Comment 33476

By Tammany (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2009 at 15:28:02

With respect to quality retail locating in the core, it's not very likely until you get a shift in property ownership. Sure, location and taxes and property values are major considerations for retail network managers shopping new locations, but equally important is the working reputation of the landlord. The way it usually works is that managers retain counsel who specialize in commercial real estate to advise them on risks associated with certain landlords. Major retailers almost always hire Toronto lawyers and these lawyers don't know anything about the (relatively) small time landlords who own most of the property downtown. They'll be advising purely on the basis of reputation, and the reputation of non-corporate Hamilton commercial landlords is quite notoriously bad across the country. Big companies don't want to deal downtown because they know there'll be headaches and legal fees. This is not something that's likely to change until property values increase to such an extent that the small time landlords have an incentive to sell to corporate landlords with whom major retailers are comfortable dealing with.

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