy has significantly decreased in the traditional grocery-anchored strip centres with surface parking. This is creating a competitive market among retailers in larger markets” as well as “Increasing costs are impacting retail (lease) deals, putting immense pressure on rents and making new-build, small single tenant pad sites tough to develop.”

They also say, “Lack of available space has led retailers to look for opportunities in secondary/tertiary markets.” This means we can expect to see things opening in less concentrated areas like business parks.

We see that with more focus being put into ground floor commercial space in multi-tenant redevelopments.

When space becomes available, it may take many more months than expected with the lack of construction crews and supply availability.

As a testament to the resilience of Halifax, we had three businesses reach their 10-year milestone. Agricola Street Brasserie, Field Guide and Stillwell all opened their doors for the first time in November 2013 and all have become a destination for visitors and locals.

In the case of Stillwell, they have led the way in how we think of craft beer bars. They changed the dynamic of outdoor food and drink with their Beer Garden. Their original beer garden also became a catalyst for how we use the waterfront in the summer.

So the future looks bright for retail and food service growth in HRM.


Here are some recent retail happenings:

■ 091 Indian Takeout has replaced the former Backoos on Tacoma Drive (who are now in Burnside).

■ Burgeoning Yemeni restaurant chain Monasaba will open at 215 Chain Lake Dr. near Sportchek.

■ Sprout Therapy has closed its retail space at 25 Portland St. They will continue, wholesale and mobile sales. The Portland Street location will become the second location of Vandal Doughnuts.

■ “The Pink Piano Cafe & Lounge” is coming to 585 Sackville Dr. (was Press Play Cafe)

■ Women’s clothier Daisy Jo’s Boutique has opened at 61 Portland St.

■ Hey Babe Sports Bar has opened and replaced Patrons in Bedford.

■ The former Hopyard at 2103 Gottingen St will become an upscale Indian restaurant called The Korinoor from the folks at Spicehub in Westphal.

■ Taquitos (Cocina de Mexico) is opening at Brookline Plaza o Bloom Lane in West Bedford

■ Caissie Pizza & Donair opened in Rockingham on the Bedford Highway.

■ Score Pizza on the corner of Barrington and Sackville streets has closed.

■ Downtown Pizza/mango Burrito are now open in their new home on Brunswick at Cogswell streets.

■ The Pizza Delight is now open in the Mic Mac Mall food court.

Arthur Gaudreau is a retail enthusiast and publisher of an award winning blog on retail comings and goings for the last five years.

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