Archive for the ‘Real Estate Related’ Category

Jack Chow well-known Chinatown figure has died at the age of 90

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Businessman and well-known Chinatown figure Jack Chow dies at 90

CBC Staff
CBC Radio

 Jack Chow was known for operating his business out of the historic Sam Kee building on Pender Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown. (asdf)

Jack Chow, known for his contributions to Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood, has died at the age of 90.

His family confirmed his death in an obituary, writing that he passed away peacefully at Vancouver General Hospital in early February.

Chow was well-known for operating his business, Jack Chow Insurance, out of the Sam Kee building at 8 West Pender Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown — the thinnest and shallowest commercial building in the world.

He was born in Cumberland, B.C., where his family ran the Chow Lee General Store, and moved to Vancouver while he was in high school.

“In business, Jack was sharp-minded, passionate and inventive, taking him from being a successful top Chinatown Realtor to creating what may be the most recognized and unique family owned insurance brokerage in the world,” his family wrote in the obituary.

“Jack will always be loved, and his family will always be grateful to him for all his dedication to family unity and togetherness.”

Chow is survived by his wife Jean, their four children, and their seven grandchildren.


 ©2021 CBC/Radio-Canada

Metro Vancouver more than 4 million office space vacant due to COVID-19

Friday, February 26th, 2021

‘Massive’ security concerns surround vacant space

Frank O’Brien
Western Investor

— Rod Fram of Transpacific Realty Advisors: empty commercial space must be monitored, | Chung Chow

Metro Vancouver has more than four million square feet of vacant office space. Calgary has 12 million square feet of empty offices downtown alone – including entire towers – part of literally acres of offices, shopping centre and street-front retail space vacant across Western Canada since COVID-19 began.

Yet every commercial space sitting empty must be protected, preserved and ready for the post-pandemic reopening, whenever that arrives.

The first line of defence is making sure there is no water ingress and that the heating and rest of the HVAC systems keep operating, said Jim Mandeville, senior project manager, large loss, at Toronto-based FirstOnSite Restoration, which has offices across western Canada.

“Businesses are faced with a unique challenge this winter: hibernating commercial facilities left vacant and unattended,” Mandevillle said. “This is a problem business and property managers have never faced on this scale before.”

Due to COVID-19, many businesses are shuttered and workers are under stay-at-home orders, which leaves commercial space vulnerable.

“There is a critical need to make sure exterior pipes are drained and winterized to avoid frozen pipes, monitor plumbing issues, check insulation, inspect roof spaces and clear debris,” Mandeville noted. He added that this, ideally, means that someone trained in mechanical systems takes a regular tour of vacant premises to spot a problem before it results in expensive damage.

For instance, a water leak that could impact all space below it. A single broken window in a mixed-use development could affect the building’s entire HVAC system.

Break-ins, vandalism

But Mandeville added there is another danger for owners and tenants who have been forced to leave commercial space empty.

“Security is a huge concern right across the country,” he said, noting that break-ins, squatters, vandalism and graffiti have all increased during the pandemic.

Vancouver Police Department data shows 966 break-ins were reported in the city’s central business district in 2020, up 21 per cent from 2019.  Across the city, business burglaries hit a 10-year high of 2,789 last year. 

Mark Forward, vice-president, property management division, for Paladin Security, Vancouver’s largest security agency, said there was a sharp spike in downtown break-ins at the start of the pandemic, including thefts from shuttered retail outlets.

Forward said many businesses have since been “hardening the premises” with locks, hoarding, improved lighting, alarms, surveillance cameras and stepped-up security patrols. This, along with colder weather, has reduced break-ins, though vandalism and squatters remains a concern.

Forward said many property owners use remote monitoring, such as closed-circuit surveillance cameras, which he said can also be used to detect fires or flooding.

Rod Fram, president of Burnaby, B.C.-based Transpacific Realty Advisors, a property management firm, said he prefers “boots on the ground” security to keep vacant space safe. Fram, whose company primarily manages suburban properties, said security is not just a downtown problem.

