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Cresa Vancouver
1040 West Georgia Street
Suite 1020
Vancouver, BC V6E 4H1
604.696.6000 tel
604.696.6000 fax


William (Bill) C. James
Managing Principal
604.696.6011 tel
Ross Moore
Senior Vice President
604 696 6000 ext. 106 tel


Cresa Vancouver

Cresa Vancouver, part of Cresa Global Inc., the largest pure tenant advisory firm in the world, with over 60 offices globally, has been operating in the Vancouver region for the past 17 years, and remains committed to providing objective, bias-free, forward-thinking advice to a wide spectrum of office, retail and industrial users . 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.

The Vancouver region continues to go from strength to strength, with a vibrant business community and simultaneously remains 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 and design, biotech, animation, forestry, real estate, mining and tourism.

Whether your business is considering new premises, a relocation, renewal, consolidation, expansion, sublease, build to suit or purchase, Cresa Vancouver is ready to help come up with the best real estate solutions for your specific needs. Our singular focus is to make sure our clients end up with the best possible outcome, in the most cost effective way. Shoehorning you into just any space, just to get the deal done, is not in our DNA. Contact either Bill James or Ross Moore to find out how Cresa can help with your real estate needs, either here in Metro Vancouver, across Canada and the United States, or further afield.

Why Cresa?


Our mission is to provide customized solutions exclusively for corporate space users by offering fully integrated services that align their real estate needs with their business plans, delivering maximum cost savings and exceeding expectations.


Our vision is to be the exception in the commercial real estate industry: A company that is service-oriented rather than transaction-oriented, with advisors who are client focused not deal focused.


We are guided by the concept, “Do the Right Thing,” both internally and externally. We will always do what is right for the client’s best interest and put that interest before our own. We treat our clients, employees and all stakeholders with respect, dignity and fairness in all matters.

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  • Downtown Core


    22,243,818 SF
    7.7% Q1
    148,107 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $33.00 net PSF ("A")
  • Broadway Corridor


    4,262,710 SF
    2.4% Q1
    79,472 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $28.00 net PSF ("A")
  • Vancouver City/Urban


    3,833,837 SF
    15.5% Q1
    27,645 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $26.00 net PSF ("A")
  • Burnaby

    Suburban Vancouver

    10,020,116 SF
    11.6% Q1
    269,028 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $22.75 net PSF ("A")
  • Richmond

    Suburban Vancouver

    4,654,171 SF
    7.5% Q1
    2,673 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $17.50 net PSF ("A")
  • Surrey

    Suburban Vancouver

    3,396,166 SF
    20.1% Q1
    -528 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $17.00 net PSF ("A")
  • North Shore

    Suburban Vancouver

    1,782,107 SF
    5.9% Q1
    -13,633 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $22.50 net PSF ("A")
  • Metro Vancouver


    221,741,815 SF (Q1 +688K)
    2.5% Q1
    975,822 SF Q1
    Avg. Lease Rate
    $9.86 net PSF

Market Insights

May/June 2017 | by Ross Moore

“What’s the vacancy rate?”

As a leasing advisory firm, a question we often get asked is; “what’s the market like’, followed by, “what’s the vacancy rate?”. The vacancy rate is a metric most people can relate to, so makes perfect sense, and of all the numbers you can throw at someone, the vacancy rate is probably the most informative. If you get told the vacancy rate is 20%, people can picture one in five buildings being empty, or six out of 30 floors in a single building being vacant, or conversely, if the vacancy rate is 2% or 3% it’s easy to picture a building and a market all but full.

However, space markets are more nuanced than that and in a market like Vancouver, which is made up of mostly small tenants*, this is particularly true. In theory, you could have a double-digit vacancy rate, but if the bulk of the vacant space is in a handful of very large blocks, and mostly in new developments with no improvements (ie. space requiring a full buildout - walls, doors, carpet, electrical, kitchen, paint, cabling [where costs can easily exceed $100.00 per square foot]), this isn’t going to meet the needs of many tenants, at least not in Vancouver. As a rule, landlords don’t want to demise large contiguous chunks of space, so breaking up space certainly isn’t going to be their first choice, and for small tenants, who are often capital starved, the prospect of spending $200,000.00 to $400,000.00 to buildout space just isn’t appealing, and probably a hassle they can live without.  

So back to the limitations of a vacancy rate. Certainly, the conversation can, and should start with the vacancy rate, but for leasing specialists often the more important measure is number of suites/units available. While this may seem a bit “inside baseball”, or nuanced to outsiders, the importance can’t be overstated. The quantity of suites can also be sliced-and-diced in a myriad of ways including things like view/non-view, elevator exposure, kitchenette, south facing and an almost endless list, but keeping track of the number of options for an “average” Vancouver tenant is something we here at Cresa follow very closely.

So where do things currently stand on the number of suites? As of the end of May, in the downtown core, there were 103 suites between 2,000 and 3,999 square feet, down quite substantially from three months ago when the number was 135. It is noteworthy that now represents a 16-quarter low,  but well up from the decade low of 24 at the beginning of 2008. For those who believe 4,000 to 8,000 square feet is a more relevant measure, the corresponding numbers are 99 from 91 ninety days ago, and 20 recorded at the end of 2007. What this suggests is a bit of mixed message, with small suites becoming a bit harder to find, but not anywhere near as bad as when the market really tightened in 2007/2008. This is beginning to be reflected in rents which in recent months have moved decidedly upwards. So in summary, the vacancy rate is always a great place to start, but keep an eye on number of suites available.

