Oxford Properties has broken ground on Canada’s first large-scale multi-level industrial project. The project is located at Oxford’s Riverbend Business Park in Burnaby. The site of a former paperboard milling operation, Oxford has transformed the brownfield site into a progressive and environmental award-winning 1.35 million master planned business park. Oxford first announced in November 2019 its intention to build the project on a speculative basis and, with all required municipal approvals received, the building has now broken ground with anticipated completion in 2022.
Oxford’s development will be on two levels. The ground floor comprises 437,000 square feet with 32-foot clear heights. The second storey, which is accessible to full size transport trailers via a heated ramp, consists of 270,000 square feet, 28-foot clear heights and a 130-foot truck court with dock loading doors.
Anticipated for completion in 2022, the building at Riverbend Business Park can provide a single customer 707,000 square feet of contiguous space, making it the largest available industrial property in the Greater Vancouver Area. Located close to the intersection of Marine Way and Highway 91A in Burnaby, it is ideally situated for attracting labour and can serve a population of 1.4 million within a 30-minute drive.
“The pandemic has accelerated the penetration of e-commerce into our daily lives and will put additional demand for infrastructure such as logistics space to service the growing digital economy.” commented Jeff Miller, head of industrial at Oxford Properties. “With Vancouver one of the tightest and most land-constrained industrial markets in the world this requires bold solutions. We’ve learned from some of the most innovative industrial projects from across the globe to execute on our plan to develop Canada’s first multi-level industrial property. Given its proximity to the urban areas of Greater Vancouver, the development provides excellent infrastructure for last-mile delivery as consumers come to increasingly expect next-day and even same-day delivery.”
Industrial has emerged as one of the most resilient asset classes in the face of the pandemic due to the acceleration of the trend of a secular shift to e-commerce and evolving supply chain requirements. Demand for industrial space continues to outpace supply with Vancouver recording 1.1 million square feet of positive net absorption in Q3 2020. This extends the region’s record-setting run of interrupted positive industrial absorption to a full seven years.
“Oxford has built close to five million square feet of industrial space across Canada and each park starts with a vision made in collaboration with municipalities and stakeholders. Breaking ground and going vertical is an important milestone in our stated ambition to deliver Canada’s first large-scale multi-storey industrial facility,” said Rob Wheler, vice president of development at Oxford Properties.