“Even if you have a half-full building, you have vagrants showing up, sleeping in the entrance ways, discarding needles, dumping stuff on the property. Security is a massive problem.”

Fram said a recent tour of 30 commercial sites in the Fraser Valley, a mix of office and industrial properties, found most were operating with a skeleton staff. “Pretty well every single building had the front doors locked and you had to be buzzed in.” Other sites were completely devoid of people.

But it is vital to give the impression that a site is being monitored, Fram warned.

“Once people think a building isn’t being watched is when bad things happen,” he said.

He advises property owners to increase the number of visible, random foot patrols. Some retailers with valuable inventory, such as drugs or high-end fashions, have barred windows and use barriers to stop thieves from crashing vehicles through windows. One of his clients, a jeweller, has installed smoke machines that flood the space with an impenetrable fog to deter thieves.

Fram added that any property owner leaving space vacant must notify their insurance company and provide evidence that the property is being protected. “You can actually void your property insurance if you don’t take the necessary steps to secure it while it is vacant,” he said.


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor 

Q1 net income increase compare to previous quarter

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

RBC reveals Q1 financial results

Ephraim Vecina
Mortgage Broker News

 Sustained strength is the running theme in Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC’s) fiscal first quarter results, which show that net income grew by 10% annually to $3.847 billion.

The quarter ending January 31 saw net income increase by $601 million over the previous quarter, boosted by strong performances in the bank’s personal and commercial banking, capital markets, wealth management, and investor and treasury services.

“Results across our businesses benefited from strong volume growth, increased client activity and constructive markets, partially offset by the impact of low interest rates and higher expenses largely due to variable and stock-based compensation commensurate with strong results,” RBC announced.

The bank’s capital position remained “robust”, with a CET1 ratio of 12.5% “supporting strong volume growth and $1.5 billion in common share dividends paid.” RBC also boasted of a strong average Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 141%.

RBC’s fiscal Q1 readings also exhibited lower provisions for credit losses, “largely resulting from releases of provisions on performing loans,” the bank said. “Lower provisions on impaired loans also contributed to the decrease.”

Dave McKay, president and CEO of RBC, said that the bank’s enviable momentum persisted amid the uncertain macroeconomic backdrop brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a reflection of the resiliency of our diversified business model, prudent approach to risk management, significant technology investments, and our colleagues’ dedication to our clients and communities,” McKay said.


Copyright © 2021 Key Media

BMO has reported as a higher trading revenue in 2021

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

BMO reports strong fiscal Q1

Ephraim Vecina
Mortgage Broker News

Bank of Montreal has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2021. BMO saw earnings of $3.06 per share, or net income of $2.04 billion significantly outstripping the $2.15 average projection of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Higher trading revenue also drove a 36% annual growth in profit at BMO’s capital-markets division.

Overall earnings were boosted by the bank’s shrinking loan-loss reserves. BMO set aside less capital than expected to cover bad loans during the fiscal first quarter. The bank’s provisions for credit losses fell by 64% quarterly, ending up at $156 million. This was just one-third of what analysts previously estimated.

Additionally, BMO saw a $59 million recovery of provisions on performing loans, due to positive borrowing trends and “an improving economic outlook,” Bloomberg reported.

This recovery “materialized earlier than we had expected,” said Mike Rizvanovic, analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Results were better pretty much across the board.”

Further forward momentum is extremely likely as the Canadian economy “is expected to rebound strongly in subsequent quarters as vaccines become more widely available and restrictions are relaxed,” BMO said in a shareholder report.


Copyright © 2021 Key Media

Canada export terminal located at Kitimat salvaged B.C construction pace in 2020

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Major projects salvaged B.C. construction in 2020

WI Staff
Western Investor

— Metro Vancouver home building has rallied after falling nearly 19 per cent in 2020. – Adera

Major resource projects, such as the LNG Canada export terminal at Kitimat, salvaged British Columbia’s construction pace in 2020, as home building plunged 18.9 per cent and commercial construction fell nearly 8 per cent from a year earlier.