* Estimates vary, but the consensus around average sized tenant mostly ranges between 2,500 to 4,500 square feet.

Do you have a leasing question? Contact:

Click "DOWNLOAD" to view Q1 2017 Market Table



William (Bill) C. James Managing Principal 604.696.6011
Ross Moore Senior Vice President 604 696 6000 ext. 106


Success Stories

Client Location Sq. Footage
Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, British Columbia  50,000 
Golder Associates Ltd. Vancouver, British Columbia   150,000 
Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP Vancouver, British Columbia  40,000 
Radysis Corporation Vancouver, British Columbia  30,000 
Silver Standard Resources Vancouver, British Columbia  16,000 

Subleases & Sales

Property Available Space Rental Rate
Sublease: 490 - 580 Hornby Street, Vancouver
490 - 580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Suite 490 - 1,009 SF Negotiable (Ops/Taxes $18.05 PSF est.)
Sublease: 200 - 1500 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
1500 West Georgia Street
Suite 200
Vancouver, British Columbia V6G 2Z6
Suite 200 - 6,076 SF Negotiable (Ops/Taxes $21.52 PSF est.)
Sublease: 135 - 3751 Shell Road, Richmond
Airport Executive Park/AEP - Building B
3751 Shell Road
Suite 135
Richmond, British Columbia V6X 2W2
Suite 135 - 7,233 SF Negotiable (Ops/Taxes $12.52 PSF est.)
The Next Development Wave - Great Buildings, Great Amenities, Not So Great Parking
Ross Moore In the next few years 11 office developments are scheduled for completion in downtown Vancouver, and what almost all of them have in common is parking capacity that is half what buildings constructed in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's […] Read More
The Next Development Wave - Who, What, Why, Where and When?
Ross Moore Whenever a new office tower goes up, it forever changes the downtown skyline (well at least for a while). It creates a new benchmark against which all other buildings are measured, it reflects the motivation of developers (and investors) […] Read More
Hold on Tight. The Next Development Wave is about to Hit Downtown Vancouver
Since the 1970's, there have been four distinct office development waves. The first was in the mid 80's (1984-1987), the second was in the early 90's (1990-1994), the third in the early 2000's (2000-2003) and then the fourth and most recent in 2015 […] Read More
An Abundance of Transit Options, or Low Real Estate Costs? Which Would You Choose?
It would absolutely be a stretch to say that real estate decision makers no longer care about occupancy costs, but there's definitely a shift underway. For a whole host of reasons, including rising traffic congestion and lengthening commute times […] Read More

Office Leasing

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.

Office Leasing Capabilities

Industrial Sales and Leasing

At Cresa Vancouver, industrial sales and leasing is another key practice area; we are in the market every day, bringing both real-time knowledge and experience to every industrial park and warehouse node in the region. Our coverage spans the entire Lower Mainland, from industrial areas close in the urban core, to the North Shore, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey and all points beyond as far as Abbotsford and Chilliwack. With many warehousing and logistics companies operating out of the Vancouver metro area, Cresa is active servicing a busy and ever-changing market.

With two very active active ports (Centerm and Deltaport) and as a key logistics hub for both western Canada, and the country as a whole, the Metro Vancouver industrial market is one of the most dynamic in North America. Cresa Vancouver, often working with other Cresa offices, has helped industrial users procure (and sublease) premises, on both a purchase and lease basis in every part of the region. With deep knowledge of industrial user's requirements and needs, the Cresa team is able to help businesses secure space that is highly functional, ideally located, zoned accordingly and cost effective.

A thorough understanding of the local market and prevailing market conditions, combined with the ability to identify and thoroughly investigate all currently available properties both on and off-market, are all features of Cresa Vancouver advisors. The ability to have a clear understanding of today's market is important, but what separates Cresa from the competition is anticipating the future, and getting the timing right so costs and disruptions are minimized and the stated business objectives are met. That's why we think of ourselves as business enablers, not transaction facilitators. Not to say we won't negotiate the best possible deal (on average we have found there are 23 areas to negotiate), but our mission is to produce the best possible outcome incorporating everything we know about the client with the universe of options available.

Industrial Capabilities

Capability Brochure


Cresa Vancouver is the leading source of occupier-focused research with insights into workplace trends, new construction, demographics, infrastructure and Vancouver's every-changing space markets, all from the tenant's perspective. With a wealth of informational resources the Cresa team can help business make key real estate decisions based on a wide matrix of data inputs. Tools including real-time availabilities, GIS/mapping, supply chain analytics, commercial space inventories, sale and lease comparables, construction data, construction costs, FLA (Financial Lease Analysis, SRA (Sublease Recovery Analysis), LPA (Lease-vs-Purchase Analysis, and Termination Calculator, are all resources available to help occupiers make reasoned, measured, objective decisions that help produce the best possible outcome for our clients.


Download our most recent Office Report

Download our most recent Industrial Report


Listing Sites

1. SpaceList

2. AltusInsite


Downtown Vancouver Office Construction - 2017/2022

Leasing Activity

Office Leasing by Industry - Q4/2016

Office Leasing by Industry - Q1/2017


Market Trends - 2017