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Case Study: iQ Ottawa Office

Unmatched market knowledge and attention to detail allowed CBRE to secure the ideal tenant-friendly lease for iQ Offices, in Ottawa’s prestigious Parliamentary District.

Key Information


iQ Offices


Parliamentary District, Ottawa, ON


Secure a unique office space for a top-tier coworking company in an untapped downtown market.


After establishing itself in Toronto and Vancouver as a major player in the Canadian coworking space, iQ Offices set its sights on the relatively untapped Ottawa market. Co-founders Kane Willmott and Alex Sharpe had specific location requirements to meet the needs of their discerning clientele: 10-15,000 sq. ft., in a centrally located building that would allow for premium interior design that iQ Offices is known for. The expansion effort also required specific lease terms, including an unconventionally long term, extended fixturing period and competitive pricing.

The Ottawa location is part of the company’s country-wide expansion, with new offices in Calgary, Montreal and over 100,000 sq. ft of added space. iQ needed an advisor that knew the Ottawa market inside-and-out, could help landlords understand the value and needs of co-working tenants, and had the drive and attention to detail to make it all come together in a win-win lease.

Solution & Outcome

iQ partnered with CBRE’s Brandon Yuke to start their search in the fall of 2017.

CBRE took iQ through an extensive tour of the Ottawa market, complete with an overview of 60 buildings that might meet their needs. In the end, 222 Queen St. – a 13,658 sq. ft., 15-storey office tower in the city’s distinguished Parliamentary district – was selected, but it required perseverance from Brandon during an 18-month negotiation. In addition to helping iQ, Brandon had to make the value of a co-working client clear to the landlord. Ultimately, iQ was seen as the perfect tenant to diversify beyond government tenants and allow for the opportunity to incubate scaling companies within the landlord’s portfolio.

An agreement for a unique 17-year lease and podium signage will allow iQ to establish itself as a key player in the growing Ottawa coworking market. While the lease may be signed, CBRE continues to work with iQ to build meaningful relationships in the area, setting up meetings with members of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade. The deal is a testament to what can be accomplished when real estate professionals understand their clients’ needs, can work closely with landlords to facilitate understanding and are relentless in the pursuit of outstanding outcomes.

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