B.C.’s inventory of major projects, those valued at more than $15,000,000, increased to $369.8 billion as of Q3 2020, up 4.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Nearly a third of the major projects are under construction, including LNG Canada ($36 billion) the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project ($6.2 billion) and the Trans Mountain Pipeline (12.6 billion).
“B.C.’s major projects, driven by natural resource and infrastructure projects, provide thousands of both direct and indirect jobs and are spread across every region in the province. With employment and GDP expected to remain below pre-crisis levels in 2021, these projects will meaningfully increase economic growth and help pay down the large provincial debt incurred to support businesses and citizens through the pandemic,” said Lori Mathison, president and CEO of the Chartered Professional Accountants BC (CPABC).

The data is contained in the CPABC’s annual BC Check-Up for 2020.

Investment into both residential and private non-residential projects also cooled, and despite recent price gains, housing starts steeply declined. The overall number of housing units started was down by nearly a fifth (-18.3 per cent) through 2020 compared to the number started in 2019. Attached units, such as condos and townhomes, accounted for the majority of the decline, according to the CPABC.

Private non-residential investment, such as commercial and industrial construction, declined to $5 billion in 2020, representing a 7.9 per cent drop compared to the level of investment in 2019. 

“Economic uncertainty saw investors delay or cancel both residential and non-residential investment projects in 2020,” noted Mathison. “Over 7,800 fewer residential housing units were started compared to 2019, and over $430 million less was invested in private non-residential developments. This is worrying as construction has been a large factor in the province’s robust economic growth. “

She noted that both attached and detached starts rebounded from earlier in 2020, and the pace has continued into 2021.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. total Metro Vancouver housing starts in January 2021, at 1,394 units, were up 36 per cent from same month a year earlier. A total of 44,213 units are currently under construction in Metro Vancouver, including 37,135 apartments – 15 per cent of which are rentals – , 2,994 townhouses and 3,464 detached houses.


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor

2021 industrial real state vacancy rate below 1 percent for the first time – CBRE

Friday, February 19th, 2021

Metro Vancouver industrial vacancy rate flirting with zero

Wl Staff
Western Investor

 — | CBRE

The industrial real estate vacancy rate in Metro Vancouver, which is already in the sub-1 per cent level in four municipalities, will soon fall below 1 per cent across the entire region, which is unprecedented, according to a forecast from commercial real estate agent CBRE.

“We believe continued strong demand and a critical lack of supply in the current market will force the vacancy rate below 1 per cent for the first time [in 2021]” said the CBRE Industrial projection, released February 18.

The four markets where the industrial vacancy are under 1 per cent are Delta (0.4%), Surrey (0.6%), Maple Ridge/ Pitt Meadows (0.9%) and North Vancouver (0.8%).

“Surrey is the largest industrial market in the Lower Mainland and seen as a safety net for supply over the past decade,” CBRE noted, adding “But this is no longer the case as the Fraser Valley now has a lower overall vacancy rate than Vancouver, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities.”

Demand for industrial space appears driven by distribution space needed by large retailers and the e-commerce sector.

 In 2020, warehouse and distribution accounted for 34 per cent of the 4.9 million square feet taken up in the industrial market, with food and beverage accounting for 23 per cent, up from a 6 per cent share in 2019. E-commerce claimed 12 per cent of absorption, which was ahead of both manufacturing and the film industry, which each accounted for 11 per cent of the industrial demand. Third-party logistics – which involves storage and shipment from multiple sources – captured a 9 per cent of the 2020 industrial take up in 2020.

Major companies completing built-to-suit industrial asset last year include grocery giant Sobeys, building a 530,500-square-foot distribution warehouse in Surrey.

This year, Walmart is expected to complete a 296,000 square foot “fulfillment centre” in Surrey and dairy firm Saputo Inc, will open a production and distribution centre of approximately 358,000 square feet in Port Coquitlam.

