Why PC Urban's New Industrial Strata Development Will Fill A Big Void
PC Urban Properties Corp just launched IntraUrban, a 170k SF business park in South Vancouver—the city's first industrial strata development in years. Principal Brent Sawchyn tells us what’s planned.
Located at 8811 Laurel St, IntraUrban will comprise three multi-level buildings, each about 60k SF, with 22-foot clear ceiling heights and roll-up glass loading doors. Units, some as compact as 1,200 SF, are targeted at small and midsized businesses that want to own their own light-industrial space in the city, not the ‘burbs. Securing an ownership stake in industrial real estate is wise, Brent says, given the cost of space has shot up 90% over the past decade. It's supply and demand. There’s virtually no industrial vacancy in Metro Vancouver, “and in Vancouver specifically it’s zero.”
Brent says PC Urban was aggressive in its pursuit of the site for IntraUrban, which it acquired last April. Phase 1, above, starts construction next month. The firm wants to build on the success it experienced with 1515 Barrow, an industrial strata project in North Vancouver (below), where all 10 units were snapped up before construction wrapped in 2014. Spaces there sold for $303 per SF. “Today,” says Brent, “I suspect they’d be pushing $350 PSF,” and he’s seen some recent light industrial property deals hit $400 per SF.
IntraUrban is being built on a 4.6-acre site that's blocks from Marine Gateway, a transit-oriented mixed-use community, and a 10-minute drive to YVR (20 to downtown). It’s also a stone's throw from some of the city's poshest neighbourhoods (Kerrisdale, Shaughnessy, Marpole), a big selling point for the small businesses Brent thinks will buy spaces there: construction contractors, home tech providers, and boutique architect and engineering firms. PC Urban's working on another industrial project, Lightworks, which we told you about last year.
IntraUrban is attracting interest from prospective tenants and investors who are keenly aware of Vancouver's diminishing industrial land supply "and what that will mean for rental rates 10 years from now," says Brent. Whether the project draws buyers compelled by the value proposition of owning industrial in an environment of ever-escalating costs, or small businesses that "want to control their own destiny," he's confident in its prospects: “I’d be surprised if we didn’t have half the first phase sold in the next few weeks.”