Three weeks after moving his Windsor personal injury law firm into the eighth floor of the downtown Chrysler Canada headquarters building, Greg Monforton feels he's come full circle.
I've been working downtown since I was a teenager when I worked in my father's clothing store which was located on the same real estate footprint as our new location, said Monforton, whose father owned Monty Monforton's clothing store as well as Monty's Formal Wear. It's a homecoming of sorts and while that wasn't the main reason for the move, it does complete the circle.
The move also fills in another piece of the puzzle for the Chrysler Canada building, at 1 Riverside Dr. W., which has been plagued by vacancy issues since it opened. About 44,000 square feet of the buildings 196,00 square feet of available space remains vacant.
To be honest, that wasn't part of our thinking. We simply needed more space and a downtown location remained the best option, said Monforton, who moved his firm across the street from the CIBC building, at 100 Ouellette Ave., where he was running out of space.
We also needed to be close to the courthouse and its services and somewhere that is convenient for our clients, said Monforton, who has a 10-year lease on his new offices.
With the help of Lester Construction, Mayhew & Associates and designer Debra Kennedy-Snyder he has created what he describes as a comfortable work environment his staff of 35.
Many of our clients have suffered from serious injuries or other ailments and we were looking to create somewhere they'd be comfortable during consultations and meetings, said Monforton. We've almost doubled our space and now we have room to grow without facing the prospect of having to move again.
Roland Ouellette, of Windsor Asset Management, which manages the building on behalf of owners Dundeal Canada (GP) Inc., said the company is still actively seeking tenants for the remainder of the building and is particularly interested in filling the remainder of the ground floor.
The first floor is occupied by The Investors Group, National Bank of Canada, the Keg Restaurant and a small Tim Horton's kiosk, but about 18,000 square feet along Pitt Street remains vacant.
Ouellette said that ground floor space has been difficult to lease because its below grade.
It's been hard for prospective tenants to visualize what it would look like with a floor raised to grade level, he said. But it could be done very easily once we find a tenant.
The second floor is used for building and maintenance equipment.
The third and fourth floors, which are the responsibility of the city under terms of an agreement with the buildings original owners, are fully occupied by Mancini and Partners, Stewart Fischer and Associates, Private Financial Group, Diadem Digital Solutions, Draft-Tech and the Solcz Group.
Windsor Asset Management and the National Bank occupy most of the sixth floor.
Chrysler has space on the seventh floor, which is currently vacant, as well as on the ninth through 15th floors.
About 17,000 square of the fifth floor is vacant since Investors Group moved to its ground floor offices and another 7,000 square feet on the sixth floor is empty.