There continues to be an imbalance of demand and supply, with few significant speculative industrial projects underway, according to CBRE, which suggests vacancy rates will remain the third-lowest in North America in 2021 and 2022.

The shortage of space and high demand has driven Metro Vancouver industrial rates higher. CBRE is forecasting average industrial lease rates to hit a record high of $14.00 per square foot this year, up 6 per cent from 2020.


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor

Less supply high demand in 18 Canadian Cities

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

18 Canadian Cities With Below Average Home Prices And Sample Listings

Janine Rane
The Vancouver Sun

According to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), housing market conditions across Canada resulted in a new record for home sales in January, with 36,897 homes changing hands; a 35.2% increase on a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis. 

By comparison, new listings dropped nationally by 2.9% y-o-y, with just 52,342 properties being added to the market last month. As such, the overall housing market was highly competitive for home buyers in January, as indicated by the sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) of 70%. The SNLR is a measure of marketing competition during a defined period of time, and is calculated by dividing sales by the total number of new listings added to the market during that time. A number over 60% depicts a seller’s market: where demand outpaces supply and competition conditions favour home sellers over buyers. 

According to CREA, as the spring market approaches, the current pace of home sales growth might be inhibited by an evident lack of supply, particularly in Ontario markets, to meet growing home buyer demand. However, CREA notes that new supply “could materialize as current COVID-19 restrictions are increasingly eased and the weather starts to improve.” 

Prevalent market conditions in January also put upward pressure on home prices: the national average home price rose 23% annually in January to $621,525. To better understand where home buyers may find pockets of affordability, Zoocasa took a closer look at the average home price in each of the 25 regional housing markets covered in CREA’s monthly report, and ranked every market based on the annual rate of growth of the average home price. We also identified where the average home price fell below and above the national average home price, and curated a list of example homes in each market that sold within a $20,000 range of the average home price.    

Of the 25 regional housing markets included in CREA’s monthly report, 24 markets posted a y-o-y increase in the average home price, ranging from 5% to 41%, and just one market – Regina – saw the average home price decrease by 3% to $273,885. Further, 12 housing markets, or almost half of the areas included in the report, posted a growth in the average home price of at least 20%. 

Average Home Price Below National Average in 18 of 25 Regional Markets Across Canada 

Despite strong annual growth in the average home price in nearly every market, the average home price remained below the national average of $621,525 in 18 markets. 

Saint John took the title of Canada’s most affordable housing market in January, despite an 8% increase in the average home price y-o-y to 199,853. On the other hand, Greater Vancouver recorded the highest average home price in January at $1,089,096 – an 11% increase y-o-y. 

Despite tying for the highest increase in the annual average home price at 41%, the average home price in London and St. Thomas remained below the national average at $608,049. There was also a 41% increases y-o-y in the Niagara Region, however, the average home price clocked in at $651,138, nearly $30,000 higher than the national average. 

$30,000 higher than the national average. 


Sample Listings in Canada’s 18 Most Affordable Regions 

1. London and St. Thomas 

  • Average Home Price: $608,049
  • Annual Price Growth: +41%
  • What you could buy: 362 Ridout Street South
    • List Price: $599,900
    • Property Details:
      • Detached 
      • 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 5 parking

2. Sudbury 

  • Average Home Price: $356,633
  • Annual Price Growth: +38%
  • What you could buy: 4436 Hector
    • List Price: $349,700
    • Property Details: 
      • Detached
      • 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 parking

3. Windsor-Essex 

  • Average Home Price: $492,480
  • Annual Price Growth: 31%
  • What you could buy: 686 Dynasty
    • List Price: $488,888
    • Property Details:
      • Detached
      • 3+1 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 parking 

4. Halifax-Dartmouth 

  • Average Home Price: $433,000
  • Annual Price Growth: +31%
  • What you could buy: 3145 Veith Street
    • List Price: $424,900
    • Property Details:
      • Semi-detached
      • 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 0 parking

