Yale Up For Sale
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Real Estate Bisnow (Vancouver)

Yale Up For Sale

CBRE SVP Mario Negris says he's not a blues fan, but he appreciates the longing a community feels when an institution like Yale Hotel—the legendary blues bar on Granville Street—changes hands.

“I am confident that we will replace it with a great operator, and, who knows, it may be a blues bar,” Mario tells us. The building is up for sale ($4.4M) or lease ($45/SF per annum on the ground floor). Mario, who's marketing the property, tells us it was built in 1888. “I think the history of the Yale will positively impact the marketability,” Mario says, adding it's been getting a lot of interest and enquiries. (Plus, if you're superstitious or tired enough, you can hear the ghosts of blues legends like Robert Johnson or Jim Belushi.) That's what makes this project particularly unique, he adds.

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The Yale has been closed since November 2012 for extensive renovations to the plumbing and heating. The owner says whoever rents or buys it will have to invest in tenant improvements. “Our client would consider keeping the property depending on the tenant and what the economics look like,” Mario says. Since he just began marketing the property this week, it's a little too early in the process, but we will follow this along as it evolves.

CohnReznick (Funds) RVAN
Colliers (WorkplaceDesign) VAN
Bury (CHP) VAN

London Calling

Crestpoint Real Estate Investments president and CIO Kevin Leon says his company's acquisition of Vancouver's London Building—the 11-storey heritage office building in the downtown, adjacent to the financial core and Pacific Centre—was all about location. “It is very difficult to acquire such well-located assets in downtown Vancouver as the office market ownership is very tightly held,” he tells us. (It's a rare opportunity, like seeing a shooting star or getting a picture of Thomas Pynchon.)

The London Building—100% occupied—was one of five properties in Toronto and Montreal, as well as Vancouver, that Crestpoint acquired. This brings the value of Crestpoint's portfolio to $600M, doubling in size over the past year. Kevin says it also liked the aesthetic appeal and heritage nature of the building, as well as the quality of its tenantsl; Eminata Group's the anchor, occupying several floors. Crestpoint is part of the Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group, an international company managing $46B in real estate assets for investors.

McCord Dev2 VAN
Bisnow (Niche-White) HALF

Eagle Creek Set To Soar

Dirt is flying at Eagle Creek Village, a two-phase mixed-use development at Helmcken Road and Watkiss Way in View Royal. Phase One spans at over eight acres, and will include 100k SF of commercial retail space, 76k SF of office space, and 60 market rental units. Phase Two will feature residential over a lot over two acres. Nearly four acres of the development site will be donated to the town as parkland. (Let the Live Action Role-Playing begin!) Cushman & Wakefield is overseeing project leasing, while Omicron Development will develop the project.

Quality Foods is signed up as anchor tenant, taking 40k SF. YMCA/YWCA, Cascadia Liquor, and Forbes Pharmacy are other confirmed tenants. "Pre-leasing has gone smoothly due to the lack of commercial services in the immediate area," C&W's Anne Tanner says. "There are over 4,000 staff that work at Victoria General Hospital coupled with a substantial residential base" The project is expected to be completed for tenant occupancy in 2015.

Over $2B In Hotel Transactions

Volume in Canadian hotel transactions grew by over two-thirds year-over-year in 2013, with significant increase in average per room pricing and average deal size, according to a new Colliers study released today. The reason? Much of the activity came down to asset sales in major urban markets across the country, which is anticipated to continue in 2014. There was over $2B in transaction volume last year, highlighted by the sale of the Westin Canadian Hotel portfolio ($765M; above is the Vancouver Westin Bayshore). One of the highlights: 72% of the domestic and international hotel and lodging investors surveyed remain positive or somewhat positive Canada's economy over the next three to five years.

In honour of the Yale: "The blues was like that problem child that you may have had in the family. You was a little bit ashamed to let anybody see him, but you loved him. You just didn't know how other people would take it." - B.B. King. Email yor favorite to mark.keast@bisnow.com.

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