Oxford Properties is partnering with Intracorp Homes in a joint venture to develop 649 rental apartments in South Vancouver – including 125 co-op homes in one of Canada’s largest co-op housing renewal projects.
“We’re very pleased to partner with Intracorp and make our first residential investment in Vancouver through a project that promises significant economic and social benefit for the local community,” said Tyler Seaman, head of hotels and multiresidential, North America at Oxford Properties, in the announcement Wednesday morning.
“As Oxford continues to scale our residential business across North America, we have high conviction in the Vancouver market, driven by its sustained favourable demographic trends and expansion of global tech firms.”
New Ashley Mar to include 125 co-op homes
In an interview with RENX, Seaman described the development site as “awesome” with great transit access and with good market rents.
“It’s equipped to capture renter demand from multiple sources; young professionals commuting north to downtown or otherwise working in logistics or suburban office settings, Vancouver International Airport, students, new Canadians. With good market rents, we’re going to capture multiple sources of renter demand and it’s going to be a successful project in our view whether judged over the short, medium or long term.
“We’re really excited about it.”
The project is at the site of the Ashley Mar Housing Co-operative in South Vancouver. Oxford and Intracorp, will deliver 125 homes to the Ashley Mar co-op, more than doubling the currently available cop-op homes on site.
The overall development comprises two new 27-storey and 31-storey market rental towers, and a 16-storey co-op tower.
Oxford plans to grow Metro Vancouver portfolio
Randy Hoffman, senior vice president, Canada at Oxford Properties, said this signals Oxford’s commitment to expand its portfolio in Vancouver.
“As we scale our business in the region we will continue to look at a wide array of opportunities, including partnerships with co-investors that share both our conviction in the asset class, and a desire to deliver a broad range of solutions to suit a diverse and growing Vancouver market,” he said.
Oxford said it is targeting a significant pipeline of opportunities in Vancouver as a core, long-term market, primarily through new development, to deliver much-needed supply of professionally-managed rentals.
The nearly 1.5-acre site, near the Canada Line, the rapid transit line in Metro Vancouver, is located at 8495 Cambie Street and 8460 Ash Street. It will offer bachelor, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and townhome layouts to accommodate a wide array of renters, including families.
The site is at the southernmost point from the downtown and very close to the airport, on the border of Vancouver and Richmond.
Oxford said the modern complex will feature significant sustainability-oriented resident amenities, including EV charging stations and hundreds of bicycle parking stalls. The project is slated to break ground in spring 2022, with first occupancy anticipated by the end of 2024.
Current townhomes to be demolished
Ashley Mar currently contains 54 co-op townhomes built in the early 1980s. They will be demolished for the project, with residents to be relocated before moving back into the new co-op tower, which they will continue to own and operate.
The site is located within the Marpole-South Cambie transit corridor, steps from the Marine Drive Skytrain Station, which includes a movie theatre, grocery store, shops and restaurants. Downtown Vancouver can be reached within 20 minutes.
“The rental market in Vancouver like many residential markets in major city centres, the supply is really low compared to the demand . . . The federal government is increasing the immigration targets and we know a lot of immigrants end up in the rental market. So there’s going to be a continued shortage of housing,” said Evan Allegretto, president, B.C. at Intracorp Homes. “The amount of housing at this location is really good for the City of Vancouver to help address the shortage of housing.
“Not only is it an amenity-rich neighbourhood that residents want to be here but it’s a really great transportation hub, so from a sustainability perspective the requirement for car usage is really low here . . . It’s a strategic location for rental and we’re happy to do it.”
Allegretto said the developers are still looking at opportunities to increase the affordability with some other government programs in the future.
Seaman said Oxford will continue to look for rental development opportunities in the Vancouver area.
“We’ve struck a great partnership with Intracorp and that’s important to us, and that would be the first place we look clearly as we continue to build out our portfolio in Vancouver,” he said. “We love Vancouver. For us it is clearly a core market in our North American strategy.
“We filter our markets where we want to deploy Oxford equity across a number of econometric and demographic filters like employment and immigration, demographics, job creation. Vancouver just filters really well in every measure and thus we want to deploy more equity over time in Vancouver.”
About Oxford Properties, Intracorp
Oxford owns and operates a portfolio of over 10,000 apartments across North America, with a development pipeline of about 15,000 units.
Established in 1960, Oxford and its portfolio companies manage about $80 billion of assets across four continents on behalf of investment partners. Oxford’s owned portfolio encompasses office, logistics, retail, multifamily residential, life sciences and hotels in global gateway cities and high-growth hubs.
Oxford is owned by OMERS, the Canadian defined benefit pension plan for Ontario’s municipal employees. It has over 100 projects underway globally across all major asset classes.
Intracorp, with offices in Vancouver, Seattle, Newport Beach (California) and Austin, has built more than 25,000 homes in 184 communities in over 40 years.