January 5, 2015

The Taxman Is False Creek Flats'
Newest Tenant

Usually the new neighbours bring some baked goods. These folks may bring a bill. Canada Revenue Agency will occupy the entire 140k SF second phase of the Containers on Terminal development, relocating from West Pender Street to False Creek Flats, the city's hip, happening employment hub.

Public Works and Government Services Canada is leasing the whole building at 468 Terminal Ave for 15 years for use by CRA, “modifying the design slightly to fit their needs,” notes JLL EVP Ray Ahrens, who repped the project's developer, Vancouver's Rize Alliance Properties. Occupancy is slated for spring 2017.

CRA's new home is the second phase of the Containers on Terminal project. Ray and his team signed Columbia College for Phase 1. With architecture inspired by the area's industrial history as a railway terminus, the development includes a 12k SF rooftop patio and a communal courtyard. The second building is targeting LEED Silver.

CRA's neighbours in False Creek Flats, one of the city's most rapidly expanding new submarkets, include Centre for Digital Media, Emily Carr University and, most recently, Mountain Equipment Co-op, which opened a new 112k SF HQ at 1077 Great Northern Way (above.)

Ray notes that Columbia College (seen here) relocated from downtown Vancouver, and CRA will be doing the same. “These deals validate False Creek Flats as an alternative to downtown,” he says, noting they also reflect the growth of commercial space in Fairview Slopes, and the increase in residential development in the Olympic Village/Main Street area.

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Building Permits Hit $1B

Total monthly building permit values in the Lower Mainland hit the $1B mark for the first time ever last fall. Vancouver Regional Construction Association president Fiona Famulak credits the spike in part to the permit for the redevelopment of BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre. Pictured: BC Health Minister Terry Lake (right) and Teck Resources CEO Don Lindsay celebrate the launch of construction on the 640k SF Teck Acute Care Centre, part of the $678M redevelopment.

The previous record was from November 2006, according to Statistics Canada's building permit report. Commercial permits jumped 331% to $357.2M in October (the most recent month cited in the report), while industrial permits declined 32% to $8.6M. But Fiona urges caution: the large gain in commercial permits is “likely project–specific, rather (than) reflective of a market-wide investment upswing.”

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House That Yoga Pants Built Tops Price List

Perhaps this'll help you focus on your New Year's resolution to work harder. Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson's home at 3085 Point Grey Road, worth a cool $57.6M, is the most expensive property in B.C. for the second year in a row. The 30k SF waterfront mansion saw its value spike by more than $3M, according to B.C. Assessment, which just released its annual tally of the province's priciest properties. Nine of the top 10 most expensive were located on the west side of Vancouver. Total value of B.C. real estate on the 2015 roll is $1.2T, up 5.84% from last year. 

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