5. Ottawa 

  • Average Home Price: $591,413
  • Annual Price Growth: +26%
  • What you could buy: 83 Armagh Way
    • List Price: $598,800
    • Property Details:
      • Detached
      • 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 3 parking 

6. Trois Rivières, CMA

  • Average Home Price: $225,694
  • Annual Price Growth: +24%
  • What you could buy:450-452 Rue Lacerte
    • List Price: $219,900
    • Property Details:
      • Duplex
      • 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 0 parking

7. Gatineau CMA

  • Average Home Price: $338,679
  • Annual Price Growth: +21%
  • What you could buy: 26 Rue Beauséjour
    • List Price: $325,000
    • Property Details:
      • Single Family House
      • 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

8. Montreal

  • Average Home Price: $516,350
  • Annual Price Growth: +20%
  • What you could buy: 85 Rue De Castelnau O. #413
    • List Price: $519,000
    • Property Details:
      • Condo Apartment
      • 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 0 parking 

9. Sherbrooke CMA

  • Average Home Price: $317,545
  • Annual Price Growth: +19%
  • What you could buy: 1786 Rue des Pois-de-Senteur
    • List Price:$320,000
    • Property Details:
      • Single-Family House
      • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

10. Thunder Bay

  • Average Home Price: $258,738
  • Annual Price Growth: +16%
  • What you could buy: 1405 Arthur St. West
    • List Price: $269,900
    • Property Details:
      • Detached
      • 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 0 parking 

11. Calgary 

  • Average Home Price: $518,237
  • Annual Price Growth: +15%
  • What you could buy: 201 560 6 Ave
    • List Price: $525,000
    • Property Details:
      • Apartment
      • 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 parking 

12. Quebec CMA

  • Average Home Price: $313,811
  • Annual Price Growth: +14%
  • What you could buy: 1571 Rue Camus
    • List Price: $309,000
    • Property Details:
      • Single-Family House
      • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

13. Winnipeg 

  • Average Home Price: $320,814
  • Annual Price Growth: +10%
  • What you could buy: 250 Queen Street
    • LIst Price: $309,900
    • Property Details:
      • Single-Family House
      • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

14. Saguenay CMA 

  • Average Home Price: $206,242
  • Annual Price Growth: +10%
  • What you could buy: 4685 Ch St. Paul
    • LIst Price: $209,000
    • Property Details:
      • Single-Family House
      • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

15. Saint John 

  • Average Home Price: $199,853
  • Annual Price Growth: +8%
  • What you could buy: 251 City Line
    • List Price: $195,000
    • Property Details:
      • Single-Family House
      • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

16. Saskatoon

  • Average Home Price: $331,555
  • Annual Price Growth: +7%
  • What you could buy: 213 X Ave N
    • List Price: $329,900
    • Property Details:
      • Single-Family Home – Bungalow
      • 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking 

17. Edmonton 

  • Average Home Price: $375,874
  • Annual Price Growth: +5%
  • What you could buy: 605 – 9741 110 St Nw
    • List Price: $365,000
    • Property Details:
      • Apartment 
      • 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking  

18. Regina

  • Average Home Price: $273,885
  • Annual Price Growth: -3%
  • What you could buy: 853 Connaught Street
    • List Price: $279,900
    • Property Details:
      • Row/Townhouse 
      • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 0 parking  



© 2015 – 2020 Zoocasa Realty Inc.

Metro Vancouver’s sales increase of rental properties up to 2.7 percent in 2020 compared 2019

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Sales of Vancouver rental apartments soar as vacancies rise

WI Staff
Western Investor

— Kerrisdale 18-suite rental building sold in January 2021 for $7 million. | Cushman & Wakefield

Despite rental vacancies rising to the highest level in 20 years and a province wide ban on rent increases due to the pandemic, sales of Vancouver multi-family rental buildings surged in the second half of 2020 after collapsing 38 per cent in the first six months compared to the same period a year earlier.

“The Metro Vancouver market saw a total of 78 properties trade in 2020, just one less than the 77 transacted in 2019,” reported Mark Goodman, a partner and managing broker of Goodman Commercial, Vancouver, which specializes in the multi-family market.

