Why Serracan Went Off the Beaten Path
Serracan prez Gino Nonni has found a way for his company's offerings to stand out in a downtown office market about to be inundated with new supply. His vision: Developing projects in Vancouver’s transitional neighbourhoods.
Serracan's latest project, FiveTen Seymour, at the southeast corner of Pender and Seymour streets, will have 10-storeys and 82k SF of office space. The building is in an area Gino calls “Crosstown,” bridging Gastown and the CBD. Gino, who's made a career on seeking out less-obvious places for development, tells us the building's non-core location hasn't been an issue in luring tenants. FiveTen Seymour, which is targeting LEED Gold, is currently 90% leased. Two tech companies are taking 85% of the building, and a capital markets firm and Serracan itself will occupy the remaining space. (Floor plates will average 8,500 SF.)
The neighborhood surrounding FiveTen Seymour boasts “cooler, funkier” architecture, a nice transition from the “staid business look” of most downtown office towers, Gino points out. “We’ve really been able to create a buzz because of phenomenal architecture.” Serracan attracted tenants by seeking to embody these organizations’ brands in how the building is designed, including its exterior. FiveTen Seymour tenants helped determine building amenities, too, including bike parking and showers, a yoga room, and fitness centre. To attract young creative talent, the space has been designed to be communal and collaborative (note the covered roof deck, pictured below).
There’ll be 5,000 SF of retail space at the base of FiveTen Seymour, but Gino says Serracan is waiting until the building rises above grade to decide what goes in there. First, he says, it'll canvass the building’s future occupants to see what type of retail they would like to have in the building. It's an approach that makes sense, he says: If Serracan can actually deliver that retail, it knows the tenants are going to patronize it.