The Time John O'Bryan Took a Shot at Bisnow
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The Time John O'Bryan
Took a Shot at Bisnow

Okay, maybe he didn't come directly at us. But CBRE chairman John O'Bryan does think everyone needs to not get carried away by a news headline. Instead, solid research will reveal the truth about current market conditions. (We still friends, John? Facebook or otherwise.)

John was speaking at the CBRE 2014 Market Outlook Breakfast in Toronto. Afterwards, he chatted with us about new office construction; he said focusing on numbers that show a market that's softening leads to simplistic conclusions. The number of factors interwoven in a market analysis are “very complex.” Naturally a market adjustment follows an aggressive build cycle like this, along with a debate over how well landlords running older buildings will conform.

A lot of the capital flowing into office is institutional capital, and as John (snapped with CBRE's Peter Senst) tells us, “these are very sophisticated people with very large portfolios that have seen enormous increases in value these past four to five years, so they can take on a level of development risk.” Two big factors are at play, he says: Landlords see they can build a new tower, put it into a portfolio, and get better returns than if they bought the same asset; on the other side, tenants want these new buildings.

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Best Place For a Power Lunch:
Frontline's Top Five

Frontline Real Estate Services' brokers do a lot of business in restaurants, according to CEO Jordan MacDonald, who co-founded the mid-market firm with Justin Mitchell in 2009. Here are his top picks for deal-friendly eateries in Vancouver.


1) YEW in the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown

“Central location, with amazing seafood. It is very difficult to enter or exit this restaurant without saying hello to three or four associates,” he says. (Plus billionaire business titan Joe Segal eats lunch there every day.)


2) Hawksworth in the Rosewood Hotel


It's across the street from YEW (and the Cushman & Wakefield offices). Small, intimate, but opulent, the room has separate areas, “giving you the ability to speak freely without worrying about others in the industry overhearing you.” Food is very creative, even “off the charts,” he adds.


3) Miku

With arguably the best sushi in town, Miku just relocated to a waterfront location beside Canada Place (and beside the Colliers offices). There's a "great energy and buzz" Jordan says, drowning out conversation and “ensuring that the competition sitting at the table next to you won't hear what you are talking about.”

4) Joe Fortes

Joe Fortes has “one of the best patios in the city to have a couple of beers and hash out deals in the summer,” he says, also giving props to the seafood.


5) Black & Blue

The rooftop patio at Black & Blue is a spot were Jordan says it's not uncommon for people to post up there at noon and drink and eat well into the evening—“eight-hour shifts,” as Jordan says. “Great place to pick up market intelligence because people tend to get a little loose-lipped there,” he says. It's also a great place for a steak.

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Port Report

The 2013 year-end report released by Port Metro Vancouver last week—which details an increase in the amount of cargo handled by the port over 2012, particularly in the container and bulk sectors—shows the benefits of the area's infrastructure projects, says Avison Young VP Ryan Kerr. (Primary benefit: more places to film chase scenes in boat-based action movies.) Ryan, pointing to the federal government's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, says this may mean “additional calls for infrastructure improvement,” which boosts the economy with new construction jobs. 

Most recently, the federal government announced almost $20M in funding for a $45M overpass on the Deltaport Causeway, part of PMV's Deltaport Terminal, Road, and Rail Improvement Project. JLL's Baktash Kasraei says the port handles 19% of Canada's total trade and contributed to more than 57,000 jobs in the Lower Mainland. (The other 81% of trade are Sidney Crosby rookie cards.) It should be plain to see that "the port's vision and a strong mandate to support investment in the industrial and transportation infrastructure is vital if we are to maintain our relevance in the global economy.”


Plan of Action For Surrey

Starting this year, taking into account the current pace of growth, Surrey is going to prepare new plans for five of its six town centres—Newton, Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, and Semiahmoo. The sixth, City Centre, already has an updated plan. (It's free to go out and play, while the others have to do their homework.) Mayor Dianne Watts says the Town Centre plans will factor in appropriate future land uses, densities of housing and commercial development, streets, walkways, transit and transportation structures, public places, and urban design guidelines, beautification, heritage, and public art opportunities. There will be extensive public and community stakeholder consultation, as well as an online tool to collect input.

Should E-Cigs Be Allowed?

E-cigarettes. Some say they're a welcome innovation that will make smoking obsolete; others view them as equally dangerous and bothersome to nonsmokers nearby. Our question: Should they be welcome in non-smoking multifamily properties/floors? Could that attract a larger pool of renters? Tell us your thoughts by clicking on our survey.

Did the right people take home the Oscars last night? Leo DiCaprio got robbed! What are your thoughts?Email

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