The commercial real estate market in Ottawa is on course for a banner year but the office vacancy rate needs to focus on the tech sector.

Speaking at CBRE’s inaugural Ottawa Market Outlook event, CBRE Ottawa managing director Shawn Hamilton said that the city’s downtown office market needs to adapt to continue to attract the burgeoning urban tech scene.

“It’s crucial that landlords work closely with the tech community to understand their unique space requirements. Tech companies have strong aesthetic demands and see the office as an ‘experience’, not just a place their staff gather to complete tasks,” Hamilton said.

He added that the mobility of the tech sector means that if Ottawa doesn’t provide the space it needs then potential tenants will go to other cities such as Toronto or Kitchener-Waterloo.

Meanwhile Nico Zentil, vice president of Ottawa’s National Investment Team, said that the investment market has seen a surge of activity with 2017 set to be in the top three largest investment years on record with $1.4 billion of transactions.

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