Hollyburn Properties, Vancouver’s largest owner/operator of apartment buildings, has expanded its portfolio to include an office building located at 1155 West Pender. The new property, ideally located near Vancouver’s city centre, is set to become the company’s new head office in early 2020.
As an industry leader, Hollyburn said it felt the need to diversify its asset base in an extremely competitive and somewhat uncertain market. The physical reality of the dated, more maintenance-heavy Vancouver apartment building stock, coupled with the economic reality of high valuations, transfer tax, and change of legislation, plus other punitive political risks, made the prospect of a commercial building an attractive consideration.
In a time when the downtown Vancouver office market has the second lowest vacancy rate in North America at sub five per cent, the move offers the growing company promising opportunities to further expand and develop.
And Hollyburn isn’t alone in recognizing the benefits of a central downtown office—the neighbourhood is rapidly transforming with new commercial property vendors snatching up available space, including: Reliance Properties, Oxford Properties, and Bentall Kennedy. Sharing the building with Hollyburn will be anchor tenants Continuing Legal Society and Bazinga Technologies, both with full floor plates.
Benefits of a downtown office
The central location presents a number of benefits for Hollyburn. These include: easy access to public transportation; reputable restaurants and shops; close proximity to 30 of Hollyburn’s downtown apartment communities; and according to Hollyburn’s Allan Wasel, the fact that the property “satisfied [their] short-term requirements as an owner user on a 11,400 sq ft floor plate with 12-foot ceilings, [their] medium-term requirements of repositioning the property for accelerated rental growth, and [their] long-term requirements as a property with strong redevelopment potential on a 16,511 square foot site with dual Hastings and Pender street frontages.”
Hollyburn Properties, a Canadian-owned company founded in Vancouver over 40 years ago, currently manages and operates 90 rental communities nationwide, with over 5,600 suites across Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa.