The office renaissance
Sponsored Content - Feb 29, 2024 - Think Local

Photo: Contributed
Kelowna’s Innovation Centre

Despite the negative narrative you may have heard, the office market is not dead; it’s evolving.

In the wake of a global pandemic that forced businesses to re-evaluate their workplace strategies, the office market in the Okanagan is experiencing a renaissance. As remote work became the norm, many questioned the future of conventional office space. However, the experienced leasing and sales professionals at Venture Commercial, a division of Venture Realty Corp. will attest that the Okanagan office market is far from weak or obsolete. The fact is Kelowna is the fastest growing city in British Columbia with a growth rate at 2.37% compared to the national average of 1.4%. People are coming here, and they are bringing their businesses with them. Landlords and developers in the region are leading the charge in creating innovative and appealing office spaces designed to meet the needs of forward-thinking companies.

The Value of a Physical Office Space

While remote work offers undeniable flexibility, data indicates that having a dedicated office space remains a strategic advantage for companies of all sizes. Physical offices help foster collaboration, spark innovation and cultivate a sense of belonging among employees. Lane Merrifield led the charge in designing downtown’s Innovation Centre from the inside out.

Photo: Contributed

“The intentional design of the open-air atrium, living plant wall, community theatre, and embedded technological design using projection mapping technology are all elements working cohesively,” Merrifield says. “We have created an ecosystem that fosters collaboration and engagement.”

While a variety of businesses are navigating the journey back to the office, some industries never left. For example, many medical businesses continue to require physical office space for in-patient visits. A compelling example is the arrival of Olive Fertility Centre in Kelowna. Recognizing the growing demand for fertility treatments in the Okanagan, Olive Fertility Centre has taken a significant step forward, securing approximately 13,756 square feet, strategically located across the third and fourth floors of one of Worman Commercial’s new developments, located on Osprey Avenue, with the active assistance of Venture Commercial.

Most locals will be able to recognize a building developed by Worman Commercial for its real brick construction and New York loft feel. Worman Commercial CEO Shane Worman thinks beyond his own parameters and finds inspiration for his projects in knowing that his buildings help contribute to the surrounding community. Their latest project on Osprey Avenue will be introducing the Okanagan’s first vehicle elevator, designed to maximize parking potential and enhance accessibility for tenants and visitors alike.

“I believe that the future of the office market hinges on intention and forward thinking,” Worman says. “We strive to push boundaries to create spaces that will exceed the evolving needs of modern businesses and the community.”

Image: Contributed
Worman Commercial’s 550 Osprey

The Okanagan Lifestyle: A Unique Selling Point

In the Okanagan, developers are taking on the challenge of reimagining the office environment.

The Sustainable Innovation Group’s Innovation Centre, Worman Commercial, the Stober Group’s Landmark 7 and Mission Group’s The Block are at the forefront of this transformation. These mixed-use developments not only prioritize functionality but also incorporate amenities that make the office a compelling destination. Features such as on-site child care, pet-friendly environments, outdoor spaces, new-age technologies and community activities are being added to address potential barriers to employee’s desires to return to the office. 

A prime example of how landlords are adapting to the evolution of the office market and creating value for tenants and visitors is the Stober Group’s recent announcement that the Landmark District will become the future home of the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market. This move not only enhances the appeal of the Landmark District but also fosters a vibrant community within the heart of its seven office towers. It’s a testament to how developers are not only meeting but surpassing the changing expectations of today’s workforce, turning office buildings into thriving hubs of activity and collaboration.

“Cultivating a sense of community has always been the cornerstone of Stober Group’s mission,” Stober Group chief operating officer Lisa Lock says. “We envision an office space that goes beyond the confines of traditional work environments, serving as a communal hub that brings people together, nurtures relationships and enhances our shared experiences.

Cindy White photo

Photo: Cindy White

An Open Invitation to Innovative Companies

Innovative start-ups, forward-thinking enterprises and established companies looking for office space in Kelowna are encouraged to reach out to Venture Commercial.

Photo: Contributed
Courtney Fedevich

Its local commercial real estate brokerage, led by experts like Courtney Fedevich of Venture Commercial, are committed to helping you navigate this evolving landscape. Its agents have extensive experience and knowledge of the Kelowna commercial real estate market, provide expert guidance on lease or sale negotiating strategies, market insights and can assist in determining whether a space aligns with your company’s goals and objectives.

Venture Commercial strives to help facilitate the growth and success of businesses in the vibrant Okanagan. The Kelowna office market is on a remarkable upswing, with exciting developments and a lifestyle that sets it apart. Embracing a physical office space can provide companies with numerous advantages, and the Okanagan’s unique lifestyle enhances the well-being of employees. If you’re contemplating a move to the Okanagan, the commercial real estate experts at Venture Commercial are here to support you every step of the way.

To learn more, visit the Venture Commercial website here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.

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