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Leased office and restaurant space in demand in downtown Sydney, according to Cape Breton Partnership

There’s renewed interest in space in downtown Sydney for retail and restaurants, according to the Cape Breton Partnership. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST
There’s renewed interest in space in downtown Sydney for retail and restaurants, according to the Cape Breton Partnership. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST
SYDNEY, N.S. —

The past year has seen renewed interest in developing aspects of downtown Sydney from a variety of business interests, according to the Cape Breton Partnership.

Over the past year, the private sector-led economic development organization has assisted potential clients from Cape Breton, Canada and around the world who are keen on exploring a variety of opportunities in the downtown sector.

Carla Arsenault
Carla Arsenault

“In 2019, the Cape Breton Partnership provided a number of site selection packages of information and facilitated site visits in collaboration with real estate agents and property owners for companies seeking leased office space,” according to Carla Arsenault, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership.

“There is strong interest in the retail and food and beverage sector as well, as we are seeing from some of the new businesses establishing downtown.”

According to the Cape Breton Partnership, Cape Breton Regional Municipality tax incentives for downtowns and business parks have sparked a renewed interest and growth over the past year.

The decision to relocate the Marconi Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College was cited as one example of activities that are spurring further interest in downtown, as well. The recent purchase of the 75 Dorchester St. property by Ajay Balyan, his brother Ankit Balyan, and partners in India was another example noted. That group plans to convert the downtown Sydney property into a food court, housing and a pub.

Potential downtown developers who have investigated the downtown core with the assistance of the Cape Breton Partnership have been provided with information and services about such things as zoning, business planning and immigration assistance.

“As Cape Breton-Unama’ki’s economic development organization, the Cape Breton Partnership is often the first point of contact for businesses looking to relocate, expand or establish themselves on the island,” said Arsenault.

“As such, one of our roles is to promote the best the island has to offer. We work closely with them to understand their needs connect them with the appropriate supports and services.”

Business advisory services range from providing information on possible locations to set up their business, to meeting individuals from their particular sectors, to preparing business plans and assisting with export, training or immigration-related needs.

“When there are other complementary programs, agencies or private sector businesses identified to assist potential clients, personal referrals are made to ensure the transition is smooth and seamless.”

Arsenault said it’s also been an "exciting year" for the rest of Cape Breton in terms of outside investment, led by the sale of Ski Cape Smokey and the plans to convert it into a four-season tourism operation.

Local investments in tourism season extensions are also encouraging as many operators have tested the demand by participating in the co-investment wage subsidy, locally delivered by the Cape Breton Partnership and Destination Cape Breton Association. Foreign investment interest is consistently seen in other sectors, as well, including services, seafood and aquaculture, energy and manufacturing sectors.

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