Software firm takes over former Nortel facility

Many people have had to take on new jobs in the wake on the technology market meltdown, and Nortel Networks Corp. is no different.

Seemingly overnight the networking equipment maker has added landlord to its résumé as it’s been forced to lease its newly-constructed building in Mississauga,

Ont. The Brampton, Ont.-based company intended to occupy all 134,000 square feet, but dismissed the plan about 70 per cent of the way through the construction, according to Stan Krawitz.

The president and founder of real estate broker Real Facilities Inc. says while high-tech companies have been a large part of his business, they now represent 60 to 65 per cent. That’s not all that’s changed.

“”A year ago the mix of work between acquisition and disposition changed dramatically. There are very few — although we have the one exception in X.eye — high-tech companies growing,”” says Krawitz.

This scenario is becoming more common, according to Krawitz, adding office space often isn’t the only thing up for grabs.

“”In many of my other situations a lot of the dot-com companies were getting rid of their space fully furnished, fully equipped, technology in place, wired. We’ve done several of those,”” he says.

X.eye Inc. represents the other side of the coin — a growing company with some good fortune. The wealth management software company was looking to for more space and wanted to stay in Mississauga. X.eye spokesperson Kim Prince says the Nortel building was the perfect solution: around the block from its current location, something it could customize and wired for a technology tenant.

Prince says it has leased 23,000 square feet and is “”building two boardrooms, five meeting rooms for four or five people, a fairly substantial training room as well as a full kitchen that has an eat-in area, a smaller coffee kitchen and a library.””

Krawitz says it is a buyer’s market and is renegotiating leases, restructuring leases or subletting extra space for a number of clients. To help clients, it has designed a portal where he says clients can manage every aspect of the leasing process.

“”We call our system FLOW: find, lease, outfit, work,”” says Krawitz. “”There’s a space calculator online, there’s financial analysis online, there’s client needs analysis online, there’s project management online, there’s secure document sharing online.””

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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