Meet TAMI: coming to an office near you

Plus, B.C. looks at monster homes on farmland and U.K. supermarket chain builds homes on the roof

Credit: Colliers International, 2016 TAMI Report

TAMI industries include Technology, Advertising, Media and Information 

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B.C.’s growing tech industry has influenced office space function and design to such an extent that commercial real estate firm Colliers International has coined an acronym to describe and track the sector: TAMI (Technology, Advertising, Media, Information). In a recent analysis of 1,743 TAMI companies in Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and Thompson-Okanagan, Colliers found they occupied 9.8 million square feet of office space. In the same time zone as U.S. West Coast tech companies but with lower labour, utility, tax and leasing costs along with fewer immigration barriers, Vancouver’s tech industry now employs 74,530 workers, more than the oil and gas, forestry and mining industries combined. In Victoria, TAMI is the city’s the number one industry, employing over 23,000 people and exceeding the provincial government’s demand for office space, while TAMI tenants in Kelowna occupy more than 10 per cent of office inventory, and the vacancy rate is declining. (Colliers International)

B.C. may clamp down on investors who buy farmland but don’t farm it. The provincial government is considering a new Metro Vancouver report that proposes eliminating tax breaks for investors who buy agricultural land but do not use their property to grow crops or produce livestock. The reforms include increased property assessments, getting rid of some tax exemptions, increasing the amount farms must produce to receive tax breaks and imposing provincial limits on the size of houses that can be built within the Agricultural Land Reserve, where farmland is supposed to be protected. (The Globe and Mail)

The U.K.’s largest supermarket chain plans to raise cash by building homes on top of, and around, its stores. Tesco is working on a scheme with property developers to build hundreds of flats on top of its superstores and sprawling parking lots. Air rights, a relatively new concept in property circles, involve selling the rights to build over retained land on a long leasehold basis. Typically, flats are built on top of existing buildings. Recent developments have involved flats being constructed off-site, then crane-lifted into place on a building. (The Telegraph)