JOANNE LEE-YOUNG (VANCOUVER SUN) - Concord Pacific is floating new renderings and details of its plans to redevelop the former Molson Coors brewery site in Vancouver, a large 7.6-acre site located between the Burrard Bridge and Granville Island.
It’s a prime piece of land that epitomized the height of the real estate boom when it was sold in 2016, but it sits in limbo, partly, because it’s zoned for industrial use.
A new online marketing brochure, now locked by password, shows Concord is eyeing a massive redevelopment with some 1.8 million-square-feet that will include 300,000-sq. ft of mixed and residential use with office, retail, restaurant and showroom spaces, plus some 3,000 residential units.
A promotional video, posted by the company in June to highlight its developments across Canada and around the world, referred to the property and showed a rendering of it as an upcoming project named Quantum Park.
The new renderings show condo towers from 15 to 25 storeys, connected by multi-storey podiums and a skybridge, as well as two glass atriums that will be shaped like wormholes, which are a quantum theory structure.
Reached for comment about the renderings, Concord said it would be issuing a statement.
Concord bought the former Molson Coors Brewery site for $164.8 million in a deal that closed in March 2016, according to land documents.
At the time, the property, which sits on two lots at 1550 Burrard St. and 1655 West 1st Avenue, was assessed at only $49 million.
The lots are currently assessed at $223 million, but, of course, would be worth exponentially more if they were rezoned by the City of Vancouver to allow for Concord’s plans.
Concord owns other large, prime sites where the sale price paid at the time builds in a hope or calculation that the city will approve rezoning to justify the cost beyond what the current zoning allows.
It bought the Westin Bayshore site in Coal Harbour next to Stanley Park in 2015for around $290 million.
In August, Concord paid around$1 billion for the St. Paul’s Hospital site on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. Vice-president Peter Webb said the current zoning allows for about 1.9 million- sq. ft of residential density and commercial development.
Concord executives have long said the goal at the old Molson site is to eventually build a mixed-use, residential community with some tech office spaces even though the property is zoned M-2 industrial.
Since early 2019, there has been a city-wide review of industrial land to look at how the economy and employment opportunities are impacted by zoning. It’s expected to continue into 2021-2022.
Matt Meehan, a senior vice-president of development at Concord Pacific, said in the past that “our site is not open for putting rezoning applications until they finish that report.”
An external advisory group for this review last met in July 2020. A breakout session that examined industrial spaces tabled the importance of protecting industrial land, but also said there “should be a focus on how the industrial sector can work with the tech sector.”
ANITA BALAKRISHNAN (CANADIAN PRESS) - The real estate market in Vancouver had its best September on record this year in terms of the number of homes sold. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Friday that 3,643 homes were sold last month, up 56.
The real estate market in Vancouver had its best September on record this year in terms of the number of homes sold.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Friday that 3,643 homes were sold last month, up 56.2 per cent from the 2,333 sold in September 2019.
Sales were also up 19.6 per cent from the 3,047 homes sold in August.
The MLS home price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties hit $1,041,300 in September, up 5.8 per cent from September 2019.
While a wave of homes hit the market last month, it was not enough to keep up with demand and low supply has pushed prices higher, said real estate board chairwoman Colette Gerber.
There were 6,402 properties newly listed for sale in September, up 10.1 per cent from August. But the sales-to-active listings ratio — a key metric used to analyze home prices — was 27.8 per cent, above the 20-per-cent threshold where prices tend to rise.
Gerber says low interest rates and changing housing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic have also influenced the market, which is recovering from a lockdown that slowed sales in the spring selling season.
Agents sold 730 attached homes (such as townhomes and rowhouses) and 1,317 detached homes in September, as sales in both categories rose more than 70 per cent from the same time a year ago.
Apartments, meanwhile, made up the biggest share of sales at 1,596, but were up 36.9 per cent year-over-year.
Detached homes are seeing the biggest price appreciation. At $1,507,500, the benchmark price of Vancouver detached homes in September was up 7.8 per cent from September 2019.
The benchmark price for Vancouver apartments in September was $683,500, up 4.5 per cent year-over year, while the benchmark price for attached homes was $809,900, up 5.2 per cent from September 2019.
KENNETH CHAN (DAILY HIVE) - New data shows home buyers in Metro Vancouver are still willing to pay for the premium of being within close walking distance from a SkyTrain station.
While there is currently an aversion to public transit, the health crisis has only had a minimal effect on buyers’ willingness to pay for the above-assessed value for an apartment, according to real estate marketing and analytics firm Roomvu.
For every kilometre away from the closest station, buyers are likely to pay 0.61% less over assessed value in the initial COVID period (March 15 to May 30) — down slightly from 0.63% in the pre-COVID period (January 1 to March 14).
“There was a strong relationship between the distance from the closest transit location and the percentage differences between sales price and assessed value,” reads the report.
“The result clearly indicates that apartment units close to the stations are still being sold at a premium over their assessed values in the post-COVID lockdown period.”
The distance penalty per km from the closest station is highest for Burnaby North (+3.7%), followed by Burnaby South (+2.1%), Vancouver East (+1.9%), New Westminster (+1.3%), Vancouver West (+0.7%), North Surrey (+0.1%), and Richmond (-0.3%).
“It looks like access to transit got more valuable over the course of time,” said Thomas Davidoff, economics and professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, in a statement.
“Prices of transit-friendly homes rose over the course of the year in spite of the far-reaching negative economic consequences of the pandemic.”
On average across the region, most apartments sold are priced above their assessed value, with the final sales prices for these homes at 4.4% above the assessed value, with buyers willing to 4.6% above assessed values during COVID compared to 4.3% before the pandemic.
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