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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Order Up – Food Halls!

By Rand Stephens (Houston)
Not too long ago, the dominating trend in commercial real estate was co-working space, which was addressed in our September 2018 blog. Lately, it seems to be raining food halls – the trendy, chef-driven, micro-restaurants that are quickly becoming the ultimate amenity. Since 2016, Houston has seen eight food halls either open or announce their upcoming opening. Most of them are located downtown, with others popping up in The Heights and Rice Village. Is the collaboration of landlord and restaurateur just another flavor of the month, or will this become a signature dish of the commercial real estate landscape?

H-Town undoubtedly serves up some of the best food in the country. In fact, the greater metro area received 11 semifinalist nominations for the prestigious 2019 James Beard Chef and Restaurant Awards. So, it is no surprise to see the food hall craze take Houston by storm. Just as we saw the food truck rage give aspiring chefs the opportunity to sell their innovative dishes without the burdensome overhead costs, we are now seeing some of the once mobile, artisan food vendors put it into “park” inside commercial and residential buildings and set up shop in food halls. With almost guaranteed foot traffic and short-term leases, it’s no surprise that the concept appeals to chefs and restaurateurs.

Now, we all know that adding food to a meeting will draw a bigger turnout. So, add food (really good food) to your office building or residential building and they will come. “They” being both tenants and consumers. The question is, will they come often enough to sustain a profitable business? Of course, that’s always the challenge for any business, but especially the restaurant business, where smaller startups with less than 20 employees have a higher failure rate than any other service business as reported by

Courtesy of Avison Young
Trends will always have winners and losers, and those who survive the food hall craze will be those who appeal to more than just your taste buds. They will have attractions that create an experience for the consumer and will be located in areas of large working and residential populations. Landlords, chefs and restaurateurs will eventually find the right balance for their locations, and the market will ultimately stick a fork in it and decide who is done and who will continue to serve it up to Houston.

(Rand Stephens is a Principal of Avison Young and Managing Director of the company’s Houston office.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Avison Young maintains position as Canada’s Best Managed Companies Platinum Club member

By Mark E. Rose (Toronto)

On behalf of the board of directors of Avison Young, our employees, our clients and our partners, we are humbled to once again achieve Platinum status with the Canada’s Best Managed Companies program by retaining our Best Managed designation for eight consecutive years.

Sponsored by Deloitte Private, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and TMX Group, the Best Managed program recognizes the best-in-class of Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues greater than $15 million demonstrating strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth.

As a company that was founded in Canada and now operates in 20 countries, we couldn’t be more proud to receive this award, and we thank Deloitte and the other award administrators for recognizing Avison Young among a distinguished group of Platinum members.

This recognition not only highlights our company's success in our Principal-led growth strategy and management approach, but also the expertise and commitment of our employees, our collaborative culture, and our continued focus on pursuing innovation and investing in meeting the needs of our clients.

Now in its 26th year, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s leading business awards programs, recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative, world-class business practices. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

You can read our full press release here:

Deloitte also officially announced the winners last week in Canadian Business and a feature story in MacLean’s magazine will hit newsstands later this week.

You can learn more here on Deloitte’s website: and on its social media pages;, as well as on Avison Young’s social media channels (hashtag is #BestManaged).

We celebrate this award with our clients, partners and employees who help us grow globally every day.

(Mark E. Rose is chair and CEO of Avison Young.)

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