January 4, 2018

Top 10 Land Deals of 2017

David Taylor
Colliers International

2017 was another very impressive year for the Metro Vancouver land market. Total land sales transactions topped $4.4 Billion in 2017, down slightly from 2016 which was a record year, but considerably higher than any previous year.

The vast majority of land sales in Metro Vancouver are smaller sites that typically transact below $20 Million, but there were some impressive larger sales that registered this year.

Here’s a look at of the 10 largest Metro Vancouver land deals of 2017:

#1 – 1608-1616 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Price:                   $245 Million

Site Area:            40,000 SF

Vendor:                Shato Holdings

Purchaser:          Carnival International Holdings

The goods:        Long the subject of off-market sale rumours, the West Georgia Whitespot site finally sold in December 2017 to a Hong Kong based developer. Little had changed on the site for decades as Coal Harbour condo towers shot up all around it. The adoption of the West End Community Plan in 2014 redesignated the site to allow for rezoning for two towers up to 385 ft. in height. Detailed development plans have not yet been released, though a preliminary design concept previously done by Shato included two towers of 33 and 39-storeys in height.

#2 – 4500-4584 Dawson & 2350-2430 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby

Price:                   $152 Million

Site Area:            8.3 acres

Vendor:                Private

Purchaser:          Aoyuan International

The goods:        This Brentwood Town Centre development site was sold off-market to emerging Hong Kong based developer Aoyuan Group. The Property is currently an industrial property but can be rezoned for multiple high-density residential towers per the Brentwood Town Centre Area Plan. Preliminary plans prepared by IBI Group indicate potential for 1,400 units in four towers with retail and office. A master plan rezoning application was submitted to the City of Burnaby in September 2017.

#3 – 2125 Eddington Drive, Vancouver

Price:                  $115 Million

Site Area:            3.93 acres

Vendor:               Baybridge Senior Living/Amica

Purchaser:          Kunyuan International

The goods:          Arbutus Manor was listed by Cushman Wakefield in 2016 and sold to Kunyuan Group. The Westside Vancouver seniors facility is located just across from Arbutus Village Shopping Centre. The site is irregular in shape and has a frontage of close to 400 feet along Eddington Drive. Future redevelopment plans are not known at this time but the current development of the adjacent mall site by Larco could be an indicator.

#4 – 5115-5451 No. 3 Road & 7960-7988 Alderbridge Way, Richmond

Price:                  $113 Million

Site Area:            4.9 acres

Vendor:               UEM Sunrise

Purchaser:          South Street

The goods:         This site is a large retail strip plaza at No. 3 Road and Aldberbridge Way, just across from Lansdowne Shopping Centre and Canada Line Station. The site was acquired by UEM Sunrise in 2014 for $69,000,000 and re-sold in 2017 for $113,000,000. The site is located within the City of Richmond’s City Centre Area Plan and can be redeveloped for multiple residential and commercial towers. No application has yet been submitted.

#5 – 1555 Robson Street, Vancouver

Price:                  $79.5 Million

Site Area:            17,263 SF

Vendor:               Private Investor

Purchaser:          VivaGrand Developments

The goods:          This prime corner site located in the West End of Downtown Vancouver was rezoned as part of the West End Community Plan, adopted in early 2014. The site is currently improved with a lowrise commercial building but can be redeveloped into a 30-storey tower. As mentioned recently in a Globe and Mail article, the owner elected to sell after being approached with an offer. The site is directly across the lane from Westbank’s 1550 Alberni project, now under construction.

#6 – 1698 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Price:                  $72,000,000

Site Area:           16,375 SF

Vendor:               Chevron

Purchaser:          Anthem

The goods:        What a year for the 1600 Block of West Georgia Street! This sale got more attention than most up until the White Spot announcement this week, partially as a result of closing one of the last remaining gas stations in the Downtown Peninsula. Anthem Properties acquired the site which can be rezoned to allow a tower under the West End Community Plan. A rezoning application has not yet been submitted to the City for the now vacant site, but expect one soon.

#7 -6444 Willingdon Avenue and 4241 Maywood Street, Burnaby

Price:                  $56,550,000

Site Area:           1.5 acres

Vendor:               Private Investor

Purchaser:          Anthem

The goods:         Anthem had a busy 2017, picking up this 1.5 acre site in the booming subarea of Metrotown. This site has potential for rezoning to high density residential under Burnaby’s Metrotown Plan. As with most sites in Metrotown, this one involves the replacement of older lowrise apartment buildings.

#8 – 1925 176th Avenue and 17064-17214 20th Avenue, Surrey

Price:                 $56,455,750

Site Area:          29 acres

Vendor:              Private Investor

Purchaser:         Cressey

The goods:        This site is a collection of lots in the Grandview Heights area of Surrey with potential for low to medium density residential development.

#9 – 6450 Telford Avenue, Burnaby

Price:                 $51,240,000

Site Area:           52,651 SF

Vendor:              Private Investors

Purchaser:         Westland Development

The goods:        Metrotown was one of the most active subareas in 2017 given the potential for high densities, tall towers, and residential condo values now in excess of $1,000 per SF. This site was acquired by Westland Development and is located at the corner of Telford Avenue and Beresford Street. This stretch of Beresford is fast becoming a row of towers next to the Skytrain Line.

#10 – 1318 Thurlow Street and 1060-1080 Burnaby Street, Vancouver

Price:                 $49,657,000

Site Area:          17,292 SF

Vendor:              Private Investor/Strata Owners

Purchaser:         Strand/Intracorp

The goods:        This assembly of two apartment buidlings and one condo building was sold by our team in July 2017. The assembled site comprises a 17,292 SF site. Strand & Intracorp have filed a rezoning application for the site that includes a 30-storey tower.

Some notes from the above list:

  • Only 5 of the 10 largest land deals in Metro Vancouver took place in the City of Vancouver (down from 9 last year)
  • 7 of 10 were sold by market bid process (the other 3 were ‘off-market’)
  • 6 of 10 were bought by well-established ‘local’ development groups, the other 4 buyers were offshore or ‘new-entrant’ development companies
  • 8 of 10 will require a rezoning process before development can occur

View the original article by Vancouvermarket.ca, here.