Behind Vancouver's Biggest Downtown Office Deal of the Year
The City of Vancouver wants residential development in the West End, and its efforts appear to be paying off: Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties scooped up 1500 West Georgia for $120.5M, and mixed-use redevelopment is on the table.
1500 West Georgia (formerly Crown Life Place) is a 193k SF green-glass building at West Georgia and Nicola Streets. Avison Young’s Bob Levine—who brokered the sale—tells us it's a prime site that's currently under-utilized. The 20-storey tower was sold by Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). He tells us Bosa and Kingswood saw it as an income-producing opportunity, with the potential to build another tower, likely residential, on the east end of the site. “My guess is we’re several years away [from redevelopment].”
The deal demonstrates the investment climate downtown remains “very strong,” he says. “There’s still lots of demand to buy income-producing assets.” The existing office tower, opened in 1977, had been upgraded by its previous owners. It's in good shape, he says, so a major renovation won’t be needed.
Residential redevelopment plans for the property show the city’s new official community plan for the West End is attracting interest from investors and developers, Bob says. A handful of other significant deals have been done as a result of the new OCP, he says, pointing to the $83.5M off-market purchase earlier this year of the 1400 block of Alberni (shown above) by Wall Financial. Neither sale could have happened in previous years, he says, because there was no guidance from the city planning department on what might be done with the properties.