Top 10 Land Deals of 2017

2017 was another very impressive year for the Metro Vancouver land market. Total land sales transactions topped $4.4 Billion in 2017, down slightly from 2016 which was a record year, but considerably higher than any previous year. 

The vast majority of land sales in Metro Vancouver are smaller sites that typically transact below $20 Million, but there were some impressive larger sales that registered this year.

Here’s a look at of the 10 largest Metro Vancouver land deals of 2017:

#1 – 1608-1616 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Price:                   $245 Million

Site Area:            40,000 SF

Vendor:                Shato Holdings

Purchaser:          Carnival International Holdings

The goods:        Long the subject of off-market sale rumours, the West Georgia Whitespot site finally sold in December 2017 to a Hong Kong based developer. Little had changed on the site for decades as Coal Harbour condo towers shot up all around it. The adoption of the West End Community Plan in 2014 redesignated the site to allow for rezoning for two towers up to 385 ft. in height. Detailed development plans have not yet been released, though a preliminary design concept previously done by Shato included two towers of 33 and 39-storeys in height.

#2 – 4500-4584 Dawson & 2350-2430 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby

Price:                   $152 Million

Site Area:            8.3 acres

Vendor:                Private

Purchaser:          Aoyuan International

The goods:        This Brentwood Town Centre development site was sold off-market to emerging Hong Kong based developer Aoyuan Group. The Property is currently an industrial property but can be rezoned for multiple high-density residential towers per the Brentwood Town Centre Area Plan. Preliminary plans prepared by IBI Group indicate potential for 1,400 units in four towers with retail and office. A master plan rezoning application was submitted to the City of Burnaby in September 2017.

#3 – 2125 Eddington Drive, Vancouver

Price:                  $115 Million

Site Area:            3.93 acres

Vendor:               Baybridge Senior Living/Amica

Purchaser:          Kunyuan International

The goods:          Arbutus Manor was listed by Cushman Wakefield in 2016 and sold to Kunyuan Group. The Westside Vancouver seniors facility is located just across from Arbutus Village Shopping Centre. The site is irregular in shape and has a frontage of close to 400 feet along Eddington Drive. Future redevelopment plans are not known at this time but the current development of the adjacent mall site by Larco could be an indicator.

#4 – 5115-5451 No. 3 Road & 7960-7988 Alderbridge Way, Richmond

Price:                  $113 Million

Site Area:            4.9 acres

Vendor:               UEM Sunrise

Purchaser:          South Street

The goods:         This site is a large retail strip plaza at No. 3 Road and Aldberbridge Way, just across from Lansdowne Shopping Centre and Canada Line Station. The site was acquired by UEM Sunrise in 2014 for $69,000,000 and re-sold in 2017 for $113,000,000. The site is located within the City of Richmond’s City Centre Area Plan and can be redeveloped for multiple residential and commercial towers. No application has yet been submitted.

#5 – 1555 Robson Street, Vancouver

Price:                  $79.5 Million

Site Area:            17,263 SF

Vendor:               Private Investor

Purchaser:          VivaGrand Developments

The goods:          This prime corner site located in the West End of Downtown Vancouver was rezoned as part of the West End Community Plan, adopted in early 2014. The site is currently improved with a lowrise commercial building but can be redeveloped into a 30-storey tower. As mentioned recently in a Globe and Mail article, the owner elected to sell after being approached with an offer. The site is directly across the lane from Westbank’s 1550 Alberni project, now under construction.

#6 – 1698 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Price:                  $72,000,000

Site Area:           16,375 SF

Vendor:               Chevron 

Purchaser:          Anthem Properties

The goods:        What a year for the 1600 Block of West Georgia Street! This sale got more attention than most up until the White Spot announcement this week, partially as a result of closing one of the last remaining gas stations in the Downtown Peninsula. Anthem Properties acquired the site which can rezoned to allow a tower under the West End Community Plan. A rezoning application has not yet been submitted to the City for the now vacant site, but expect one soon.

#7 -6444 Willingdon Avenue and 4241 Maywood Street, Burnaby

Price:                  $56,550,000

Site Area:           1.5 acres

Vendor:               Private Investor

Purchaser:          Anthem Properties

The goods:         Anthem had a busy 2017, picking up this 1.5 acre site in the booming subarea of Metrotown. This site has potential for rezoning to high density residential under Burnaby’s Metrotown Plan. As with most sites in Metrotown, this one involves the replacement of older lowrise apartment buildings.

#8 – 1925 176th Avenue and 17064-17214 20th Avenue, Surrey

Price:                 $56,455,750

Site Area:          29 acres

Vendor:              Private Investor

Purchaser:         Cressey

The goods:        This site is a collection of lots in the Grandview Heights area of Surrey with potential for low to medium density residential development.

#9 – 6450 Telford Avenue, Burnaby

Price:                 $51,240,000

Site Area:           52,651 SF

Vendor:              Private Investors

Purchaser:         Westland Development

The goods:        Metrotown was one of the most active subareas in 2017 given the potential for high densities, tall towers, and residential condo values now in excess of $1,000 per SF. This site was acquired by Westland Development and is located at the corner of Telford Avenue and Beresford Street. This stretch of Beresford is fast becoming a row of towers next to the Skytrain Line.

#10 – 1318 Thurlow Street and 1060-1080 Burnaby Street, Vancouver

Price:                 $49,657,000

Site Area:          17,292 SF

Vendor:              Private Investor/Strata Owners

Purchaser:         Strand/Intracorp

The goods:        This assembly of two apartment buidlings and one condo building was sold by our team in July 2017. The assembled site comprises a 17,292 SF site. Strand & Intracorp have filed a rezoning application for the site that includes a 30-storey tower.

