Cresa Vancouver has some of the most experienced real estate advisors in the region, who are committed to providing objective, bias-free, forward-thinking advice and guidance. Through real time data, and extensive market intelligence, the Cresa team is able to provide deep insight into the entire Metro Vancouver commercial real estate market.
Vancouver is a vibrant business centre and ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. It is home to many top tier businesses in such diverse industries as technology, film and video game production, finance, engineering, architecture, biotech, forestry, real estate, mining and tourism.
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March 2017 | by Ross Moore
Is the concept of an anchor tenant, or a very large tenant that can kick-start a development, going the way of the dodo bird, or at least changing enough to question the whole notion of what an anchor tenant embodies? The question is particularly pertinent in Vancouver. It has always been a challenge in a city of small tenants to find that elusive large tenant that has the foresight, strategic understanding, financial wherewithal, and perhaps most importantly, the luck of having a lease expiry precisely at the right time, to be the catalyst that kicks-off a new office tower.
And in light of the just completed development cycle, which in downtown Vancouver, included Telus Garden, MNP Tower, 745 Thurlow, 980 Howe and 725 Granville (the redevelopment of the former Eaton's/Sears store); are all potential anchor tenants spoken for, at least for the foreseeable future? Add in National Bank committing to space in Credit Suisse's Exchange Tower, and another anchor tenant has been spoken for. Anchor tenants have long been a key ingredient of any successful office development, including such noteworthy buildings as the former Westcoast Transmission building (image to left), now known as 1383 West Georgia.
The apparent absence of an anchor tenant (or tenants) poses a significant problem for downtown Vancouver, and indeed for many of Metro Vancouver's office markets. Little in the way of new office space is a significant obstacle for growth, much like a lack of housing is less than ideal for employers and residents alike. Not having new office supply coming on is a serious impediment to growth, and a challenge to businesses as they look to expand and for the local economy in general.
So perhaps the answer is staring us in the face. Change what constitutes an anchor. Developers, being the pragmatic creatures they are, began by turning to mixed-use as we see with Burrard Place at Burrard and Drake, 1575 West Georgia at West Georgia and Cardero, and Solo District on Willingdon in Burnaby, all combining office and residential. Burrard Place is interesting because instead of combining for-lease office and for-sale residential, the developer chose to mix for-sale office with for-sale residential. With the office component selling out almost immediately, and at prices well above a $1,000.00 a square foot, this business model appears to be a winner.
This begs the questions, why not combine for-sale office with for-lease office, where it doesn't make sense to combine office and residential, such as the financial core? If you can sell 100 office suites with an average area of 1,000 square feet, you have your 100,000 square foot anchor(s). With a 500,000 square foot tower, 400,000 would be left to rent in the for-lease market. This model clearly wouldn't work for every developer, in every situation, but it could fill an interesting niche.
For a market that could be in danger of being starved of new office supply, this may be a paradigm that is worth considering. In a sense the market is already half way there. The template has been established, and now it's just a matter of connecting the dots. Some might argue the numbers don't work at the moment, but we're probably pretty close, that is unless an anchor suddenly appears and we go back to the tried and tested formula developers know so well.
Image - Westcoast Transmission Building, 1333 West Georgia - completed 1970
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At Cresa Vancouver, office leasing is a key practice area; we are in the market every day, bringing both real-time knowledge and experience to each of the markets we service. Our coverage spans the entire Lower Mainland. With many Canadian head office locations being housed in Vancouver, Cresa is responsible for servicing a busy and ever-changing market.
One of our greatest differentiators is an integrated approach to real estate strategy and transactions; being in such a dynamic market has encouraged us to continue to provide a full service offering in order to truly achieve our clients’ goals in the most thorough and appropriate manner possible. Our team of experienced real estate advisors, strategists, space planners and project managers allows you to benefit from a detailed approach to each project. In our experience, listening to our clients’ needs, reviewing and advising on requirements, identifying optimal solutions in the market, analyzing options, negotiating terms and managing the design and construction of projects allows our team to have an understanding of and realize the best occupancy solutions.
In order to maintain our integrated approach, we offer value added services in the following areas:
Strategic Planning, or ‘intelligence services’, ensures that we understand, formulate and deliver focused and customized real estate solutions that will offer the greatest opportunity for cost savings and generate lasting benefits, while maintain our clients’ business goals and objectives.
Transaction Management is an important step in the process whether our client’s are looking to relocate, renew or restructure; regardless of the end goal, there is always an opportunity to reduce operating and occupancy expenses, establish a competitive advantage and provide flexibility.
Project Management provides value-added results from concept to completion through defined strategies and single-point accountability, delivering projects on time and within budget.
Space Planning & Design operates based upon the approved Feasibility Plan, which will provide solutions for the execution of the project.