Miami-based IT firm Kaseya has taken a shine to rainy Vancouver, leasing an additional 10,000 square feet within the city’s Sun Tower on West Pender Street.
The American company, which has had an office in Vancouver since 2018, plans to hire more 75 workers in the city by the end of next year.
"Kaseya feels strongly that in-person collaboration strengthens an organization, which is why the company feels it is important to expand its space in Vancouver to accommodate its fast-growing team,” Holly Pateman, Kaseya’s senior vice-president of product marketing, said in an email to BIV.
COVID-19 restrictions, the rapid adoption of remote work and pressure on talent-starved tech companies to accommodate employees wishing to work from home has seen Vancouver’s downtown core hollow out since the start of the pandemic.
Foot traffic in Vancouver is down 67.5% as of September 6, 2021, compared with March 2, 2020, according to a “vitality index” launched this week by Avison Young Inc.
The index, which uses anonymized cellphone location data to measure foot traffic, is tracking North America’s biggest urban centres in a bid to measure the pace of return to downtown.
Despite that steep drop from more than a year ago, Vancouver has had the fifth-lowest drop in foot traffic among cities measured.
Colin Scarlett, an executive vice-president with Colliers International Canada, said demand for downtown real estate has been surging since January 2021.
“There's going to be some announcements in the next in the next couple of months that will be some of the largest deals done in Vancouver and quite some time,” he said.
“There's also been some huge winners [during the pandemic] in content creation, and life sciences … And those winners are reinvesting back into people and into space.”
Tech companies are accounting for the vast majority of the office space demand in the city: 62%, according to Colliers’ data.
Scarlett said companies are planning for two to four years down the road rather than being antsy about signing leases amid the fourth wave of the pandemic. But he said the high demand is mostly coming from operations that require space for more than 30 people.