From Starbucks To Legal Marijuana Shops: The New Canadian Real Estate Value Booster?

City Living, Real Estate

Back in the mid 1980s when I was completing my undergraduate these called “Yuppie Porn, Gentrification In South Riverdale” (you can read a synopsis of it in A Nose For Leslieville), the amusing anecdote on what signaled an up-and-coming neighbourhood was whether the corner stores were stocking sundried tomatoes.





Fast forward to the late 1990s and ’00s, and is was the opening of a Starbucks Coffee Shop which gauged the ‘arrival’ of a neighbourhood. As a real estate marketer I certainly promoted it. Back in 1996 when The Movie House loft conversion on College Street at Euclid Avenue was nearing completion, Starbucks leased one of the two commercial spaces in the building (the bistro Kalendar was the other). Its presence cemented neighbourhood property values, as it continues to do in other locations across the globe, as you can read in the Starbucks Effect: Spotting The Next ‘It’ Neighbourhood





Today – with the imminent legalization of marijuana – studies say pot shops could be the next real estate value booster. In this CBC article Legal Marijuana Shops Could Boost Nearby Property Values, the study by professors based in Wisconsin, Georgia, and California found “property prices for homes in Colorado close to shops that converted to recreational marijuana from medical marijuana in 2014 saw a roughly eight per cent boost”.





Experts say “it’s too early to tell if Canadian homeowners can expect a similar effect, but note that retail locations could benefit neighbourhoods by driving foot traffic to merchants, as well as reducing crime”.





Basically, weed is the new (soon-to-be legal) libation. Smoking it will always be a staple, but these days trends show more and more people are vaping it. Or eating, drinking, sipping, sucking on lozenges, chewing on gum, applying unguents or administering a drop or two of a cannabis-infused tincture under one’s tongue, where it is absorbed into the sublingual artery, within minutes producing an invisible, odorless, private high. Which means most anyone who has considering using it for their ailments, or recreationally, will find a means of imbibing it.





Just as Buyers covet a village setting where they can walk to a coffee shop or a wine bar, presumably they’ll also want to stroll for a hit of THC. Unfortunately this won’t be happening anytime soon in Ontario, as the province is restricting the sale of cannabis to LCBO locations. So does that mean properties near LCBO locations will increase even more?





As each of the Canadian provinces and territories determine their own way of managing the sale of weed, it’s feasible researchers will be able to see if access to marijuana is a factor in value in other Canadian locales. For now, here’s one of my essential reads called On Choosing A Winning Location.



~ Steven

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000

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