Lethbridge is the centre of a trading area that serves 275,000 people in Alberta, British Columbia and Montana. The city is located in the southern portion of Alberta and is a one-hour drive from a major Canada-U.S. border point. By comparison, Lethbridge is a two-hour drive from Calgary and a five-hour drive from Edmonton.
Initially built around agriculture and coal-mining, Lethbridge now has a diverse range of key industries. While agri-foods continues to thrive and remains one of the key industries, new and emerging sectors such as alternative energy and equipment-manufacturing are gaining strength. Among its multitude of attributes, Lethbridge boasts two nationally recognized post-secondary institutions, the largest research centre in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of research centres, and a young, well-educated and ethnically-diverse population.
With a growing population and consistent new business growth, Lethbridge boasts a stable economy. Over the past 10 years, the city’s comparatively low commercial real estate rental rates and housing prices have also provided lifestyle and business cost advantages. Service and trade industries generate over half of all the occupations in Lethbridge. Other occupations are diversified across the industries of manufacturing, public sector services, construction, transportation, finance/insurance/real estate, and primary industry. Lethbridge demonstrates lower unemployment rates than the provincial or national averages and consistently ranks among Canadian cities that have the lowest cost of doing business.
The office market comprises primarily the downtown core, while business parks have emerged on the city’s outskirts in recent years. Health care and government services organizations are the largest users.
Lethbridge’s retail market has attracted several large Canadian and American retailers in recent years, including Wal-Mart. South Lethbridge is home to the majority of the city’s big-box developments while North Lethbridge has displayed recent growth. Of the city’s three sectors, West Lethbridge is experiencing the highest population growth resulting in renewed interest from new and existing local operators. With strong ongoing development activity, the outlook for West Lethbridge appears bright.
The Lethbridge industrial real estate sector provides some excellent investment and development opportunities. With continuing low interest rates, more and more industrial clients are looking to own their own buildings, often in a strata-ownership structure to reduce land costs. In recent years, demand for small-bay space (2,000 square feet) has been quite strong.
Avison Young opened its Lethbridge office in 2009. It was launched by a team of highly-skilled professionals who had established themselves as very successful associates in both sales and leasing of commercial real estate in Lethbridge and the surrounding area. Lethbridge area brokers provide exceptional service and innovative solutions for their clients through the use of social media and other technologies. The associates work closely with other Avison Young professionals, particularly in Calgary and Edmonton, to facilitate national and international sale and leasing transactions.