Grosvenor Americas paid $167 million for a 4.77-acre site at 4612 Lougheed Highway and 2040, 2140 and 2150 Alpha Ave. It had been owned by the families which operated an on-site car dealership, according to Avison Young Vancouver principal Bob Levine, who was part of the team that brokered the deal.
The acquisition gives Grosvenor Americas a 7.9-acre site immediately southeast of SkyTrain’s Brentwood Town Centre station and south of The Amazing Brentwood development. Its borders are Lougheed Highway to the north, Beta Avenue to the east, Dawson Street to the south and Alpha Avenue to the west.
“We first acquired an interest in 4664 Lougheed in late 2016 and have worked on acquiring the rest of the block, including the remaining interest in 4664 Lougheed, since then on an off-market basis,” Grosvenor Americas senior vice-president of development and general manager for Vancouver Michael Ward told RENX.
“There is an existing high-quality office building on the eastern portion of the site and some smaller businesses located on the western portion of the site. The car dealership is no longer in operation and there is a lot of surface parking.”
Grosvenor Americas part of Brentwood boom
The site is one of the last full-block, large-scale development opportunities in the rapidly evolving Brentwood neighbourhood. That is what attracted Grosvenor Americas, along with its proximity to transit retail, natural amenities and educational institutions.
Following the implementation of the Brentwood Town Centre Official Community Plan in 1996 and the Metro Vancouver SkyTrain expansion in 2002, Brentwood has seen the addition of more than 10,000 new residential units, more than one million square feet of new retail and more than 500,000 square feet of new office space.
“We are in the very early stages of working with the City of Burnaby, but envision a high-density, mixed-use development that could have over 2,000 residential units, including condominiums and rental housing, with approximately 500,000 square feet of commercial space, which could include such uses as office, retail, hotel, et cetera,” said Ward.
The City of Burnaby wants to establish more non-market-priced affordable rental housing. That will be incorporated into the Grosvenor Americas’ development.
Rezoning applications and community engagement
Ward called it an “opportunity for us to make a significant community impact, which is something we strive to do with all of our developments, as we intend to be there for the long term.”
Grosvenor Americas will master-plan the site and go through a rezoning process for each phase of the development. Ward said it was too early to establish any timelines.
“In the short term, we have a vision to create opportunities to engage the community in ways that haven’t really been seen before in this neighbourhood,” said Ward.
“We always strive to engage with the community in meaningful ways in all of our projects. We are currently working with the city on those plans and hope to have more to share soon.”
Other Brentwood developments
Shape Properties’ The Amazing Brentwood is a 28-acre community with phased plans that include more than 250 shopping and dining options, entertainment, offices, public space and more than 6,000 homes in 11 towers.
Aoyuan International also has big plans for the Brentwood neighbourhood. It owns a 9.3-acre property on Dawson Street that’s currently comprised of retail and light industrial buildings.
The company plans to transform it into a mixed-use development called The Grove that would incorporate condominiums, purpose-built rental apartments and a commercial element.
It’s seeking approval to build five towers reaching up to 51 storeys, four low-rise buildings of up to six storeys, and 280,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space.
Grosvenor Americas in B.C. and elsewhere
It’s also building the 39-storey The Pacific condo in downtown Vancouver and Ambleside Phase 2 in West Vancouver.
“Grosvenor has been an active property developer in the Vancouver area for over 65 years,” said Ward. “This acquisition represents one of our largest commitments to date, and exemplifies our enthusiasm for this region.”
Grosvenor Americas is part of the Grosvenor Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned property companies, which develops, manages and invests in properties in more than 60 cities around the world.
Grosvenor Americas had assets under management worth $5.2 billion at the end of 2018.