Metro Vancouver’s 2020 total dollar volume increased to $1.13 billion, up 2.7 per cent in compared to 2019, and the average price per suite rose 8 per cent to $403,088, Goodman noted.

After being outsold by suburban markets in 2019, the city of Vancouver rebounded last year, posting $674 million in sales with 36 buildings sold, an increase of 53 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively, from a year earlier. Vancouver’s action continued in 2021, with the $292.5 million purchase of a 15-building portfolio in January by InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust and Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd., both of Toronto. That one deal, brokered by CBRE in Vancouver, represents 43 per cent of Vancouver’s total dollar volume in 2020.

In 2020, the average per-suite price of a rental apartment building sale in the city of Vancouver was $499,500, but that spiked to $782,000 in Kerrisdale, due to the sale of two properties that were sold for development potential, Goodman noted.

Overall, suburban markets witnessed a 22 per cent decrease in buildings sold over the year, compared to 2019. Maple Ridge was the only area that saw an increase, Goodman said.

This could be linked to Metro Vancouver’s rising rental vacancy rate, which increased to 2.6 per cent as of October 2020, from 1.1 per cent a year earlier, the highest increase in 20 years, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

As well, while a ban on evictions ended in the fourth quarter of last year, rental increases in B.C. remain frozen until July 2021, due to pandemic regulations from the provincial government.

This has recently translated into some price reductions on apartment buildings listed for sale.

Goodman said that low mortgage rates – it is possible to secure CMHC-insured mortgage for multi-unit residential buildings of five units or more at 1.3 per cent or less – and a “search for safety and security” has kept Metro Vancouver’s rental apartment market relatively stable.


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor

Community engagement will define future real estate development

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

Community engagement key to real estate development

Franck O’Brien
Western Investor

— Moderator Kirk LaPointe with legends Ryan Beedie, Beau Jarvis and Deana Grinnell. | Western Investor

Getting the community onside was a central theme when three legendary real estate developers gathered February 10 for the 19th annual HAVAN Legends of Real Estate event, moderated by Kirk LaPointe, publisher and editor in chief, Business in Vancouver and vice-president, editorial, Glacier Media, and the first ever held online.

The tenet of gaining the trust of residents, First Nations and local governments underscored discussions about the past, the present and, most notably, the future of real estate development in Metro Vancouver.

When asked to share defining moments in their careers, two of the speakers at the virtual event pointed to times when gaining the confidence of the community was the key to moving a project forward. The third, Ryan Beedie, president of Beedie Development, recalled the successful opening of his first industrial project and the satisfaction he felt delivering jobs and investment into a supportive Delta neighbourhood.

Beau Jarvis, president of Wesgroup and chair of the Urban Development Institute, Vancouver, told the online audience that development can be stalled, even stopped, by community opposition. Kitchen-table talks with concerned neighbours, he said, can be as important as any boardroom meeting when it comes to moving a development from concept to construction.

Deana Grinnell, vice-president, real estate in B.C. and Ontario with Canada Lands Company, has been steeped in community engagement for years. She is involved now in perhaps her most challenging and complex mediations, regarding the master planned development of both the Jericho Lands and the Heather Street Lands in Vancouver. These high-profile projects involve not only deeply- engaged communities, but also three levels of government and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Working with First Nations, Grinnell said, is a template for reaching conciliation with the wider community.

Being humble is good first step, she suggested.

“It is about educating yourself,” Grinnell said, “You can’t expect First Nations to educate you. You can’t arrive in room and say ‘we are going to business as long as you do it my way.’ That won’t work at all.”

Jarvis and Beedie believe the real estate industry has made giant improvements in community engagement over the past few years, but agreed more can be done.

Jarvis noted, however, that the sheer complexity and prolific growth in Metro region real estate has resulted in a “mass” of often overlapping and competing policies from all levels of government related to social issues, density, the environment and climate change, especially in the new residential sector.

“There is no prioritization of policies,” Jarvis said. This leads to development delays, ballooning costs – and directly to the current housing shortage and affordability crisis, he said.

“Every government platform is housing, housing, housing but we are not seeing an outcome,” Jarvis said. “And I don’t see that changing.”

Beedie, citing an example where it took two years to receive permits for a simple industrial building, agreed unnecessary delays can drive prices higher.

“Instead of competing projects coming to the market [at the same time] only one is approved and so the demand pushes prices up,” he explained.

Beedie also cautioned that, in the commercial real estate field, long delays can be a drag on the economy, because national companies who need new space, and employees, will look outside of Metro Vancouver.

Looking to the future, the panel called for cooperative and innovative thinking to match a restrictive land base with the explosive Metro population growth over the next decades.

“We have no greenfield sites left, it is all infill from now on,” Jarvis said, adding the only answer is “intensification.”

Grinnell urged political leadership to create regional hubs that provide a “15-minute community” with homes, jobs, shopping and services all within reach, rather than a continual expansion of land-gobbling transit lines and freeways across the region.

Beedie pointed to specific examples of how infill development could take place, providing there was a political and community buy-in. He cited Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition site, where acres of parking lots sit vacant, he estimated, for 95 per cent of the year. “That land could be purposed for housing or to create employment,” he said.

“There is going to have to be leadership, and some people will be upset, but, if we don’t address issues around density, affordability will just get worse,” Beedie said.


The Legends of Real Estate was presented by the Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN), and sponsored by FortisBC , National Home Warranty -AVIVA and Federated Insurance. The media sponsor is Glacier Media Group and Business in Vancouver.


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor

80 acres redevelopment site located between Cambie and Burrard Street on South shore False Creek – City of Vancouver

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

Vancouver eyes future for 80 acres of waterfront

Mike Howell
Western Investor

City-owned land on False Creek represents some of the most prized real estate in Canada, and current leases are winding down

— South False Creek waterfront: much of the land is leased for 1,800 homes. Dan Toulgoet

The City of Vancouver launched a public feedback campaign February 15 that could lead to redevelopment of some of the 80 acres of land it owns between the Cambie and Burrard street bridges on the south shore of False Creek.

Currently, there are approximately 1,800 homes — both market and non-market housing — on leased lands known as False Creek South which are owned and managed by the city. Most of the 60-year leases expire in the next 15 to 25 years.

“The purpose of this engagement is to explore the future of these lands, for the next 50 years and beyond, while striving to balance the interests of current neighbourhood residents with those of all Vancouver residents who own this land,” the city said in documents released Monday to launch its month-long campaign.

The city said findings of the campaign will aim to give leaseholders and tenants “clarity” about the future of the land. The False Creek South Neighbourhood Association has asked for clarity for at least a decade, according to its website.

The city said one of the guiding principles for long-term planning of False Creek South is to maintain housing that is affordable for diverse groups of people, including options for current residents. 

The public feedback campaign comes as Vancouver continues to grapple with a housing crisis, which has been amplified by the pandemic and further exposed the city’s homelessness issue and affordability problem.

Currently, the neighbourhood has six co-ops, four market-rental buildings, six nonprofit buildings and 13 stratas.

False Creek South, which was transformed in the 1970s and 1980s from industrial land into primarily a residential neighbourhood, has a population of 5,597 residents. Median age of residents is 54.3 and median household income is $78,176, with 13 per cent of the population considered low-income.

No new housing has been built in the False Creek South neighbourhood since the 1980s.

The city’s future plan also aims to make the neighbourhood more diverse and equitable, with only 17 per cent of its current population represented by visible minorities, whereas Vancouver as a whole is at 52 per cent.

Addressing climate change and the city’s economy are also other considerations in any future redevelopment of the land.

The portion of city land excludes Granville Island and Senakw, the property under and around the Burrard Bridge owned by the Squamish Nation. The rest of the land in the area is either privately owned or owned by other levels of government.


© Copyright 2020 Western Investor