Some notes from the above list:

  • Only 5 of the 10 largest land deals in Metro Vancouver took place in the City of Vancouver (down from 9 last year)
  • 7 of 10 were sold by market bid process (the other 3 were ‘off-market’)
  • 6 of 10 were bought by well-established ‘local’ development groups, the other 4 buyers were offshore or ‘new-entrant’ development companies
  • 8 of 10 will require a rezoning process before development can occur

173 Townhouses Planned for Queensborough Site

Anthem Properties has submitted an application to allow the construction of a 173-unit townhouse development on a 7.91 acre site, known as “Mercer Landing” at 41 and 175 Duncan Street in the Queensborough area of New Westminster.

The site was previously rezoned in 2013 to allow 48 townhouses and 425 apartment units with a total density of 1.50 FSR. 

The current proposal includes:

  • 173 townhouses including 95 two-bedrooms and 78 four-bedroom units
  • 2 parking stalls per unit and 37 visitor stalls
  • a total density of 0.72 FSR
  • 5,575 square foot site for use as a child care w/ a two storey 2,600 SF building

41 Duncan_141 Duncan_2 41 Duncan_3 41 DuncanThe site would be remediated and the perimeter dyke would be upgraded to current
standards. The City’s perimeter walkway would be extended and dedicated to the City. The foreshore area will see a demolition of existing structures and, a rehabilitation of the shoreline.

The application requires two amendments to the Official Community Plan to allow residential development in an area currently designated as (ME) Mixed Employment. A change to Parks/Community Facilities is also required to allow the child care in am location currently designated for a residential use.

Anthem acquired the site in November 2016 for $26,800,000, which equates to $108 per buildable based on the current application ($66 per buildable based on the higher density previously approved.

The architect for the project is Ekistics Architecture.

Two More Towers Planned for Burquitlam

Two more towers are planned for the Burquitlam area of Coquitlam. This application comes from Anthem for a 2 acre site in between Brookmere Park and Vancouver Golf Club at 585 Austin Avenue, East of North Road. The development would replace an existing 58-unit strata townhouse complex on the site.

The proposal requires rezoning from the existing RS-1 zone to RM-6 Multi-Storey High Density Residential to allow two highrise buildings.The site falls within the Transit-Oriented Development Strategy “Shoulder” area of Lougheed Skytrain Station.

Details include:

  • 379 residential units
  • 139 one-bedrooms, 285 two-bedrooms, 55 three-bedrooms
  • a 23-storey tower and a 28-storey tower
  • a total density of 4.0 FAR
  • 22,000 SF of amenity space
  • 576 parking spaces on 3.5 floors of underground parking

585 Austin585 Austin_1585 Austin_2585 Austin_3 585 Austin_4The architect for the project is IBI Group.

55-Unit Project Planned for Lower Lonsdale

Anthem Properties is seeking approval at City of North Vancouver council for a Development Application for a mixed use development at 177 West 3rd Street, a former gas station and car wash that has been sitting vacant for several years due to remediation work. The site is located on the Southeast corner of 3rd Street and Chesterfield, just West of Lonsdale.

The proposed new development includes a 5-storey concrete condo building, including:

  • 55 condo units
  • 10,000 SF of ground floor retail space
  • a total density of 2.68 FSR
  • total building height of 52.50 ft
  • one and a half levels of underground parking with 74 total stalls
  • a CAC of $2,383,720, equivalent to $30 per SF

The site is located in an area designated in the OCP as Mixed Use Level 3, which permits 2.30 FSR density with provision for a bonus density of an additional 0.50 FSR that may be granted at council discretion.

177-west-3rd177-west-3rd_2 177-west-3rd_1


Next Phase of Station Square Project Includes Metrotown’s Tallest Building

Development plans are going ahead for the 3rd and 4th phase of Station Square, a multi- phase mixed use development including five residential towers in Metrotown being developed by Anthem Properties in conjunction with the Beedie Group.

The rezoning for the project was granted back in 2012 at which time pre-sales commenced for the first phase, which included a 35-storey tower and 269 units. The first tower recieved occupancy in 2015. The second phase entailed two towers of 38 & 48 storeys, now under construction.

Plans for the 3rd and 4th phase, located along the Mackay Avenue frontage, total 758 new units, and includes:

Phase 3 Tower

  • 41-storey residential tower above a 3-storey podium
  • 461 ft tower height
  • residential, office and retail use
  • 334 residential units
  • 47,470 SF of commercial space
  • 612 parking spaces

Phase 4 Tower

  • 52-storey residential tower above a 3-storey podium (new tallest in Metrotown)
  • 565 ft tower height
  • residential, office and retail use
  • 424 residential units
  • 65,960 SF of commercial space
  • 627 parking spaces



Former North Van School Site to be Turned Back Into Single Family Lots

Anthem Properties have submitted a rezoning application for the Ridgeway School Annex site, a 62,285 SF site at East 5th and Ridgeway Avenue in the City of North Vancouver; a few blocks East of Lonsdale. Anthem acquired the site from the North Vancouver School District in 2013, subject to rezoning. Since the announcement of the sale, Anthem has been holding community consultation.

The site is an “L” shape and was originally nine single family lots before the development of the Ridgeway School in the 1950’s. The site is currently zoned P-1 Institutional, but the plan is to rezone to reflect the surrounding RS-1 single family area. The plan calls for nine single family homes, each with coach houses.

Ridgeway annex_1 Ridgeway annex_2 Ridgeway annex_3