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Toronto commercial real estate disaster


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I walked through the basement-level shops at the Aura building here in Toronto.  It is a ghost town.  Occupancy is less than 20% (I did not bother to count).  Almost every unit has a piece of paper taped to the glass with the owner trying to sell or rent the space out.  Does anybody understand the (commercial) real estate market and can explain to me what is happening?  My guess would be that the builder sold a bunch of very small commercial units to retail investors who don't know what they're doing (all the signs have different names). 


The way the basement is designed isn't very good at attracting shoppers.  The underground entrance to it isn't very inviting (they should have used transparent doors).  The commercial units are very small and probably too small for many tenants.


There are some pretty good pictures here:


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They're accessible to the public.  The basement level connects to another underground mall which is right by the subway.  I'm not sure where you're from but in downtown Toronto there is some underground commercial space.  The biggest network is the Path network. 




I suppose Aura is part of the Path network but it's not really connected to the main network.


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