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Nicola Wealth, Coromandel JV on multi-tower Van. apartments

Nicola Wealth Real Estate (NWRE) and Coromandel Properties are partnering to build two purpose-bu...

IMAGE: A rendering of a portion of the multi-tower residential development planned by Nicola Wealth and Coromandel in Vancouver's Oakridges district. (Courtesy Nicola Wealth)

A rendering of a portion of the multi-tower residential development planned by Nicola Wealth and Coromandel in Vancouver’s Oakridge district. (Courtesy Nicola Wealth)

Nicola Wealth Real Estate (NWRE) and Coromandel Properties are partnering to build two purpose-built rental apartment properties in Vancouver’s Oakridge area.

Coromandel assembled and acquired the two sites a number of years ago before NWRE became involved.

“There were some direct existing relationships with a few key people at Coromandel,” NWRE acquisitions director Shaun Blythen told RENX of how the 50-50 co-development partnership came together.

“Conversations started that way last spring and were fleshed out over the summer and we got the deal inked in Q4 of last year.”

Details on West 41st Avenue properties

Rezoning for the two properties, which straddle Alberta Street, from residential to comprehensive development was considered under the Cambie Corridor Plan and approved in October.

“Given the time that we came into the project, they were down the road in terms of applications and the application was for rental,” said Blythen. “Nicola’s interest was purely in multifamily rental for this location.”

The first property, located at 475 West 41st Ave. and known as the West parcel, sits on 1.13 acres of land. When completed, two buildings of 22 and 14 storeys will comprise 246,982 square feet and 355 units of market housing space and 56,505 square feet and 64 units of affordable housing space.

There are also plans for 17,314 square feet of retail space, 209 underground parking stalls and bicycle parking. A large outdoor area between the two buildings will be used as an amenity space.

The second property, located at 357 West 41st Ave. and known as the East parcel, sits on 0.29 acres of land.

An 11-storey building comprised of 63,699 square feet of space with 86 market-priced housing units, 6,801 square feet of space with nine affordable housing units, 36 underground parking stalls and bicycle parking will be constructed there.

Decisions are still being made regarding amenities and suite mixes, but the apartment buildings will likely include bachelor, one-, two- and three-bedroom units as well as an affordable component.

“The whole plan for this area, regardless of whether it’s for condo or rental, is that there’s an affordable component required to achieve the densities that developers are pushing for,” said Blythen.

Blythen is looking to get building permits and construction financing finalized and would like to be in ground in Q4 2022.

The target construction completion dates are early 2025 for the smaller property and mid-2026 for the larger one.

“These two projects are independent, but we’re kind of running them as one from an economies of scale standpoint,” said Blythen. “They’re right across the street from each other so we can build them together.”

Developments’ location

The location on Vancouver’s West Side, between the airport and downtown, offers easy access to Queen Elizabeth Park and it’s a very short walk to the Oakridge-41st Canada Line transit station.

It’s also not far from QuadReal and Westbank’s Oakridge Park, a redevelopment of the 28-acre Oakridge Centre mall site into a mixed-use community with residential, retail, office, cultural and park components.

The multi-phased, 5.5-million-square-foot project is the largest development under construction in Metro Vancouver.

“That whole area is changing and it will be a city within a city by the time everything is said and done,” said Blythen. “It will have access to lots of amenities by the time these things are finished.”

New NWRE acquisition

NWRE also just announced the acquisition of Queensborough Mini Storage, comprised of two buildings with 844 storage lockers, at 800 Boyd St. in New Westminster’s Queensborough neighbourhood.

NWRE plans to add a third building with approximately 415 storage lockers to the site.

The property will be rebranded and added to the Advanced Storage Centres portfolio, which will grow to eight locations in British Columbia.

NWRE and Coromandel

Vancouver-based NWRE is the in-house real estate team of Nicola Wealth, a Canadian financial planning and investment firm with more than $11.9 billion in assets under management.

NWRE’s portfolio includes industrial, rental apartment, office, self-storage, retail and seniors housing.

With the January 2021 acquisition of Toronto-based Blackwood Partners, the portfolio now exceeds $8 billion in gross asset value.

NWRE is concentrating its growth in Canadian markets including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria, Kelowna, Montreal and Toronto.

Its focus is on acquiring income-producing properties, developing new build-to-own product and executing on value-add strategies.

While its roots are in China, Coromandel Properties was founded in 2013 with a Vancouver head office. Its focus is on multiresidential, mixed-use and hospitality projects.

The development company has more than 4.6 million square feet of real estate projects in various stages of development in Vancouver and plans for several future developments.

It’s also looking for real estate opportunities in Toronto and resort and recreational properties in Whistler, B.C., and in the province’s Okanagan region.

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