Former Blackberry plant now Factory Square in Waterloo

Sometime this fall, a former Blackberry manufacturing plant turned light-infused office building will open its doors to companies in a Waterloo, Ontario area branded as the Idea Quarter, a mixed-use technology cluster near the University of Waterloo and the region’s light rail transit system.

When Spear Street Capital set out to revitalize that area, it set its sights on redeveloping the 215,000-square-foot building at 451 Phillip Street, a space that RIM had acquired in the late 1990s. There was an opportunity to rebirth a community and free up space for companies who could not previously find room in the neighbourhood.

“Blackberry had expanded quickly and used a lot of space, and a lot of amenity space was eaten up in the process, like restaurants, coffee shops, gyms and daycares,” says Karl Innanen, managing director of the Waterloo Region office of Collier’s International, and broker handling the leasing of the property. “Spear Street Capital wanted to bring that amenity-rich culture back to the area.”

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Victoria Krisman
Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist and Communications Manager for the Intelligent Community Forum.
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