December 8, 2014

How MNP Tower Landed Star
Chef David Hawksworth

Oxford Properties Group scored a culinary coup in snagging Vancouver's David Hawksworth, who will open a 7,400k SF high-end restaurant at MNP Tower next year. Oxford's Chuck We tells us what the chef found so appetizing about the space.  

Chuck says David dug the design of MNP Tower, which incorporates a brownstone heritage facade at its base (seen below). Behind this, the restaurant will have a double-height main floor—with 30-foot ceilings—plus a 4k SF mezzanine, housing the kitchen, private dining space and bar. Equally as appealing to the chef: the high volume of business that'll funnel into his restaurant owing to its prime location. Built on the final available site in the harbour district with views, MNP Tower is the fourth building in a 1.1M SF Oxford-owned complex that includes Guinness Tower, the Marine Building and Oceanic Plaza. 

Oxford was in talks with Hawksworth's group for over a year, says Chuck (snapped below on-site) “but we really started seeing momentum from their side in early 2014.” This is David Hawksworth's second Vancouver location; his first, Hawksworth, has been named Vancouver Magazine's “Best Upscale Restaurant” every year since opening in 2012. The MNP complex includes eateries like Chewies Oyster Bar, the Elephant & Castle Pub, and Meat and Bread. But Chuck says the chef's new fine-dining venture “is a way to finish off with something we really felt we needed: a high-end restaurant.”

Hawksworth's restaurant gives Oxford an added advantage when it comes to offering amenities that enable employees to work, live and play in the same place. Oxford has expanded the fitness centre at the Marine Building to 5,400 SF (adding towel service, too), and enlarged a 150-bike storage area with showers at Guinness Tower. At MNP Tower, there'll be a yoga and spin studio; and a bouldering area where Chuck says you can “hang upside down.” The goal: provide tenants what they need to attract the best and brightest. “You do that by giving them reasons to be in the building.” 

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INTEL REPORT: Canadian Foreign Investment Continues to Grow

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Wesgroup Wins Big at UDI Awards

Beau Jarvis and his Wesgroup Properties team had a big night at the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region's recent awards gala. Beau, Wesgroup's development VP, received the Maureen Enser Future Leader Award, which recognizes someone under age 40 who has demonstrated vision and made a positive contribution to the building industry and the communities where they work. UDI lauded Beau as an “accomplished development manager and engaged industry leader.” More than 700 people attended the gala, held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.

Wesgroup took top honours in the best mixed-use project category for The Prescott, a 138k SF development on Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver that includes 84 condos set above the new HQ and flagship branch of BlueShore Financial (formerly known as North Shore Credit Union). The building, under construction, will open onto an expansive street front, and plans call for a street-level cafe and/or spa, with outdoor seating areas that the developer says will enhance the pedestrian experience along 13th Street and Lonsdale. 

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Bridge Financing - A Powerful Tool

Timbercreek Asset Management's debt investment director Andrew Jones sat down with Bisnow to discuss the types of properties west of Ontario that have seen a surge in real estate investment and development these past five years. We also discussed the role bridge financing has played in these markets. Click here to learn more about Timbercreek's financing solutions.

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The Most Expensive Street for Office Space

You want prestige, you're gonna pay for it. That's the takeaway from JLL's 2014 ranking of Canada's Most Expensive Streets for Office Space, which lists Burrard Street as the third most costly in the country, at an average of $58.87/SF. (Bay Street in Toronto tops the list, at $68.52/SF, with Calgary's 8th Avenue SW second, at $59.06/SF.) About 18% of Vancouver's downtown Class-A office supply is located on Burrard between West Georgia Street and Canada Place, with vacancy in the six buildings there sitting at a measly 1.6%. Burrard continues to command the city's highest rents despite an impending influx of new supply, which is putting downward pressure on rents throughout the business district.

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Qatar Could Own 9% of Brookfield
in Canary Wharf Takeover

The Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property Partners announced that they'd upped their bid to $4B for Songbird Estates, the majority owner of London's Canary Wharf financial district. On top of that, Bloomberg reported that Qatar's sovereign wealth fund said it would buy up to 9% of Brookfield in the JV transaction. Head to our website for the details.

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Did you head out with the family to catch Jolly Old St. Nicholas rolling through town yesterday? We'd love to see some of your pics: ryan.starr@bisnow.com