With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we live – and work – condominium buyers who continue to conduct their job duties from home may be able to consider locations in new areas outside the downtown core. Recently, Baker Real Estate facilitated a webinar for Baker Realty Partners and selected industry leaders, with keynote speaker Mansoor Kazerouni. As Global Director, Buildings for IBI and for IBI Living+, he had some fascinating ideas concerning post-pandemic residential real estate. Until now, the best residential sites have been focused on transit-oriented locations in urban locales. With the “sticky” (enduring) changes we see happening, including live/work scenarios for more people than ever before, we may see an opportunity to expand the horizons for residential sites. Zoning may need to be expanded to satisfy the need with less single use zoning and more mixed-use.
Rather than promoting urban sprawl, new zoning bylaws could simply allow for condos that are within a 10-minute walk to essential services, supplies and local amenities. In other words, they could be introduced into commercial areas to create mixed-use neighbourhoods. The ability to walk to grocery stores, pharmacies, cafés and other restaurants, schools, small-scale health care facilities and parks enhances the already carefree condo lifestyle. We may see changes in local retail as well, with some venues offering more than one service, for a win-win situation. Overall, supply chains will become more localized, and new sources will likely emerge. It is also interesting how important ground-level retail and commercial spaces have become to those who live and work in their condos.
Although the live-work concept has been around for years, it has gained huge ground during the pandemic. Companies and workers have been creative in finding ways to conduct business outside of a central office space. Now that we have seen how effective it can be, the trend is likely to continue from this momentum. Condos with live-work possibilities are the way of the future!